It is a great honour and privilege to deliver this State of the Nation Address. This Address should have been delivered last week, but was delayed so that we could properly manage issues of political transition. I wish to thank Honourable Members and the people of South Africa for their patience and forbearance.
We meet here today on what is a highly anticipated occasion as we launch the Art Bank by opening an exhibition of artworks that will form part of the curated art collection, of the Art Bank.
This year marks the 14th annual national oral history conference organized by the Oral History Association of South Africa (OHASA), the National Archives of South Africa and the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in Eastern Cape.
I welcome you all this morning to the 18th Annual Conference of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA). Congratulations to LIASA for reaching teenage years. It is now an opportune time to re-imagine the significance and impact of library services in our country.
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.
Today South Africa marks 41 years since the heroic uprising by the youth of our country on 16 June 1976. This year’s national commemoration is held in the home of our struggle stalwart, JB Marks, whose remains we fetched from Russia and reburied here two years ago, and whose tombstone was unveiled in February this year.
As I make my maiden speech today in Parliament as the new Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, I would like to immediately convey my gratitude to Minister Mthethwa and the entire Department for warmly welcoming me in their midst.
Today, we meet here on a day which has significance in our history as the 23rd May marks the 23 anniversary of admission of our country as the 53rd member state of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU), in Tunis, Tunisia.
Today we come together to outline our programme for Africa Month, as we celebrate our Africanness, work towards African integration and reflect on where we have come from in order to map the road ahead.
We greet you all on this 23rd anniversary of the dawn of freedom and democracy in our country.
However, we start on a sad note.