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Frequently Asked Questions

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The aim of the DAC is to develop and preserve South African culture to ensure social cohesion and nation-building.
We are a thriving arts, culture and heritage sector contributing to sustainable economic development, leveraging on partnerships for a socially cohesive nation. We enhance job creation by preserving, protecting and developing arts, culture and heritage to sustain our democracy and build our nation.
 

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The department defines social cohesion as the degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression itself among individuals and communities.

 

In terms of this definition, a community or society is cohesive to the extent that the inequalities, exclusions and disparities based on ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, age, disability or any other distinctions which engender divisions distrust and conflict are reduced and/or eliminated in a planned and sustained manner. Community members and citizens should be active participants working together for the attainment of shared goals designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.

 

The Department has a programme on community conversations/dialogues which are aimed at communities to share their past and present experiences with regard to social cohesion. In these platforms communities are encouraged to identify projects that help in nurturing, understanding and cooperation between different communities.

 

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Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) is a strategy to reposition the cultural industries in South Africa.  The MGE strategy opens up the arts, culture and heritage sector to effectively and comprehensively contribute to economic growth and job creation. The Minister of Arts and Culture has declared 2013 as the year of MGE. Some of the projects that DAC has initiated and is implementing are; Cultural Events, Sourcing Enterprise, Public Art, Touring Ventures, Art Bank, NACISA and Cultural Observatory.

 

  • The Cultural Events initiative funds big cultural events in different cities and towns of the country. These Events provide platforms for performing artists to display their arts and earn a living. It also provides secondary and supportive jobs.

 

  • The Sourcing Enterprise sources goods and services for events, shows, conferences and exhibitions. It chooses the best and most appropriate artists, and their creations. It also provides an opportunity for the young upcoming artists to be showcased on these platforms.

 

  • The Public Art project looks at proposals from artists who can do a Public Art Performance like the Cape Carnival and the Infecting the City project which does ‘impromptu’ multi-media arts. Street theatre and dance are also part of this programme. The Public Art project consists of outdoor murals and sculpture.  The Department has been funding such projects which offer job opportunities to visual artists, especially among the youth and beautifies public spaces.

 

  • The Touring Venture project deals with Art Exhibitions, Plays and Public Art Performances that need to be taken to various cities to provide opportunities for audiences elsewhere to experience the art.

 

  • The Art Bank Project is envisaged as a national rental agency for contemporary and traditional South African Art. Its function will be to procure and curate artworks in all public buildings, including government departments and its institutions and South African Embassies around the world to ensure that good quality contemporary artworks are displayed.

 

 

  • The National Cultural Industries Skills Academy (NaCISA) is a proposed centre of excellence that is being developed in collaboration with Departments of Basic and Higher Education, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labour. We are discussing the project with various tertiary level institutions that provide training to the arts sector to devise a curriculum and programme of training, having found gaps with the skills shortages identified by researches in the arts sector. This centre of excellence will provide a training centre for the youth at tertiary level.

 

  • The Cultural Observatory aims to provide the industry and government with the data that will help develop appropriate strategies for facilitating development of the sector and to enhance its contribution to the GDP. In assessing the economic impact of the projects, the Cultural Observatory will provide the following economic indicators:-
  • The size of the industry
  • Number of jobs created
  • Percentage contribution to the GDP
  • The value of the industry across the value chain.
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Arts refers to individually or collectively created products of value, the expression or application of creative skill and imagination in the various branches of creative activity such as painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, films, graphic arts etc.

Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Heritage refers to valued property such as historic buildings, artwork, books and manuscripts and other artefacts that have been passed down from previous generations. They are of special value and are worthy of preservation.

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You may visit the Provincial or National Archives and make enquiries there and will be helped to research your family history.  You can call the National Archives of South Africa at 012 441 3200

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The need for a Community Arts Centres is driven through local government. Communities must raise these need when consultations for the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) happen. It should be a priority of a Municipality to build one. There are particular funds that are available through the Cooperative Governance Ministry. An Infrastructure Grant for example is accessible for a municipal that wants to venture into community buildings/public amenities.

 

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The Bureau of Heraldry which is located together with the National Archives in Hamilton Street, Pretoria is the unit that can assist. A Coat of Arms is developed for a town, city, province or country. The Bureau of Heraldry has documented the Coats of Arms for most of the places in South Africa. They would therefore advise you as to whether the symbols you wish to use have been used by another entity or not. You would also have to register the Coat of Arms with the Bureau of Heraldry once it is completed.

