Statement by the Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile on the occasion of the 2013 tribute concert media launch
The Executive Mayor of the City Of Tshwane, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa
Our partners from Drakensberg Promotions, Bra Sam Mhangwani and the team
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The founding father of our democratic nation, former President Nelson Mandela, whose legacy we continue to celebrate during this month of July once said;
“Artists reach areas far beyond the reach of politicians. Art, especially entertainment and music, is understood by everybody, and it lifts the spirit and morale of those who hear it.”
By saying these words former President Mandela reaffirmed that music is a universal language; it knows no ethnic, cultural, racial and geographic boundaries. Music also has a healing and uplifting effect.
Music therefore is a powerful tool to unite people, to promote social cohesion, to build and strengthen bridges of friendship and solidarity and ultimately contribute towards building a better, more caring and humane society.
Programme Director, South Africa is privileged to have an abundance of musical talent.
This talent needs to be showcased on a continuous basis both locally and internationally.
We must also continue to celebrate and honour our musicians in song and in many other ways.
It is against this background that as the Department of Arts and Culture we are delighted, once again, to partner with Drakensberg Promotions on the 2013 Tribute Concert.
This Concert is indeed iconic. It carries with it a proud history and heritage; having served the people of Tshwane and of Gauteng and indeed the rest of the country for many years with distinction.
To us as the Department of Arts and Culture this event is one of our flagship and signature events that overtime we seek to upscale.
This we will do because such major events not only have the power to bring people together; to promote social cohesion, nation building and national healing but also to contribute to local economic development.
These events also play an important role in facilitating skills development as well as identifying, developing and promoting the artistic talent so abundant in many of our young people.
As we all know, skills development and talent identification and promotion is critical in ensuring the sustainability of our sector.
It is for this reason that as a Department we have identified the establishment of a National Skills Academy for the Creative Industries as one of the intervention we will make to support the growth and development of our sector.
Programme Director, as part of implementing our Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy we have made a commitment to establish cultural precincts across the country.
These precincts will become vibrant hubs of cultural and artistic activity throughout the year.
As part of this plan it is envisaged that the precincts will be anchored on certain major cultural events, happening on an annual basis.
I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Mayor and the Council of the City of Tshwane to continue to work with us in assessing the feasibility of establishing a cultural precinct in Moretele Park, which for many years has been the home of the Tribute Concert.
As a Department we have begun working on establishing cultural precincts in various parts of the country. Details and progress made in this regard will be announced in due course.
We take this opportunity to wish all those involved with the 2013 Tribute Concert all the best.
This is an iconic event that we must ensure continues to grow from strength to strength.