Former Minister Speeches
Heritage is one of the primary sources of identity, imparting to communities a sense of belonging. That South Africa is culturally diverse is readily recognized. Less evident is the role that heritage can play in nurturing our national identity, social cohesion, conflict prevention and promoting human security. A group of independent experts set up by the Director General of UNESCO defined cultural diversity as “the manifold ways in which the cultures of social groups and societies find expression.” This suggests that rather than dividing us, cultural diversity is our collective strength, which could benefit the entire world. In this sense, it should be recognised and affirmed as the “common heritage” of all South Africans. Our South African Heritage draws on three continents and we, on this side of the house, have always accepted this outcome as the verdict of history. Humanism, that affirms the dignity and worth of all people, based on our human capacity to reason, is the connecting thread among these traditions. Its African spirit is best expressed as “Umntu, ngumntu ngabantu” – One’s humanity is affirmed in the recognition of the humanity of others
We are gathered here tonight to celebrate one of the oldest and most enduring of the art disciplines practiced on the African soil, poetry. Because it is so evocative, poetry has been used in every known human setting as one of many means of artistic expression, employing on of the faculties that distinguishes us from other animal species, the faculty of speech.
In recent weeks a prominent South African musician, speaking at the Edinburgh Arts Festival, made some rather acid comments about our government and its relationship to South African music. For his pains, that musician earned the dubious honour of being awarded the Sunday Times’ “Mampara of the Week” title on Sunday 12th August.
South Africa is extremely honoured to be hosting the World the WLIC/IFLA Conference.
This is only the second time that this gathering of the world’s librarians has been held on the African continent and the first time it is being held in South Africa
Since the invention of writing, literature has been a critical vehicle for the socialization, politicization, conscientization, education and entertainment of human beings. Writing and reading have since then been the means whereby knowledge, information have been passed down from era to era, from place to place from one group to another, from one society to another. As a repository of knowledge and the transmitter of information, writing and reading were sources of power. For centuries the ability to read and write was the monopoly of a few in all societies. Indeed, it was against the law to teach certain classes of people these skills, precisely as a means of keeping them ignorant of the society and the world they lived in, as a direct means of social control.
Welcome to this wonderful family reunion in Tshwane, South Africa. As the Executive Mayor, Dr. Ramokgopa has indicated, the city has much to offer. Apart from historic sites, the natural environment around this city is quite amazingly beautiful.
The Ministry of Arts & Culture is directly relevant to understanding who we are as a nation, where we come from and where we are going. The legacy of colonialism and apartheid , have receded but are still an aspect of the daily lives of many, The DAC’s responsibility includes articulating our vision and our agenda for the realization of a democratic, non-racial society.
Business Arts South Africa, is a body that was initiated to bring together government, business and the arts community to promote and preserve the arts in South Africa.John Kani once advised me, in jest, never to give sufficient money to the artists.” then they will have nothing to talk about,” he jibed.
This is a landmark conference and it is indeed an honour for me to address a gathering representing so wide and diverse a spectrum of our democratic South Africa. I believe that the outcomes of this conference will place us in a better position to discuss and enrich our understanding of the promotion of cultural diversity and nurturing the diversity of cultural expression in our society.
We have come together once more to recognise and affirm the contribution made to South Africa’s recording industry and musical heritage by a number of artists. Among our invited audience are musicians; vocalists, instrumentalists, composers and arrangers as well as other role players in our music industry whose talents came to flower during the 1960s.