Twenty years ago in this very house, on the 8th May 1996, with great excitement and pride, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was adopted.
I am delighted to be part of this august occasion of the 2016 National Archives Awareness Week under the theme “Archives for the protection of human rights, transparency and good governance”.
The South African Government would like to express its gratitude for hosting the African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum from the 28th April to the 4th May 2016. The forum has been eagerly anticipated by the Department of Arts and Culture with the pressing and growing concern to further the reach of World Heritage.
We meet here today on what is and surely must be described as a historical occasion – at the opening of the two day seminar that commences today, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the African World Heritage Fund.
Our mission since 1994 is to create a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. This is the task of every South African.
Earlier this year, our country experienced explosions of anger due to racist utterances and writings which reminded South Africans that the vestiges of white supremacy and racism still exist in some sections of society.
We are pleased that the theme for 2016 is “Imagine” as this takes us into a new space and time of planning for the future and re-inventing the SAFTAS after its first ten years of existence.
Hence there is also a new look for the awards, that pays homage to the one thing that film and television professionals yearn for - the Golden Horn.
The theme for this year’s edition of the festival, “Decolonising the Book” resonates with the strategic objectives of the Department of Arts and Culture.We espouse a book sector that is diverse and seeks to cultivate equitable growth of all South African languages.
I am very much delighted to be invited here to address a special breed of people in our society, who endeavour to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers and allowing great literature to be enjoyed far more widely.
It is in this month that South Africans from all walks of life, black and white, men and women, young and old are encouraged to reach out to one another as we continue to work together to build a united and prosperous nation.
The founding father of our nation, Tata Madiba, once said:“We were expected to destroy one another and ourselves collectively in the worst racial conflagration. Instead, we as a people chose the path of negotiation, compromise and peaceful settlement. Instead of hatred and revenge we chose reconciliation and nation-building.”