The year 2012 is a moment in time that marks a number of significant historical events, places, people, epochs and eras. A few prominent examples are the centenary of Alexandra Township, the centenary of Sophiatown, the centenary of the Voortrekker Museum and the centenary of the formation of the African National Congress (the oldest liberation movement in Africa).
The year 2012 therefore has the potential to provide an impetus and serve as a foundation for a forward thrust in our efforts to identify, collect, protect and promote our heritage to deepen social cohesion and nation building and to serve as both catalyst and driver of sustained development. The year 2012 presents opportunities for South Africa to usher in a new era in the history of heritage preservation and promotion in our country.
The year is characterised by a plethora of commemorative activities that highlights the significance of our rich and diverse heritage. It has begun to witness the unveiling of our monuments and memorials that pay homage to those who made the supreme sacrifice during the wars of resistance and in the struggle for our liberation. It is also seeing the launch of new projects with similar intentions.
The year 2012 is therefore seen as both the culmination of work that has been done over a number of years as well as the launch of new projects that will go a long way in transforming the heritage landscape. The envisaged transformation should not only be seen in terms of conceptual/ ideological change, but also change that will impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of communities within which these projects are located.
This will ensure that heritage becomes one of the major catalysts in the implementation and the realisation of Mzansi’s Golden Economy – a key driver of the New Economic Growth Path.
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Arts, Social Development and Youth Programme
The ASDY Programme is working towards greater arts access for all communities, particularly marginalised groups. These groups include disadvantaged women, youth-at-risk, families in crisis, children without access to early childhood development initiatives and people with disabilities.
One project supported under Arts Access is the Arts in Correctional Facilities. This focus of this project is the use of various arts in the rehabilitation of offenders. It also supports the social re-integration of offenders into society, using the arts as a bridge between the offender and society.
Another is art therapy under the auspices of the Art Therapy Centre. This project uses the arts as a healing tool for children and families who are survivors of various abuses. The healing process is based on the use of arts as a means of self-expression.
The Department launched the National Youth into Arts Programme (YAP) in Mdantsane, in 2008. This programme encourages the youth to choose the arts, culture and heritage as serious and dignified careers. YAP also creates dialogues, explores possibilities of socio-economic opportunities and skills development for the youth in the arts, culture and heritage fields. YAP aims to broaden exposure to various aspects of arts business and management with a view to creating sustainable socio-economic and socio-cultural opportunities.
For more information regarding the ASDY programmes, contact the Chief Directorate: Arts, Social Development and Youth at Tel: 012-441-3055 or 012-441-3071.
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