Arts & Culture: Minister's Budget Speech
31 May 2011
Arts and Culture Budget Vote Speech 2011/12 by the Minister Paul Mashatile, to the National Assembly
1 Jun 2011
Honourable Chairperson of the House
The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr. Joe Phaahla
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture, Honourable Babalwa Sunduza
Honourable Members of Parliament
The Director General of the Department of Arts and Culture, Mr. Sibusiso Xaba and senior management from the department
CEO’s of our Institutions and Chairpersons of our Boards
Representatives of the Arts, Culture and Heritage community
Our distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen:
We are honoured to present our 2011/12 Budget Vote at the start of an important month in the development of our democratic nation.
The month of June is dedicated to honouring the many sacrifices made by generations of young people to bring about freedom and democracy in our country.
This year we commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the
Support for youth in the arts
Honourable members for this budget vote we are joined by young practitioners in the arts, culture and heritage sector.
I request our young guests to stand up for the House to see them. You may sit down.
Honourable members, we acknowledge that more work still needs to be done to develop an appreciation for the arts among young people.
We are also aware of the need to ensure that talent is identified and developed from a young age and that a career in the arts becomes a career of choice among young people.
These are some of the tasks that we will continue to be seised with going forward.
Some of the specific programmes we will engage in, include working with the Field Band Foundation to build mass participation of youth in music and performing arts.
Working together with the Youth Development Agency we will support this year’s Youth Day celebrations.
Our support will include running programmes aimed at raising awareness of the significance of Youth Day.
Honourable members, as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting youth in the arts, I am pleased to report that we have allocated more than R6 million for youth programmes in the current financial year.
In addition, through our partnership with the European Union, more funds will be made available to advance youth development in the arts.
Building a prosperous and socially inclusive society
Honourable Chairperson, as the African National Congress (ANC) government, we are proud of the progress we are making in building the kind of society envisaged by our forebears who declared in 1955 that
We must continue to commit ourselves to the realisation of the ideals of the Freedom Charter.
This we must do so that in 2055, at the centenary of the Freedom Charter, we must have made significant progress towards achieving its goals.
Honourable Members, last year during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the nation demonstrated high levels of unity and patriotism. To us this proved that our goal of building a nation united in its diversity is within reach.
We must sustain the momentum we have built during the World Cup; to forge a national identity and promote social cohesion.
In order to further strengthen efforts aimed at nation building and promoting social cohesion, the Department of Arts and Culture has began a process of repositioning the arts, culture and heritage sector as a major contributor to the economic emancipation of the people of South Africa.
This process culminated in the historic National Consultative conference on the contribution of the arts, culture and heritage sector to the economy, held in April this year.
The conference brought together more than 1 000 delegates who, for the first time in many years, crafted a clear path for our sector and defined its contribution to the economy.
Delegates at this historic conference noted that:
- Our natural heritage, measured by the value of ecotourism, contributes R21 billion per annum to the economy
- Our music industry was worth around R1.7 billion in sales and ranked 17th in the world in 2007
- The craft sector contributes R1.1 billion annually to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs approximately 38 000 people
- The visual arts sector has a turnover of nearly R2 billion per annum.There are an estimated 17 000 people working in the sector.
- The total net turnover of the book publishing industry in 2007 was estimated to be worth R3.2 billion.
- The film industry generates over R5.5 billion in economic activity annually and employs an estimated 30 000 people
Delegates at the conference further noted that; societies with greater social cohesion tend to be the ones that are more economically prosperous.
Delegates declared that: “The creative economy in
This they did as a direct response to President Zuma’s clarion call that; the year 2011 is a year of job creation.
Honourable Members a number of specific proposals were agreed to at the conference.
These include the need to develop interventions throughout the education system to identify and develop the artistic talent of learners at a young age and encourage learners to pursue careers in the arts.
The conference also committed itself to a process that will lead to the establishment of a
It was also agreed that there is a need for the establishment of an enterprise which will source goods and services from the sector, thus ensuring better access to markets for arts practitioners.