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The National symbols entail the National anthem, the National flag, the National Coat of Arms, the National animal which is the Springbok, the National bird which is the Blue Crane, the National fish which is the Galjeon, the National flower which is the King Protea and the National tree which is the Real Yellowwood.

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The National Orders are South Africa’s highest awards presented to     individuals by the President, in recognition of their contribution to the country. There are six categories of National Orders as follows:

Mapungubwe

It is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa. The first and highest category of this Order is awarded in Platinum, followed by Gold, Silver and Bronze.

 

Baobab

It is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service. It is an award for contributions in the following areas:

  • Business and the Economy
  • Science, Medicine and Technological Innovation
  • Community Service

Companion of OR Tambo

It is awarded to foreign nationals (Head of State and Government) and other foreign dignitaries. It is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support.

 

Luthuli

It is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, peace and conflict resolution. It symbolises the vision of the late Chief Albert Luthuli – the legendary liberation struggle leader and the first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.

 

Ikhamanga

It is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

 

Mendi for Bravery

It is awarded to South African citizens who have performed an extraordinary act of bravery that placed their lives in great danger, or who lost their own lives including trying to save the life of another person, or by saving property.

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Legacy projects refers to  Monuments, museums, plaques, outdoor art, heritage trails and other symbolic representations create visible reminders of, and commemorate, the many aspects of South Africa’s past.

Government has initiated several national legacy projects to establish commemorative symbols of South Africa’s history and celebrate its heritage.

The legacy projects include the Women’s Monument, Chief Albert Luthuli’s house in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal, Battle of Blood River/Ncome Project, Samora Machel Project, Nelson Mandela Museum, Constitution Hill Project, Sarah Baartman Centre of Remembrance, Khoisan Legacy Project, Freedom Park Project , Dulcie September Legacy Project , Matola Raid Memorial Project , Bhambatha Project and Albert Luthuli Annual Memorial Lecture.

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The Department of Arts and Culture disburses its funds through specialised funding institutions that are able to assess and keep track of those funds, namely:

  • National Heritage Council

Tel: (012) 348 1663

Fax: (012) 348 2833

Web: http://www.nhc.org.za/

 

  • National Arts Council

Tel: (011) 838 1838  

 Fax: (011) 838 6363

E-mail: funding@nac.org.za.

Web: http://www.nac.org.za/

 

  • National Film and Video Foundation

Tel: (011) 483 0880 

Fax: (011) 4830881

Web: http://www.nfvf.co.za/

 

  • Business Arts South Africa        

Tel (011) 832 3000

Fax: (011) 832 3040

E-Mail: info@basa.co.za

Web: http://www.basa.co.za/

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There is no great secret on how to copyright your musical work. As soon as you affix your music and lyrics in a tangible medium (paper, CD or DVD) the work  is afforded copyright protection. The affixed products can be deposited with existing institutions such as the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), the National Organisation for Reproduction Rights in Music (Norm) as well as the National Archives of South Africa.  According to the copyright act, the owner of the copyright has the exclusive rights to authorise any of the following: reproduction of the work, distribution of the work, performance of the work, displaying the work publicly.  There are monetary benefits attached to the exclusive rights.

You can also visit the website www.samro.org.za  for more information.

 

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There indeed several academies/schools of the arts in South Africa. Most tertiary institutions offer formal qualifications in various artistic disciplines and include amongst others:

  • Wits University
  • University of the North West
  • University of Natal
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • University of Zululand
  • University of Natal
  • University of Free State etc,

 

In Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces thre are arts and culture magnet/focussed schools. These are public schools which are skewed towards the arts. There is the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein Johannesburg, Pro Arte Alphen Park in Pretoria, and East Rand School of the Arts in Ekurhuleni. Community Arts Academies include the following:

  • Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni
  • Alexandra Arts Centre
  • Fuba Academy
  • Funda Academy
  • Mmabana Foundation in the North West Provinces
  • Mmabana Arts Centre in Thaba Nchu Free State
  • Nyanga Arts Centre in Cape Town
  • Krodendal Music Academy in Cape Town
  • Keiskama Music Academic – Hamburg (East London)
  • BAT Centre in Durban
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1. What is the purpose social cohesion strategy?

The purpose of the strategy is not only to outline the government’s long-term plan to nation-building but to provide a framework that will contribute to social cohesion in South Africa[1].




