Heritage gala dinner

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23 Sep 2009

Honourable Premier of the Limpopo Province, Mr Cassel Mathale
My colleagues in Cabinet present here today
Limpopo MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture, Dr Joyce Mashamba
Executive Mayor of the Capricorn District, Mr Mothalane Monakedi
Members of the Mayoral Committee
CEO’s of all DAC Institutions
CEO’s from the private sector
CEO of Old Mutual Foundation, Mr Andile Ncontsa
Ladies and gentleman
All protocol observed

In his State of the Nation Address President Jacob Zuma highlighted key elements of the government’s programme of action. He said “The creation of decent work will be at the centre of our economic policies and will influence our investment attraction and job-creation initiatives.” He stated that “Another important element of our drive to create job opportunities is the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The second phase of the programme aims to create about four million job opportunities by 2014. Between now (June) and December 2009, we plan to create about 500 000 job opportunities.” My Department has done and will do to ensure that government reaches this target of decent job opportunities.

The National Department of Arts and Culture is mandated by legislation to observe Heritage Day. This year we have adopted a different approach in celebrating this important occasion. Other than hosting a single event to mark this day, we chose a range of activities to highlight our theme, “Celebrating our South African craft, our Heritage”. Among others, we hosted the Lefifi Tladi’s unique exhibition that captured both music and art at the National Cultural Museum in Pretoria. The MEC of Limpopo, Dr Joyce Mashamba and I officially launched the Heritage Month Celebrations on the 16th of this month at Mapungubwe during the National Parks Week. This activity further highlighted the synergies between Environment and Culture in enterprise and economic development. It also emphasized the relationships that exist between Tourism and Culture and the need to establish collaborations and partnerships. As I am addressing you, the 4th World Summit on Arts and Culture is on its second day.

In all the Heritage Month activities mentioned above, my Department, through its flagship programme, Investing in Culture, has afforded crafters from all the nine provinces an opportunity to showcase, sell their wares and engage potential clients who could buy their craft products in bulk.

These exhibitions will ensure that projects funded by the Department become sustainable thus removing our people from State support and make them and their projects self reliant.

It is as a result of this goal - removing people in the Second Economy from State support into viable and successful businesses - that my Department is launching the DAC - Old Mutual Legends Programme.

This partnership, the first of its kind in the arts, culture and heritage sector, intends to preserve South African culture for social cohesion and nation building. It will strengthen the goals of my Department’s flagship programme, Investing in Culture through which my department aims to provide empowerment opportunities for unemployed people in the Second Economy through training and job creation in arts, culture and heritage sector. Investing in Culture further aims to provide access to markets and develop skills as a tool for urban regeneration, rural development and job creation.

On the other hand, the Old Mutual South African Foundation Trust is a Corporate Social Investment arm of Old Mutual South Africa whose vision is to invest in South Africa’s economic transformation by contributing to jobs, education and skills creation, open up opportunities for marginalized South Africans and to facilitate their inclusion in the mainstream economy. It is clear that there are synergies between my Department’s Investing in Culture programme and those of Old Mutual and to this end, allow me to expand on what will be done by my Department to breathe life into this partnership in the first year.

My Department will provide collaborative marketing opportunities, by establishing craft outlets, through envisaged partnership with arts, culture, heritage and tourism public entities to ensure that there is ongoing markets for crafts. This will augment our current marketing opportunities that we constantly create for our funded projects through exhibitions at Macufe, Rand Show, Grahamstown Arts Festival and other local and international exhibition and trade fares. My Department has targeted the Iziko and Robben Island museums in the Western Cape, the Nelson Mandela and Red Location museums in the Eastern Cape, the National Cultural History and Freedom Park museums in Gauteng, the Voortreker, Natal and Chief Albert Luthuli museums in KwaZulu-Natal as well as the National and War museums in the Free State as the first craft outlets in the Free State province.

My Department will also work with other public entities to establish craft outlets in seven World Heritage Sites in South Africa. These are Mapungubwe in Limpopo, Pilgrim’s Rest and Kruger in Mpumalanga, Richtersveld in the Northern Cape, Isimangaliso in KwaZulu-Natal, Addo in the Eastern Cape and Table Mountain in the Western Cape.

When we celebrate Heritage Month, particularly on the 24 September 2010, my Department would have made a significant progress in the establishment of craft outlets especially in the tourism hotspots.

My Department will also provide access to the best craft projects in the Investing in Culture programme and also provide access to provincial support networks to ensure that this partnership between DAC and the Old Mutual South Africa Trust works effectively.

Indeed, the signing of this partnership and registering of commitments by other potential partners to ensure sustainability of supported enterprises through the pledge to be signed later in the evening proves that “Working together we can do more”.

Thank you.