Conference also agreed on the establishment of cultural precincts throughout the country.
In the current financial year, work will begin to establish five cultural precincts, commencing with planning for a precinct in Mangaung.
Furthermore, a touring venture will be established which will develop exhibitions and performances that will tour to the cultural precincts and elsewhere.
Conference also committed to taking forward the planning and implementation of the
A public art programme will also be designed focusing on beautification and storytelling through art in communities as well as showcasing our artistic talent.
Conference agreed on the establishment of an Art Bank to curate and display local art works in public buildings.
Conference further committed to the establishment of a Cultural Observatory whose purpose will be to develop key indicators, collect cultural statistics and analyse trends within our sector.
Honourable members, project teams are now in place to develop detailed business plans for the implementation of all Conference resolutions.
Consultations with provincial and local government with regard to the establishment of cultural precincts have also begun.
Honourable Chairperson, we look forward to reporting to this House on the progress we are making as we travel on this uncharted but necessary journey.
Realignment of funding
Honourable Members the new path that we have crafted, will require that we re-examine the funding of our sector.
This was also the overwhelming view of delegates at the conference.
In this regard, the Department of Arts and Culture has embarked on a process of realigning funding to the priorities identified at the Consultative Conference.
We will also be approaching National Treasury, with a view to securing increased funding for our sector focusing on the priorities we have identified.
We are confident that we will receive a sympathetic ear from National Treasury, because our priorities speak directly to job creation; which is the primary focus of the work of government.
We will also be working with the Department of Trade and Industry with a view to ensuring that our sector benefits from the support measures outlined in the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2).
We are confident that; because of the plans we are putting forward, our sector will also be considered for funding from the R9 billion fund for job creation announced by the President earlier this year.
We will work with other public funding agencies such as the Industrial Development Corporation and the private sector to secure adequate funding for the sector.
Honourable members, over the past few months we have had discussions with the Lottery Fund Distribution Board, with a view to mainstreaming Lotto funding for our sector.
Building capacity for implementation within the department
Honourable members, we made a commitment to stabilise the department and build the necessary capacity to effectively implement our mandate.
I am pleased to announce that we have appointed a Director-General (DG) for the Department of Arts and Culture, Mr Sibusiso Xaba.
The immediate task of the DG is to ensure that all vacant critical posts are filled by the end of the current financial year.
Honourable members, we have inaugurated Boards of our institutions; including the National Arts Council, the National Film and Video Foundation and the
The process to appoint the Board of the National Heritage Council is at an advanced stage.
Our intention is to appoint all outstanding Boards by the end of the financial year.
Honourable members, the
Our goal is to ensure that it is preserved as an important part of our liberation heritage and that it remains a major tourist destination and a world class facility.
In the coming months we will begin a process of rationalising all our institutions to minimise duplication and ensure clarity of roles.
Key highlights for the current financial year.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma indicated that we will launch a
We are pleased to report that provincial consultations on the
This project has also been presented to a number of African countries and is supported by the African World Heritage Fund, one of whose Board Members Mr Leon Rajaobelina is present in this House.
Honourable members, as we implement the
This is an important part of our liberation heritage to be celebrated and preserved for future generations.
Linked to the
This will be in addition to the work we are doing with the
I take this opportunity to thank Dr. Wally Serote who, earlier this year, retired as CEO of the
Honourable members, in taking forward the work of preserving and restoring our liberation heritage, we will be unveiling the
Honourable members, as part of our legacy projects last year we upgraded the graves of the following icons of our struggle and declared them heritage sites;
- Charlotte Maxeke
- Lillian Ngoyi and
- Helen Joseph
This year the South African Heritage Resource Agency will finalise the upgrading of graves and/or houses of the following icons and declare them heritage sites:
- Zaccheus Mahabane
- Dr James Moroka
- Thomas Mapikela
- OR Tambo
- Sefako Makgato
- Alfred Xuma
- Pixxley Ka Isaka Seme
- Rahima Mossa
- Rev Langa Libalele Dube
- Chief Albert Luthuli
- Josiah Tshangana Gumede
- Steven Bantu Biko
- Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Honourable Chairperson, Liliesleaf will also be declared a heritage site.