[1] See the Department of Arts and Culture’s National Strategy for Developing  an Inclusive and a Cohesive South African Society, p-3

 

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2. Vision of the strategy?

The strategy aims to contribute to the creation of a Caring and a Proud society informed by a vision based on constitutional values, ideals and principles that include the following:

Freedom, democracy and justice,

Rights and responsibilities

Equality and inclusion

Shared values and symbols

Unity and diversity
 

 

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  1. The strategy responds to the on-going and unfinished national project to address the legacy of colonialism of a special type. It defines the obstacles to social cohesion, including economic inequality, spatial division, prejudice & discrimination, social solidarity and national identity and unity with the purpose to overcome these to build a just society which upholds and embodies the principles and values of an inclusive, non-racial democracy.

 

Also, it responds to the Electoral Mandate through the Outcome-based approach adopted by cabinet in January 2012.

 

 

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  1. The cabinet approved strategy document defines social cohesion as “the degree of social integration and inclusion in communities and society at large, and the extent to which mutual solidarity finds expression itself among individuals and communities.” It must be emphasised that social cohesion is premised on active citizen participation, involvement and contribution towards the common goal of a just and equal society. 
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  1. Nation-building is the process whereby a society of people with diverse origins, histories, languages, cultures and religions come together within the boundaries of a sovereign state with a unified constitutional and legal dispensation, a national public education system, an integrated national economy, shared symbols and values, as equals, to work towards eradicating the divisions and injustices of the past; to foster unity; and promote a countrywide conscious sense of being proudly South African, committed to the country and open to the continent and the world.
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Social cohesion is generally community-based and thus located at a micro-social level while nation-building is nationally oriented and located at macro-social level.  Social cohesion strategy must therefore engage and link up with all the three spheres of public life. In this regard, social cohesion and national unity is a layered and integrated approach.
 

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  1. The policy environment within which the strategy document on social cohesion is situated involves a set of interrelated and overlapping initiatives at national level to which it has to be aligned for optimal impact.  In fact, the convergence rate is 100% with the following policies and their priorities:
     
  • Electoral Mandate 2009-20014
  • National Development Plan: Vision 2030
  • New Growth Path: 2010-2014
  • Industrial Policy Action Plan 2010-2014

Millennium Development Goals: 2000-2015

 

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  1. There is widespread myth that social cohesion is not only elusive and intangible but cannot be measured. But this is not true because to measure and monitor the impact of social cohesion and nation-building policies and programmes, there are indicators that have been designed and should adhere to basic principles[1] that will include, inequality, exclusion, community participation, alignment to direction of change, resources and local, national and international benchmarks.
 


 

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Much has been done but there is still great work that lies ahead. The relatively peaceful transition achieved by the democratic breakthrough saw the free and fair election of representatives to all levels of government. This has contributed in a big towards moving towards a non-racial, non-sexist society. Some of the advances that have been made are the following:

  • General elections held on schedule and orderly manner that consolidates democracy.
  • Constitutional democracy based on the rule of law
  • Legislatures at all three levels of government where representation is contested in an unrestricted multi-party system
  • Apartheid geography has been abolished together with the physical segregation of the people along racial and ethnic lines.
  • An independent and free country made up of diverse people
  • Economic opportunity to access resources
  • All languages, cultures and religions enjoy constitutional protection
  • Single national education system
  • Equality of all persons across race, gender and culture


 

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The constitution of South Africa has a direct bearing on social cohesion and nation-building as its preamble declares that, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”. It further emphasises the indivisible unity, under the Constitution of the country’s diverse people. The Constitution is a transformative document as it advocates for improvement of the quality of life of its citizens and free the potential of each person.
 

 

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Constitutional values create a new South African identity, and enables South Africans to overcome its inhuman history and attain a nationality based on equality, freedom and dignity. They further provide normative principles that ensure ease of life, shared by all.
 

 

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These have been clearly defined and revolve around the following:

  • Economic Inequality
  •  Spatial Division
  •  Social Interaction Cooperation & Solidarity
  •  Prejudice & Discrimination
  •  National Identity & Unity.

 

Poverty, unemployment, slow economic growth, uneven access to quality education, crime, racism, tribalism, xenophobia and many more not only are projections of the cited impediments but factors that inhibit progress to a socially cohesive South African society.


