On 10th May 2016
Minister of Arts and Culture, Honourable Nathi Mthethwa,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Members and all other MPs,
Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Public Entities,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks 22 years since the dawn of freedom and democracy. The 20th commemoration of the Constitution confirms that freedom and democracy in South Africa has taken a quantum leap from an oppressive regime to a democratic one.
On 8th May, we celebrated the 20 years of our Constitution with the leadership of Eastern Cape Provincial Council of Churches at the National Baptist Church in East London, whereby 20 religious leaders pledged to be Ambassadors to promote our Constitutional Values and National Symbols in communities and schools. Syaqhuba nge Nation Building and Social Cohesion.
Our national symbols reflect the identity of the country and its people as critical elements in realising a national common shared identity. The South African national anthem does reveal a history of a once fragmented society. “Die Stem” and “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica”used to serve different communities.
The combination of these two anthems marks a time in history where unity, nation building and social cohesion have taken a centre. The national anthem is a national prayer, it should be sung in full at all times and it must be observed with respect and dignity. Deviation is not acceptable.
There is a need to create awareness about the correct etiquette of singing the national anthem throughout the country.
Thus the prioritisation of the National Identity Project which includes reciting of the Preamble of the Constitution, installation of the National Flag in schools as well as the distribution of the CD Toolkit on how to sing both the National and AU anthems, posters and the national identity booklet called the Passport of Patriotism. We have prioritised schools as we believe that when you educate a child you educate the entire nation.
On the 4th February, we launched the National Identity Campaign under the slogan, “Afurika Tshipembe lashu”, meaning Our South Africa in partnership with SABC. On that day Schools from the 9 Provinces simultaneously sang the National Anthem in the morning.
This campaign reached millions of South Africans who listen to different SABC radio stations daily as well as through digital / social platforms. The messages were further disseminated to all community radio stations through the GCIS midday news slots.
Our partnership with SABC Education is growing considerably as YOTV Kids programmes also came on board, capturing our National Identity activities at schools and broadcasting them during the shows reaching millions of viewers, in particular young people. In our midst we have Mr Sibusiso Masemola representing our partner SABC.
To date we have hoisted the national flag in twenty five thousand two hundred and sixty six schools, distributed hundred and fourteen thousand, seven hundred and six handheld flags and passport of patriotism booklets. This year we will embark on verification process to determine schools without flags, condition of the flags and poles. We will involve youth in this project.
In partnership with Lesego Community Services, an NGO from Tshwane, we have translated the National Identity Booklet to Braille to cater for the visually impaired. We will be launching it at Filadelfia Special School in Soshanguve.
Allow me to introduce Ms Kim Kotze who is our partner in the development of the Braille National Identity booklet. We are also joined by Rhulani Baloyi, who is our ambassador in promoting and popularising the Braille National Identity booklet.
This year we have targeted 500 schools which will participate in the DAC’s curriculum support project in partnership with the Department of Basic Education which seeks to ensure that arts education is taught in schools.
Ri ḓo bvela phanḓa na u ṱuṱuwedza vhathu vhoṱhe vha Afrika Tshipembe, zwikolo, zwigwada zwa tshakha dzo fhambanaho, madzangano apo, vhurereli ho fhambanaho na mabindu u khwaṱhisedza vhushaka kha vhathu vhashu vha Afrika Tshipembe malugana na vhuthihi ha lushaka.
Through the community library conditional grant, the Department completed 41 new library structures (10 brick and mortar and 31 modular libraries) and refurbished 18 library structures.
This year, we will build 23 new libraries and upgrade 55 existing libraries. The Department works with the Department of Basic Education in providing school-community libraries.
We are mindful of the fact that there are communities especially in rural areas where there are no libraries.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through its Global Libraries Programme provided our country with a grant of one hundred and twenty million rands for computers, enhance internet access in libraries, educational toys, training staff as well as technology for the visually impaired. A total of 667 libraries will benefit from this generous donation.
During Library Week in March, we handed over a complete Library at Bolokanang, Petrusburg in Free State, Mme Elizabeth Ramabolu, is one of the beneficiary of this Library, she is also one of our guests.
Singabanye abahlomulayo ohlelweni lwethu lemitapozincwadi. Ubaba u-Enock Nyandeni, Induna Yomphakathi waseNdulinde, oneminyaka yobudala engu 76, ufunde waqeda izifundo zekhompyutha,
manje usekwazi ukwenza umsebenzi wakhe ekhompyutheni futhi axhumane nomhlaba wonke njengoba ekwazi ukuthumela ama-emeyili aphinde asebenzise ne-inthanethi. Imitapozincwadi iguqula izimpilo zabantu bethu.