It is here that icons such as former President Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, the late Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Elias Motsoaledi, Arthur Goldreich gathered and planned to overthrow the apartheid regime and formed Umkhonto weSiswe, whose 50th Anniversary we will celebrate in December this year.
Work is also being finalised to declare the
The Matola Raid Memorial
Honourable members, in February this year, we marked the 30th anniversary of the 1981 Matola Raid in
The highlight of this event was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of
This historic site will stand as a constant reminder of the common heritage we share with the people of
We acknowledge the presence in this House of a delegation from
Honourable members, we are joined on this occasion by Ms. Xoliswa Sithole, one of our country’s most talented film makers.
Ms Sithole’s work has been recognised internationally for its relevance to the plight of women and children.
She recently won a second British Film and Television Award (BAFTA) for her documentary "
Honourable members, talented and pioneering filmmakers should continue to receive support from government.
Already in R130 Million has been made available to the ational Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) by national treasury over the next three years.
This we must do as part of our commitment to telling our stories to future generations and the world at large; and also to strengthen the contribution of the film industry to job creation and to economic growth and development.
Honorable members, in the next three years, the department will increase our investment in the production of local films.
This will include positioning our country as a film destination.
Honourable members, we will continue to encourage and support initiatives to promote our artists on the world stage.
Our immediate task in this regard is to finalise the policy on our cultural diplomacy, in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Among others this policy will result in the deployment of Cultural Attaches in our diplomatic missions.
Honourable members, in recognition of the important role played by the music industry in the economy and in job creation, we will continue to work with the Department of Trade and Industry to address concerns related to copyright issues as they affect our artists.
Working with the relevant law enforcement agencies we will also intensify our campaign against piracy.
We will also ensure that through the down town studios in
Honourable members one of the tasks we continue to be seised with is the need to attend to the social security needs of our practitioners in our sector, many of whom face challenges after their careers have peaked.
This we will do as part of ensuring sustainable livelihoods for our artists.
Before the end of this financial year, we will announce progress in the implementation of the social security scheme for our artists.
Chairperson, in order to realise our plans and objectives outlines above, we have allocated our budget for 2011/12 as follows:
- Administration- R178,757 million
- Performing Arts, including our Arts related institutions – R549.379 million;
- National Language Service, including the Pan South African Language Board (PANSALB) – R101.570 million;
- Cultural Development – R180.717 million;
- Heritage, which includes our heritage institutions and museums – R763,702 million
- National Archives and Language Services, including conditional grants for community Libraries – R694, 452.
Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture
1 Jun 2011
Budget vote speech 2011/12 by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr MJ Phaahla, to the National Assembly
1 Jun 2011
Honourable Chairperson of the House
Honourable Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Honourable Chairperson of The Portfolio Committee, Ms Babalwa Thandile Sunduza and Members of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture
Honourable Members of The National Assembly
Managers of DAC and its entities
Ladies and gentlemen
This year we celebrated the 17th anniversary of our freedom under the theme “working together to unite the nation, promote democracy and protect freedom”. This was in recognition of the journey we have travelled since the watershed 27 April 1994 elections which ushered in the current democratic order. Who can forget the excitement throughout the country and especially at the Union Buildings when our founding Father and Icon Nelson Mandela took the oath of office on the podium on 10 May 1994.
In his speech to the nation on that historic occasion President Mandela declared “We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.’’
Focusing on the challenges ahead, President Mandela said “We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national, reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.”
In concluding his inaugural speech President Mandela declared. “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement”
As we celebrated our 17th year of freedom we were therefore reminded of the clarion call of our founding father who committed us to the building of a society in which all South Africans will be able to walk tall without fear in their hearts assured of their inalienable right to human dignity. This government whose foundation was laid by President Mandela remains committed to the creation of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous nation. It is not by accident that our constitution also enjoins us to build a society based on the value of human dignity, equality and the advancement of human rights and freedom.
