Minister Mashatile signs agreement with Spain

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16 Apr 2012

Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile and Ambassador Benavides Orgaz of Spain today signed a Programme of Co-operation (POC) to strengthen bilateral relations between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Spain in the fields of arts and culture for the years 2012 to 2015.
The POC covers areas in the Archive, Culture and Heraldry spheres.

Department of Arts and Culture signed an agreement with Spain in February 2004 during the First Session of the South African / Spanish Annual Consultations.

This paved the way for bi-lateral cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Pretoria, Minister Paul Mashatile emphasized the importance of the POC, “In particular the signing of this Programme of Cooperation will go a long way in strengthening people to people contact between our two countries. We are here to forge new and fresh bonds of friendship and solidarity amongst our people”.

Ambassador Benavides Orgaz of Spain said the partnership with South Africa would bring about much needed development in the townships with a focus on the under - privileged communities in South Africa.
He said Spain was committed to fighting poverty by helping to create more jobs in the Arts and Culture industry in South Africa.

Minister Mashatile added that the Programme of Action “we are signing today opens new avenues for cooperation, specifically in the areas of libraries and book publishing, heritage preservation and museums, heraldry as well as music, theater, dance and film.”

Commenting on the Spanish government’s support on African heritage sites, the Minister said: “We are particularly encouraged by the work done by the Spanish government to support the Africa World Heritage Fund (AWHF)”, said the Minister.

Spain is the 1st contributor of the World Heritage UNESCO Africa Fund.

African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) is the custodian of the African continent's heritage sites. These are places of great cultural, natural and artistic value.

The Spanish Ambassador concluded by indicating that his country; Spain was serious about helping South Africa to register its own identified heritage sites.

For more information please contact Premi Appalraju on 082 903 6778