Key note address by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile on the occasion of the 13th Olivier Empowerment Awards; Emperors Palace
The Chief Executive Officer of Top Media and Communications; Ralf Fletcher
Leaders of business
Officials from government
Ladies and Gentlemen:
As the Department of Arts and Culture, we are proud to be a partner in this important initiative that seeks to honour the champions of transformation both in government and in the private sector.
We are particularly delighted to partner with Topco Media and other stakeholders in launching the 20 Years of Success: Business and Government Publication.
In this publication we are recognising and paying tribute to those South Africans in government and in business who through their hard work and love for their country, have contributed towards making South Africa a better place to live in.
These men and women, who are the pride of our nation, have continued to put their collective shoulder to the wheel, in support of the national effort to advance socio-economic transformation.
In many ways they have helped to author the good South African story that we will continue to tell.
They have helped in carrying forward the proud legacy of the founding father of our nation, Tata Nelson Mandela.
This is a legacy of hard work, dedication, transformation, inclusivity and equality for all.
The successes and the stories of the men and women we are honouring in the publication are an important part of our country’s history, narrative and heritage.
They must, therefore, be told in full and preserved for the benefit of current and future generations.
To us this evening’s Awards are part of the many initiatives and programmes, across the country, which celebrate the historic milestone of our twentieth anniversary of freedom and democracy this year.
It is therefore fitting that this evening we will, among others, be honouring some of the stalwarts of our struggle for liberation; Baba Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Denis Goldberg.
By honouring these stalwarts we saying to them; thank you for the gift of freedom.
We are also signalling our intention to continue to follow in their foot-steps; to draw lessons and inspiration from their lives and to defend their proud legacy.
As we mark twenty years of freedom and democracy as South Africans we are reflecting on the road we have travelled since our liberation in 1994.
We are celebrating our achievements and most importantly we are committing ourselves to doing even more to address the challenges that still lie ahead.
As we look back on the road we have travelled since 1994 we do so with pride that; working together we have remained true to the vision of the founding fathers and mothers of our democratic nation.
This is a vision of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
In particular we are making progress in building a society where all South Africans, Black and White, can walk tall assured in the reality that they are equal citizens of a free country.
We have also ensured that institutions that support our democracy remain strong, effective and vibrant.
We have succeeded in cushioning our economy from the adverse effects of the global financial and economic crisis.
We are indeed building a nation at peace with itself and the world.
Our successes since 1994 have been made possible by the collective work and determination of many South Africans from all sectors of our society; some of whom we are honouring today.
We must as a nation build on these successes.
Congratulations to all the nominees of this year’s Oliver Empowerment Awards.
We urge you to continue doing the good work you are doing.
We look up to you to help strengthen ongoing efforts to advance socio-economic transformation in our country.