The task of realising all these values within the collective of government is allocated to the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) as a lead department. It is up to this department to make sure that the necessary infrastructure, resources and organisational framework is put in place to harness the energies of all South Africans towards the creation of a rainbow South African nation as envisaged by President Mandela.
Of course with a history of decades and centuries of entrenched racism under successive colonial and apartheid regimes the task of building a united, cohesive, and inclusive society is not going to be easy. The history of human society has also shown that whenever human beings face various social, economic, and political challenges it is easy to seek refuge in racism, tribalism, regionalism and all such backward tendencies instead of dealing with the challenges of the day. South Africa is therefore not an exception as we have seen with the so called Xenophobia violence of two years ago whose tendencies still remain with us.
Instead of allowing our diversity of race, culture, language heritage etc to be a source of divisions we must make these the building blocks of our unity in diversity. The task of building a united South African nation cannot be divorced from that of building an economically competitive and prosperous nation. A nation which does not know its history will have difficulty in mapping a way forward.
A nation which is not proud of its heritage, culture, languages and the best of its traditions will find it hard to compete with its peers. Across the globe nations who are leaders in the economy, technology, sport, arts, music etc tend to be those anchored on strong heritage and cultural foundation whether it is Chinese, Japanese, Germans; French etc one thing in common is pride in their history, culture and heritage.
Following the Social Cohesion Colloquium held late in 2009, we have intensified our social cohesion campaign.
The campaign is based on the following pillars: diversity, inclusiveness, ensuring that we have access to basic services and the promotion of values that define the kind of society we seek to build. As we implement this campaign, we will be on the streets, taxi ranks, train stations, and in shopping centres and will be going into communities to host conversations about what makes us South African.
This campaign will culminate in a national summit in July, which will coincide with the Mandela Week.
Part of the instruments of fostering national pride and patriotism is the popularisation of our national symbols. Who can deny that one of the success stories of our hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the promotion of our national flag. Today we are exactly 100 days to the start of the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand. Working together with the department of Sport and Recreation we will make sure that we encourage South Africans to Fly the Flag high and sing the national anthem with pride.
Another important even though often contentions project of redressing the imbalances of the past and contributing to nation building is that of Geographic Name Changes.
There is absolutely no argument about the fact that at the time of our freedom colonialism and apartheid had obliterated most indigenous names of important places and replaced them with their preferred names which were often those of their heroes such as army generals and governors.
The process of geographic names change which ensued after the birth of democracy brought a lot of unhappiness amongst those who felt that important part of their history was being obliterated.
As a result the DAC embarked on a process of wide scale consultations to try to find a win, win approach. After consultation involving a wide range of stakeholders a report has been compiled which is ready for presentation at a national workshop. The workshop will be held during the course of this month i.e. June 2011 and we hope that arising out of this we will emerge with an approach which accommodates the desire for change while catering for the concerns of those who fear total obliteration part of our history. We cannot change the fact that Hendrick Verwoed was a player in the history of our country even though his ideology was racist and reactionary
Honourable members, DAC remains committed to the important task of promoting a culture of reading and writing. Community libraries are crucial in carrying out this task.
Honourable chairperson of the session, I am pleased to announce that we are consolidating the implementation of the community library recapitalisation programme.
The first three years of this project have been successfully completed. Over the next three years we have allocated an additional R1.6 billion to expand access to library and information services, especially in previously disadvantaged communities.
Since the inception of the programme three years ago over 600 professional and support staffs have been appointed at community libraries across the country.
In addition 170 libraries have been upgraded and 20 new libraries have been built.
In an effort to bridge the digital divide public internet access facilities are also being established in all libraries.
Honourable members, part of who we are as South Africans is expressed through our languages and our shared embrace of a multilingual nation.
Freedom of expression, and of creativity, can only take full effect if we recognise the importance of mother tongues and the right of our people to speak, read and write in the languages of their choice. Thus, to give effect to the constitutional obligations concerning multilingualism, we will this year, submit the South African Languages Bill (SALB).
