Deputy Minister, Dr Phaahla speaks at closing ceremony of SA/India Festival
Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla will give a keynote address at the closing ceremony of SA/India Festival in India on Saturday, 27 April 2013. The closing ceremony marks the full circle of the SA/India, which began in June to August 2011.
The first leg of the festival in was held in South Africa, which hosted the India festival in five provinces namely Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. The second leg of the festival in India started in February and ends 27 April 2013.
During the 8th Joint Ministerial meeting in New Delhi, India IN 2011, it was agreed that India and South Africa would hold cultural festivals in each other’s country to implement the Programme of Cooperation between the two states to promote social cohesion and cultural diversity in both countries. The two countries have already had numerous cultural exchanges under the auspices of the Programme of Cooperation signed in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
In 2010, Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile in his keynote address at the Commemoration of the arrival of the Indians in SA to work as labourers in the Natal Sugar fields in 1860, paid tribute to the Indian Community for the positive role.
The Indian Community was fundamental in the overall development of the country and nation building including the struggle against apartheid. It thus become significant for the Deputy Minister to address the Festival as South Africa celebrates Freedom Day, under the theme “Mobilising society towards consolidating democracy and freedom”.