26 Jul 2017
In the second instalment of what is an eight-stop national roadshow, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) heads to Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal to share insights into the organisation, its research and tools.
22 Jul 2017
Today, we gather here to pay homage to one of our most revered and loved artists - Oom Ray, also fondly known as Bra Ray and Tata Ray and Chikapa - because first and foremost he was an uncle and brother to us all, a member of the family and a true patriot who loved this country with all his heart.
22 Jul 2017
“We have learnt with sadness of the passing of the multi-talented Iko Mash, arts personality and stylist, actor and singer, ” said Minister Mthethwa. Born with the name Billy Mothola Emmanuel Mashiloane, Iko hailed from Meadowlands, Soweto and learnt at an early age that he was different from others, embracing female dress.
22 Jul 2017
“It has come as a shock to hear of the passing of the composer and guitarist, Errol Dyers,” said Minister Nathi Mthethwa. His name is synonymous with that brand of African jazz called Goema. He kept alive the rich musical culture of the people who had lived in District 6 prior to their forced removal to far-flung places on the Cape Flats.
South Africa’s arts and culture are as varied as one might expect from such a diverse nation. The blend of local cultures and diverse influences make for a melting pot of creativity that never disappoints.
As custodians of South Africa’s diverse cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage, the Department of Arts and Culture aims to develop and preserve South African culture to ensure social cohesion and nation-building.
South Africa’s cultural and creative industry is a good revenue generator, and still has great potential to produce more and contribute to job creation.
The Cultural Industries Growth Strategy capitalises on the economic potential of the craft, music, film, publishing and design industries.
The Department of Arts and Culture provides support in the form of financing, management capacity, advocacy and networking, and by developing public-private partnerships and other initiatives that use culture as a tool for urban regeneration.
Worldwide, the turnover of cultural industries makes this the fifth-largest economic sector, which comprises design, the performing arts, dance, film, television, multimedia, cultural heritage, cultural tourism, visual arts, crafts, music and publishing.
The Department has entered into partnerships with significant stakeholders to map the cultural industries.
Cabinet has identified the creative and cultural industries as one of the drivers of economic growth and job creation in the implementation of the New Growth Path.
The Industrial Policy Action Plan 2 identifies the cultural industries, in particular the craft sector, music, jewellery production, clothing, leather, footwear and textiles as some of the sectors that will be subjected to focused and significant support by the State.
Government commitment envisages the creation of 5 million jobs over the next 10 years by:
• Identifying areas where employment creation is possible on a large scale, as a result of substantial changes in conditions in South Africa and globally.
• Developing a policy package to facilitate employment creation in these areas, above all through:
o A comprehensive drive to enhance both social equity and competitiveness;
o Systemic changes to mobilise domestic investment around activities that could create sustainable employment;
o Strong social dialogue to focus all stakeholders on encouraging growth in employment-creating activities.
The 2011 National Consultative Summit provided a revised strategy and plan, including new large-scale interventions to–
• reinforce the Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) Sector as an economic growth sector, and
• introduce programmes that contribute to large-scale employment. The approach is:
• General continuity and the introduction of new initiatives that, build on and expand existing initiatives as far as possible;
• Skills development for excellence and high performance in the ACH Sector;
• Large-scale interventions aimed at optimising growth and the employment potential of the Sector;
• Expansion and coordination of supply and demand in the Sector;
• Enhancement of existing production and creation of new business opportunities to match demand;
• Monitoring and evaluation to guide investment and coordination of current and future resources for the sector.
The following is a list of the large-scale projects/work streams of Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE), as a strategic response:
• Cultural events,
• Touring Ventures,
• Legacy projects,
• Cultural precincts,
• Public Art,
• Art Bank,
• Sourcing enterprise/information centres,
• National Academy for Cultural & Creative Industries of SA (NaCISA),
• Artists in Schools,
• Cultural Observatory.
Social Cohesion and Nation-Building
Defining social cohesion
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 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 - this with community members and citizens as active participants, working together for the attainment of shared goals, designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.
Nation-building is the process whereby a society 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.
Nation-building in this sense, and in the context of South Africa, cannot be the perpetuation of hierarchies of the past, based on pre-given or ethnically engineered and imposed divisions of people rooted in prejudice, discrimination and exclusion. It calls for something else; that is, a rethinking, in South African terms, of what social cohesion, linked to nation-building, should be. It should, no doubt and in essence, be directed towards the practical actualisation of democracy in South Africa.
Accordingly, a nation is conceived as a social formation based on the unity and equality of its members consisting of the following shared and recognised attributes:
Shared Origin and history, internationally recognised territory, unitary sovereign state, single judicial system, Single public education system, Nationally recognised languages, Nationally recognised cultures, Nationally recognised religions, shared values, shared symbols, and shared national consciousness.
In South Africa, the diverse cultures, languages and religions should not be seen as impediments to national unity given the statutory equality accorded to all citizens.