This Bill also seeks to promote the inclusive use of all official languages of South Africa, to ensure unhindered and equal access to government services and programmes, to education, and to knowledge and information.
Through this Bill we are pursuing the entrenchment of language equity and language rights so that both national unity and democracy are promoted.
In pursuit of multilingualism together with the National Library of South Africa, we have also engaged in a vigorous effort to republish our indigenous languages literary classics.
In December last year, we launched 20 additional titles as part of this initiative.
We are continuing with the Indigenous Languages Publishing Programme, a partnership with the South African Book Development Council, to produce new material in the nine previously marginalised indigenous languages.
The programme offers publishing opportunities to emerging writers and support to independent small publishers.
The programme has so far produced titles such as A Hi Fambe Munghaname (Xitsonga), Tikhatsi Tegugcina (isiSwati) Ziyodlula Izinsizwa (isiZulu) and Boiteko Ba Ka (SeSotho).
Human Language Technologies
Honourable members, in promoting multilingualism, we have partnered with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research( CSIR) Meraka Institute on the Lwazi project:
- to develop a multilingual telephone-based information system aimed at improving communication between government and communities.
- to facilitate access to reliable information whatever the location of citizens (whether living in an urban or remote rural area), whatever their level of literacy, and whatever their language of choice
More than R14 million has been allocated for this project, which will target mainly underdeveloped parts of our country.
Honourable members, this project which will be available in all the official languages ensures inclusiveness for all South Africa's citizens and will promote language preservation.
As the Presidential Hotline has shown, South African citizens place great remain value in being able to communicate with government using the telephone. The Lwazi project will ensure that communication becomes significantly more scalable, affordable and efficient for government.
Honourable members, the South African book sector has become globally competitive and our writers continue to command respect across the world.
Today we have two writers who recently won international literary prizes. I would like to congratulate Ms Duduzile Cynthia Jele, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa Region) with her debut novel, Happiness is a Four Letter Word.
I also extend our hearty congratulations to Ms Lauren Beukes, who recently came back from the UK with the Arthur C. Clark Award for her book, Zoo City, beating some of the well-known international best selling authors.
The Department of Arts and Culture is committed to the preservation, development and promotion of South African literature.
Our strategic objective in this regard, is to promote the culture of reading and writing and to develop a sustainable book industry that supports equitable development of all South African languages.
According to an Industry Survey released by the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) in 2006, the South African book sector recorded a staggering R5 billion net-turnover per annum.
More than 16 000 authors earn an estimated R 308 million worth of royalties. The publishing industry employs about 3, 000 individuals on a fulltime basis and 2,400 freelancers.
More than 7 000 people are employed in the printing industry.
Last year, we supported over twenty emerging writers, small and independent publishers and booksellers to participate at the Cape Town Book Fair.
In an effort to create international markets for our literature, we also sent delegations of writers to the Edinburgh Book Festival and the London Book Fair.
This participation is important for growing domestic markets and for South Africa to assert itself in a globally competitive book industry.
We also held a successful African Women Writers Symposium at the Windybrow Pan African Centre of the Arts in August last year as part of our women in the arts programme.
This gathering resolved to form an African Women Writers Network that will help to boost women’s writing on the continent.
The DAC, in collaboration with the South African Book Development Council, established the very first National Book Week (NBW) with resounding success in September 2010.
This platform is one in which through government support, the book sector and civil society have established a dynamic partnership for the promotion of the culture of reading and writing. National Book Week in 2011 will be celebrated from 5-11 September throughout the country.
Honourable members, in April this year South Africa hosted the 67th FIAF (Federation of International Film Archives) Congress and summer school.
We are pleased that the National Film and Video Archives of South Africa was co-opted into the executive of this esteemed body to represent the interests of African film archivists.
We are proud that Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and the Multiparty South African collections have been nominated and provisionally registered for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Memory of the World International Register. This is part of our contribution to the documented collective memory of the peoples of the world.
