Remarks by Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi at the CCIFSA Inaugural Conference, Bloemfontein

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24 Mar 2015

As we gather here in Mangaung, in this historical town of the founding of the People’s Organisation, the African National Congress, we are delighted that the creative sector of our nation is on the verge also of making history.

Let us recall, as you all know, that this process was given momentum in November 2009, by President Jacob Zuma, when he pointed out the importance of a united movement and organisation of our cultural workers to take its proper place in the building of a democratic South Africa.

This sector has the potential to contribute massively in job creation, poverty eradication and social cohesion.

This sector also tells the South African story to the world.

Yesterday you produced a lot of work and enthusiasm and your voice was heard by the Minister and myself.

Today, we need to conclude this business of giving birth to this new federation of our arts, culture and heritage sector.

As we debate the dynamics of representation, we should also factor in strongly issues of rural communities and development, women’s participation, indigenous art forms, and importantly, people with disabilities in the arts.

Let us be quite clear: being part of this organisation is not about serving self interests. If you elected into a position, you will serve the interests of the collective. 

From the government side, as Minister Mthethwa pointed out yesterday, we will continue to provide an enabling environment.

You, the sector, must come to the party in a broad, representative voice, but you must also determine your destiny by being proactive and sustainable, relevant and show value for the resources we invested.

Let us show our strength and demonstrate our unity going forward. Let the cultural sector become an example and leading voice of social cohesion through their own unity and also through their works of art that give hope to the South African story.

Let your song and poetry reverberate from Mangaung to all our provinces, towns and villages, as you return home and to the world which eagerly awaits the success of this conference and the flourishing of the creative sector.