Remarks by Minister Mashatile on the occasion of announcement of artist line up for the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day

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12 Aug 2013

Programme Director, Director General of Arts and Culture, Mr Sibusiso Xaba

The Minister of Sport and Recreation, Minister Fikile Mbalula

Deputy Ministers of Arts and Culture Dr Joe Phaahla

Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen

The CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Mr Sello Hatang

Our Artists

Mr Sergio Azzareto for the Italian's Masters

Mr Lucas Radebe for the South African Masters

Representatives of the sporting fraternity

Government officials

Members of the media
 
Ladies and Gentlemen:
  
Today we are announcing the list of artists who will take part in the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day on the 18th of August 2013.

We have a high powered list of local and international artists; all of them accomplished artists ready to give a fitting tribute to Tata Madiba.
  
As we know on the 18th of July this year people across the world celebrated the Nelson Mandela International Day.

This year’s Nelson Mandela International Day coincided with Madiba’s 95th birthday.

As Madiba lies in hospital, we continue to keep him in our prayers and thoughts.

Like in the previous occasions this year’s Nelson Mandela International Day continues to inspire all of us to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.
 
As we continue to celebrate the life of former President Mandela we will do so in order to re-commit ourselves to the ideals he dedicated all his life towards achieving.

These are the ideals of non-racialism, freedom, equality, dignity for all and national reconciliation.

It is these noble values that continue to guide us as we seek to build a national democratic society; that is truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous.

As we proceed along the path pioneered by Tata Madiba and his generation of freedom fighters, we continue to prioritize national healing, nation building and social cohesion as the key pillars of the kind of society we seek to build.

Like sport, the arts, culture and heritage have an important role to play in promoting reconciliation, nation building and social cohesion.

It is for this reason that as the Department of Arts and Culture, we support the Arts and Sports Day, combining three events; a ruby and soccer match as well as a cultural festival to be held on the 17th of August this year.

Through this event we will celebrate the life of former President Nelson Mandela.

We will also be contributing to a worthy cause, since all proceeds from the event will go towards the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

We are doing this in line with the spirit of the Nelson Mandela International Day; where all of us are encouraged to make everyday a Nelson Mandela Day.

Equally, through this unique event we are using the combined power of sport and the arts to carry forward Madiba’s legacy of building a true rainbow nation, at peace with itself and the world.

As President Zuma said on the occasion to celebrate the 95th Birthday of Former President Mandela, “Let us return Madiba’s sacrifice and contributions through our own efforts to build a better society”

Therefore, like we did during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and other major sporting events, my Department will use this event, once more, to remind South Africans that; what unites us far outweighs that which divides us; that we are one people, one nation, united in our diversity.

We will also use this event to further popularize our national symbols, including the national flag and the national anthem.

Programme Director, our participation in the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day on the 17th of August is in line with the work we continue to do to implement the resolutions of the historic National Summit on Social Cohesion, held in Kliptown last year.

Part of the resolutions of that Summit is that we must engage in programmes aimed at mobilizing all sectors of society behind the goal of building an inclusive society.

Also in line with the resolutions of the Summit we have appointed Social Cohesion Advocates; eminent South Africans drawn from all sectors of our societies.

In the coming months our Social Cohesion Advocates, which include Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, Advocate George Bizos and Dr Frene Ginwala, will travel to various parts of our country to drive the implementation of our Social Cohesion Programme of Action.

This programme will include community conversations in all parts of our country; where as South Africans we will have an opportunity to dialogue on the kind of society we seek to build.

Linked to this is the work we are doing in preparation for the 20th anniversary celebrations of our freedom and democracy, next year in 2014.

On that occasion we will be required to take stock of the progress we have made since 1994 to build the society of our dreams; an inclusive society; the kind of society we envisaged at the time of our liberation.

Let us continue to celebrate the life of former President Mandela.

Let us continue defending and deepening his proud legacy; a legacy of freedom, equality and dignity for all.
 
Long live former President Nelson Mandela!

Thank you.