 

 

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  1. Active citizenry are members of society who take charge of their future and are the agents of what they want to happen in their communities. It requires inspirational leadership at all levels and every aspect of life. They should possess the following qualities:
  • Empowered – They understand that rights must be exercised with the responsibilities and are not shy to assert these. They have access to accurate, up to date information about government and its activities. Thus the government is obliged to provide information so that citizens can know what they are entitled to.
  • Fairness – citizens must not only know the structures and processes that exist but how government processes work, especially their accessibility by women, children, youth and people with disabilities. They play the game by its rules so that everything is predictable and transparent.
  • Inclusivity – must not only embrace the constitutional values of equality, dignity and freedom but are willing to include or involve every one irrespective of their position, status, creed or race. Everyone must have a sense of belonging and equal chance to exercise rights.
     

 

 

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  1. Unity in diversity is the motto on the National Coat of Arms that is drawn from the /Xam expression !ke e: /xarra // ke which literally means diverse people unite. It is a call to all citizens to unite in a sense of belonging and pride.

 

In so far as it speaks directly and in an ancient South African language and culture deeply woven into the fabric of many indigenous languages and cultures, it highlights and celebrates the interconnections of the people, the languages, the cultures and the histories.

 

The thinking embraces that South Africa has many identities and however all are South African.  The National Development Plan (NDP) states that, “being South African has never been promised on the notion of a melting pot that fuses everybody into some amalgam”[1].




 

  •  

 

 

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The following steps are widely recommended:

  • Mass participation in development of plans and initiatives
  • Mobilization of key stakeholders and institutions
  • Build national support for strategy and objectives
  • Community involvement in planning and implementation
  • Build capacity and skills
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fighting nepotism, patronage and corruption

 

  •  

 

 

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Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) is a strategy to reposition the cultural industries in South Africa. The MGE strategy opens up the arts, culture and heritage sector to effectively and comprehensively contribute to economic growth and job creation. The Minister of Arts and Culture has declared 2013 as the year of MGE. Some of the projects that DAC has initiated and is implementing are; Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) is a strategy to reposition the cultural industries in South Africa. The MGE strategy opens up the arts, culture and heritage sector to effectively and comprehensively contribute to economic growth and job creation. The Minister of Arts and Culture has declared 2013 as the year of MGE. Some of the projects that DAC has initiated and is implementing are; Cultural Events, Sourcing Enterprise, Public Art, Touring Ventures, Art Bank, NACISA, Cultural Observatory, and Arts in Schools.

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The Department sends out a call for proposals on key MGE work streams once a year that is made available on the website with all relevant information.

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Arts refers to individually or collectively created products of value, the expression or application of creative skill and imagination in the various branches of creative activity such as painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, films, graphic arts etc.

Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Heritage refers to valued property such as historic buildings, artwork, books and manuscripts and other artefacts that have been passed down from previous generations. They are of special value and are worthy of preservation.

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You may visit the Provincial or National Archives and make enquiries there and will be helped to research your family history. You can call the National Archives of South Africa at 012 441 3200.

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The need for a Community Arts Centres is driven through local government. Communities must raise these need when consultations for the Integrated Development Planning (IDP) happen. It should be a priority of a Municipality to build one. There are particular funds that are available through the Cooperative Governance Ministry. An Infrastructure Grant for example is accessible for a municipal that wants to venture into community buildings/public amenities.

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

The Bureau of Heraldry which is located together with the National Archives in Hamilton Street, Pretoria is the unit that can assist. A Coat of Arms is developed for a town, city, province or country. The Bureau of Heraldry has documented the Coats of Arms for most of the places in South Africa. They would therefore advise you as to whether the symbols you wish to use have been used by another entity or not. You would also have to register the Coat of Arms with the Bureau of Heraldry once it is completed.
You can call the National Archives of South Africa at 012 441 3200.

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A constitution contains the highest laws of a country. These laws are higher than the president, higher than the courts and higher than the government. These are the laws that describe how the people of a country should treat each other, and what their rights and responsibilities are to each other. The constitution of a country cannot easily be changed; it is there to protect all of us now, and our children in the future.

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The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology invited the public to say what values and symbols they would like to see reflected in the design of our new Coat of Arms. From these comments, instructions were written and given to Design South Africa (an umbrella body of South African design agencies). Ten top designers were briefed and three designers were chosen to present their ideas to the Cabinet. The final choice was the design by Mr. Iaan Bekker.