Former Minister Speeches
I greet in particular the delegates from the SADC region, as well our guests from the Netherlands and UNESCO.
I welcome you all to this groundbreaking conference on underwater cultural heritage. May your stay in our country be as pleasant as it is fruitful. It is most fitting that this meeting is held in this historic city, Cape Town. Cape Town is one South African city whose beauty has been remarked on. Some South Africans refer to it as the mother city. Most of you will recall that this city grew up around this Castle after the arrival of the Dutch in 1652. The Dutch settled here to set a refreshment station for ships en route to the East. Cape Town has great symbolic meaning for all South Africans.
Good morning all,
This morning’s occasion is a celebration of one hurdle cleared in our national striving to mine the rich vein of creativity embedded in South Africa’s diverse musical traditions. One hurdle cleared because this is the beginning of what will become a voyage of hope and discovery.
At Moshito, one year into my term of office, among other things I posed the following challenge:
It is a great pleasure for me to be here this evening at this Crafts Awards Dinner. This is indeed a very timeous occasion because the crafts is a sector of the cultural industries we identified as possessed of a huge potential.
In his keynote address at the launch of the Encyclopaedia of South African Arts, Culture and Heritage, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg Campus), a week ago, our Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr. Z.
We are here this morning to participate in the delivery of a very important off-spring of our democratic transformation. As the midwives, I think we all deserve to know a little bit about how this child was conceived and also why we have such high hopes about its future
It is my pleasure to participate in the launch of the 2009 South African Library Week with the theme “Access for All @ your library.” The Department of Arts and Culture is committed to the growth, development and promotion of every aspect of our national culture and heritage that contributes towards the improvement of socio-economic conditions of all people. For this to succeed we need to strategically position libraries as partners in education and social development. We need to encourage a reading culture that sparks off critical thinking and debate.
Running like a red thread through the historical experience of the Khoikhoi and the San people, since the advent of colonialism in Southern Africa, is a narrative of dispossession, racial oppression and even genocide.
Our democratic Constitution guarantees each citizen of South Africa fundamental human rights under the Bill of Rights. Our Bill of Rights is based on the culture of human rights as it has evolved both before and after the 20th century, to accord each individual protection against any form of discrimination under the law.
Accolades are in order for Robyn Orlin who is being made a Knight of the French National Order of Merit in recognition of her remarkable creative contribution to the arts.
Since the early 1980’s Orlin has worked in the Market Theatre precinct which was the hub of artistic life in Johannesburg. It was very much an anti-apartheid activist place. As an activist, Orlin joined the Federated Union of Black Artist Academy where she created a contemporary dance section and choreographed and facilitated works during that period.
It speaks to the outstanding literary talent in our country that the five authors short listed for the Best Book from the Africa region are all from South Africa. – a fantastic feat for this much valued and sought after award.
This evening’s event has had a very long and rather complicated incubation.Virtually from the day I assumed office as Minister of Arts and Culture in June 2004, I entered into a rather fruitless dialogue with our South African book publishing sector. As one who is keenly aware of the huge disparities in our society and the gaping social deficit we inherited from centuries of colonialism and decades of apartheid, I felt it was incumbent on me to spur our publishing industry to undertake publishing in the indigenous African languages in earnest.