Speech delivered by Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi during the Gauteng Department of Education Female Principal Programme, Freedom Park, Pretoria

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29 Aug 2014

Programme director

MEC for Gauteng Department of Education,

Mr Panyaza Lesufi;

HOD for Gauteng Department of Education Mr Ben Ngobeni;

The Acting CEO of Freedom Park, Ms Jane Mufamadi;

Principals;

Officials from both Freedom Park and Gauteng Department of Education; 

Ladies and Gentleman

I am joyful to be part of this momentous occasion taking place now in the month of August which is dedicated to women.

No African society can claim to be free until all its women are free. We, in South Africa, are moving forward with the struggle for the total emancipation of our women. We have much to be proud of. And we have much to accomplish.

Government continues to support women’s participation in the economy as entrepreneurs and also as decision makers.  Over the next five years, we shall be piloting several creative arts incubators across the country.

These will be the hotbeds for cultural entrepreneurship and democratise access to tools of production. These will be the sites that we encourage as government for the creation of local content.

This is part of the Mzansi Golden Economy which seeks to expand supply and work opportunities; grow audiences; transform the colonial heritage landscape; collect relevant data to inform policy direction; and develop artists to be economically self-reliant.

The choice of the venue for this dialogue epitomises the freedom and democracy we enjoy today. The Freedom Park is an embodiment of all the hard won struggles for freedom and humanity. Freedom Park is a product of the Truth and Reconciliation and Tata Madiba’s dream to construct a monument which had to become a people’s shrine where we shall honour with dignity.

As a member of the first democratic parliament back in 1994, I could remember vividly how passionate Madiba was to get this monument off the ground. It is in this monument that thousands of names of heroes and heroines have been inscribed on the wall with many thousands still to be inscribed.

MEC, we established Freedom Park to ensure that all South Africans, especially our children know their history, the liberation heritage, culture and spirituality in a more detailed way.

It is therefore my wish that all learners from the foundation phase to senior phases in Gauteng and in all other Provinces make use of this monument to advance and enrich their knowledge of where we are coming from, where we are and how best we can build a nation based on the founding principles advocated by the hundreds of thousands of people who sacrificed everything for the liberation of this country.

The Department of Arts and Culture is tasked with the responsibility of promoting national identity, nation building and advancing social cohesion.

The Education Sector has the means and great latitude to assist in building the kind of society Tata Madiba cherished.

Through this kind of partnership, we are bound to produce a cadre of young people who are patriotic to their country, who would understand the significance of the national symbols, the importance of the history, heritage, culture and spirituality preserved here at Freedom Park and the role that Freedom Park plays and continue to do so in nation building and healing for a better society.

In conclusion MEC, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to all female Principals from Gauteng for choosing Freedom Park as their preferred venue for this dialogue and wish that the whole education sector can piggy back from this great partnership you have initiated with Freedom Park.  I am looking forward to a future where thousands of learners will visit this monument to build a better and prosperous South Africa.

I thank you