In our midst we have Ms Norah Ngobeni, from Nkuri village in Giyani who wrote to the Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, requesting a library building, books and furniture. She mentioned that students and community members travel 21 kilometres to get information for studies, assignments and researches, and the challenge is money for transport to town.
I am proud to announce that on 4th June 2016 we will hand-over a Modular Library to the Nkuri community as a short-term solution whilst we are building a brick and mortar library through the community library conditional grant.
We successfully hosted the IFLA conference in August 2015, which was attended by more than 3000 delegates.
In partnership with the Department of Small Business Development we hosted a series of craft izimbizo throughout the country. Some of the challenges raised were:
Access to markets (domestic and international), financial support, work spaces, lack of information, access to raw materials and lack of business development skills.
We afforded crafters an opportunity to participate at international platforms such as the SA Lifestyle Hub which is in Atlanta as well as the contemporary art exhibition, Art Santa Fe, in the USA.
We are joined here by Ms Angelina Masuku from Hlabisa village in KwaZulu Natal. She is one of the crafters that we took to the SA Lifestyle Hub in Atlanta and managed to clinch a deal to supply Disney with her proudly South African handmade baskets.
During the Arts and Crafts Exhibition hosted by the South African Embassy in Qatar, another crafter, who is a basket weaver, clinched a deal to supply Al Jazeera TV station with baskets to be used as gifts.
We will involve youth to assist in consolidating a single comprehensive national database which will be fed into the Mzansi Golden Market portal.
Tshebedisanong le Thuso ya Mehlodi ya Lefa ya Aforikaborwa (SAHRA) re butse sebaka sa Poloko ya Bafu le sebaka sa Sehopotso sa mosadi wa pele wa Moaforika wa ho lelekwa ke mmuso wa kgethollo ka mmala, mofu moemedi wa morena wa mehleng Mofumahatsana Mme Makwena Matlala ho hlomphuwa mathata a hae twantshanong ya ho hloka toka le ho nkelwa naha mehleng ya puso ya kgethollo ka mmala.
We also unveiled the tombstone of the late liberation struggle Josephine Moshobane, who was a student at the university of the North,
she was detained in 1985 by the Apartheid Security Police. She was tortured and later died due to brain injuries. In our midst we have her mother, Mme Moshobane.
In August during women’s month we will launch a publication telling the story of 18 unsung heroines from 9 provinces
Ku hangalasiwa ka ntolovelo wo hlaya na ku tsala swi ta hi pfuna tanihi rixaka ku fikelela swilaveko swo hluvukisa vutivi bya vaaki na ku ndlandlamuxa mpfuneto wa sekitara ya tibuku eka ikhonomi ya tiko.
Annually, we embark on the reading campaign as a build-up activity that culminates into the World Book and Copyright Day celebrations.
This year we conducted Door-to-Door Reading Awareness Campaign in Elim village, Makhado Municipality and 13 schools, including, Rivoni Special School, Elim Care for the aged and households to promoting reading and donated books including South African classics.
We celebrated World Book Day with the community of Fetagomo in Sekhukhune under the theme “My treasure, My Story”, which highlights that when one reads a book, one accumulates treasure of mind, knowledge, skills and understanding.
In partnership with the Centre for the Book and Department of Correctional Services, we hosted the Funda Mzansi Championship. This championship promotes reading to inmates through establishment of book clubs as part of their rehabilitation programme to entrench the love of reading and writing, improve book reviewing techniques and engage in fruitful debates.
We remain resolute to inculcate a culture of reading through the National Book Week, Library Week, World Book Day, Literary festivals, Book Fair and many other avenues available.
We have launched the Human Language Technologies (HLT) as a modern technology to improve translation.
In partnership with the South African National Lexicography Units we developed the monolingual and bilingual dictionaries for indigenous languages.
In partnership with the National Library of South Africa we reprinted the South African Classics.
We continue to grant bursaries to universities in the language field.
As part of the Africa Month activities we launched the National Archives Awareness Week on 9th May, in Mpumalanga under the theme “Archives for the protection of human rights, transparency and good governance”.
During Archives Week we create awareness about the importance of archives and encourage communities and schools to visit archives, and also promote archives careers.
The 12th Annual Oral History Conference was held in Kwa Zulu Natal in 2015 and the 13th conference will be held in Limpopo October this year.
This year we want to enhance the participation of traditional leaders, the elderly and their communities.
Let me conclude by thanking the captain of the DAC ship Minister Mthethwa, Acting DG Vusithemba Ndima, DAC entities and the DAC staff.
Maya Angelou once said:
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young”
I thank you.