This year the Annual National Oral History Conference will be held in the North West province in October, in partnership with the North West Archives and the Oral History Association of South Africa, under the theme of ‘Past Distortions, Present Realities; Reconstructions and Reconfigurations Of Oral History’. This gathering enables practitioners to share knowledge of our past that contributes to nation building and encourages the establishment of community oral history groups.
Honourable House chairperson, Honourable members as custodians of the vision of Nelson Mandela, Chief Albert Luthuli, Oliver Reginald Tambo, Chris Hani, Yusuf Dadoo, Helen Joseph, Joe Slovo and other esteemed leaders of our glorious liberation movement we shall continue to champion the cause for the creation of a truly united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa.
This is an ideal President Mandela was prepared to live for but if need be an idea he was prepared to die for and we cannot afford to fail him and our other forebears.
I thank you.
Source: Department of Arts and Culture
Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture
1 Jun 2011
2011/2012 BUDGET VOTE SPEECH BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ARTS AND CULTURE, DR JOE PHAAHLA, TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES.
22 June 2011
Honourable Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr Mninwa Mahlangu
Honourable Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Paul Mashatile
Hounorable Chairperson of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation, Ms Wendy Makgathe and members of the committee
Honorable Members of this House
Representatives of South African Local Government Association (SALGA)
MECs of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation
Director General and Senior managers from the Department of Arts; Board members, CEO’s and managers of DAC entities
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Earlier this month the nation had to bid farewell to another icon of our liberation struggle; a mentor, and teach to many of us, and a mother of the nation, Mama Albertina Sisulu. I had a privilege of working with her in the National Executive Committee of United Democratic Front between 1983 and 1985, of which she was a Co-President.
Among her countless fights with oppressive system of apartheid, in 1955 Mama Sisulu took part in the launch of that seminal document upon which our democratic constitution is based, the Freedom Charter in 1955. She was also a key player in the launch of Women’s Charter and 1956 Women’s March to the
Mama Sisulu was part of that generation of freedom fighters who, those many years ago, believed that the goal of a free, democratic, united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous
As she lies peacefully in her final resting place, Mama Sisulu and her generation of freedom fighters will be proud that despite the many challenges that still lie ahead, we are making progress to build the kind of society they envisaged those many years ago.
They will be proud that a year ago our country was engulfed in an unprecedented wave of patriotism, generated by the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Indeed at around this time last year South Africans young and old, black and white, rural and urban, men, women and children collectively flew the national flag and sang the national anthem with pride.
In our diversity as South Africans we were united behind a common objective. Our sense of ourselves as South African came before everything else.
Building a socially inclusive society
Honourable Members, the Department of Arts and Culture will continue to take the lead in ensuring that as a nation we sustain the momentum we picked up during the World Cup; building one nation united in its diversity.
It is for this reason that, guided by the resolutions of the social cohesion colloquium held in 2009, we continue to conduct community dialogues in all provinces.
These dialogues are aimed at ensuring that South Africans enter into a conversation on what it is that makes them uniquely South African.
These dialogues will also seek to imbue our society with the authentic values of Ubuntu: I am because you are.
They will form an integral part of the national effort to build a humane and caring society.
Also of significance is that these dialogues will contribute towards ongoing efforts to develop a vision of the kind of
It is therefore critical that our efforts as the Department of Arts and Culture in this regard, be linked with the work currently being done by the National Planning Commission; to develop a shared long-term vision for our country.
We will continue to rely on the leadership and cooperation of provinces and municipalities as we engage in this important task.
Honourable Members, as part of instilling a culture of patriotism among our young people we will this year launch the Trendsetter Initiative in all provinces, working together with the National Youth Development Agency.
This initiative is aimed at creating a cadre of young people who will contribute to the wellbeing of their communities through the arts.
As these young people engage in this task they will grow and develop their careers as artists and contribute towards making better citizens.
Linked to our ongoing efforts to build a socially inclusive society is the need to pay attention to issues of Moral Regeneration.
This is particularly significant since next month is Moral Regeneration Month. The theme for this year is “Together nurturing the good in everyone through the Charter of Positive Values”
Honourable Members, Moral regeneration is central to the objective of instilling in our communities, the Charter of Positive Values as part of building a humane and more caring society.
It is for this reason that the Department of Arts and Culture will continue to work with the Moral Regeneration Movement in promoting a more inclusive society that appreciates our diversity as strength and sees it as a source rather than weakness.
Honourable Members, part of building an inclusive society is ensuring that the commemoration and celebration of our National Days are reflective of, and are embraced by, all South Africans.
The celebration of National Days must never be seen as an exclusive preserve of certain sections of our society.
They must be used to strengthen efforts to build a society that is truly united in its diversity!
It is for this reason that as the Department of Arts and Culture continues to work with other government departments and community based organizations to encourage the participation of all South Africans in the celebration and commemoration of national days.
To ensure success in this task we will continue to rely on the greater involvement of provinces and municipalities in the planning, the organizing and the execution of such events.
Through the structures provincial governments have the responsibility to assist our mobilization efforts to ensure that we reach the greatest number of people.
Honourable Chairperson, the Constitution of our country directs that and I quote: “all official languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitably”.
Our constitution further urges the state to take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of indigenous languages, whose status was undermined by apartheid laws.
It is against this background that as the ANC government we will continue to encourage the use of all official languages, especially indigenous languages.
Part of what we are doing in this regard is that we will this year table before Parliament the South African Languages Bill.
Through this Bill we will, among others, strengthen efforts to promote multilingualism in our society.
We note the progress made by provinces to develop their specific language policies. We urge those provinces that have yet to develop language policies to do so.
Honourable Members, with regards to the promotion of the use of South African Sign Language, we are delighted to report that through the Pan South African Language Board, we have established a National Language Body (NLB) for Sign Language.
We have also appointed a South African Sign Language practitioner to service the NLB.
PanSALB has also conducted workshops and basic training on sign language in
With regards to the language development of the San and Khoi communities, PanSALB is currently funding an initiative to translate the Khoekhoegowab English Dictionary into an Afrikaans version.
Working together with Honourable Members of this House we will strengthen and monitor the work of PanSALB as it strives to promote and create conditions for the development and use of all official languages, the Khoi, Nama and San languages as well as the South African Sign Language.
Honourable Members, the Department of Arts and Culture remains committed to the important task of promoting a culture of reading and writing.
The building and resourcing of community libraries is a crucial part of carrying out this task.
As we said in our address to the National Assembly, we are consolidating the implementation of the community library recapitalization programme.
Over the past three years we have upgraded 170 libraries and built 20 new ones..
In addition, over the next three years we have allocated an additional R1.6 billion to expand access to library and information services, especially in previously disadvantaged communities.
Honourable Chairperson, we take this opportunity to caution provinces to ensure that funding ring-fenced for the building of libraries is used only for that purpose.
Honourable Members, last year the Department of Arts and Culture donated books to libraries in
This programme will be spread to other provinces during this financial year.
We are also pleased to report that over the past three years more than 600 professional and support staff have been employed in community libraries throughout the country.
In addition, in an effort to bridge the digital divide, we are installing public internet access facilities in all libraries.
Linked to the issue of adequately resourcing our libraries, is the need to protect them and make them truly community assets.
This we say because libraries are the source of knowledge and they open doors to culture and wisdom. They are therefore an important ingredient in the development of our communities. However, it is sad to see community libraries being a target of destruction during protests under the pretext of service delivery grievances. We urge communities to protect these fountains of wisdom and knowledge.
The DAC, in collaboration with the South African Book Development Council, established the very first National Book Week (NBW) with resounding success in September 2010. This platform is one in which through government support, the book sector and civil society have established a dynamic partnership for the promotion of the culture of reading and writing. National Book Week in 2011 will be celebrated from 5-11 September throughout the country.
Honourable Chairperson, I take this opportunity to thank Honourable Members of the Select Committee for the oversight work.
The ANC Government pledges to continue to work with you as we together pursue the noble vision that Mama Sisulu, our national icon stood for.
We too believe that
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