Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to the Jazz Legend and global icon, Bra Hugh Masekela

It is with sadness and shock that we learn of the passing of the Jazz Legend, an icon and inimitable artist, Hugh Masekela also known as “Bra Hugh” who passed away on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Born in Witbank on 04 April 1939, Ramapolo Hugh Masekela was exiled from his native South Africa for 30 years; he travelled the world receiving worldwide acclaim as musician and ambassador for the South Africa oppressed masses.

“When he spoke out against South African apartheid policies, he found himself banished from his homeland. During 1970’and 1980’s, he lived in various countries in the African continent, returning to South Africa in 1991, when he played a formidable role as a developer of music in the democratic South Africa.

“Even in recent years, “Bra Hugh” continued to fly the flag for South Africa in international festivals, and his home country including the performance at the Grammy Awards in 2013. Over the last 3 years, Hugh Masekela also featured on a number of festivals such as the Joy of Jazz; Macufe; Cape Town International Jazz; Moretele; Mapungubwe and Buleyekhaya festival sponsored by the department.

“Hugh Masekela was also the recipient of the National Order of Ikhamanga Gold in 2010 for his contribution to music and the Struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The Jazz icon was also a member of the Living Legends Legacy Project (LLLP), an initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture that seeks to engage the living legends actively in programmes that promote arts, culture and heritage sector, thus providing them with a platform to interact and share their knowledge and experience with the younger generation of artists.

“His outstanding contribution and exceptional track record in the liberation struggle of our country as well as his immense contribution to the transformation of the arts in South Africa, the African continent and the world, bares a testimony of the calibre of person he was, a true Living Legend indeed”, says Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
The Department of Arts and Culture is in consultation with the family, we will keep members of the public and other interested stakeholders informed of the funeral arrangements.

“We once more send our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the Masekela family, to all who knew this musical maestro and his many fans”, concluded Minister Mthethwa.

For more information, please contact Zimasa Velaphi at 072 172 8925 or Margaret Ncanca at 081 044 7056

Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture


Arts and Culture to host a dialogue on Heritage Month in Kimberley

Heritage Month 23 Sept 16The Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Northern Cape Provincial Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture will host a dialogue on Heritage Month.

Focusing on the role that history and heritage can play in bridging socio-historical divisions and in fostering social cohesion and nation building on the 23rd of September 2016 at William Humphrey Art Gallery in Kimberley.

The dialogue is a build-up event towards National Heritage Day celebrations taking place on 24 September 2016 at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to give a keynote address.

The panellists include Yvonne Mokgoro – former Justice of the Constitutional Court, Professor Muxe Nkondo – former Vice Chancellor of the University of Venda, Ms Ashanteewa Archer- Ngidi, Director: Afrikology Institute and Dr Bheki Mngomezulu – CEO: Mzala Nxumalo Centre.

South Africa celebrates the 2016 Heritage Month under the theme, “Celebrating our human treasures by Asserting our African identity” to highlighting the role played by the Living Human Treasures, our living legends in preserving and promoting our cultural heritage.

Let us, this month of September fully assert our identity, share our knowledge with others, engage in conversations to expand cultural understanding, and move towards each other, so that our cultural diversity can coalesce into common threads that build this country and this economy.

Members of the media are invited as follows:

Event : Heritage Month Dialogue

Date   : 23 September 2016

Time  : 13h00

Venue: William Humphrey Art Gallery, Cullinan Crescent, Civic Centre Kimberley Northern Cape

Media RSVP: Mthuthuzeli Nqumba 074 478 7681/

Media enquiries : Teresa Magidela 060 601 7724 /

Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture

Minister Nathi Mthethwa to Launch the Performing Arts Database Booklet as part of Ministerial Imbizo

Mthethwa on SABCThe launch of the Performing Arts Database Booklet forms part of the Ministerial Imbizo that seeks to harness ideas from the public and local artist in Seshego. Minister Mthethwa will use the Imbizo to engage various artists within the Arts, Culture and Heritage sector to promote the work of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC). Continue reading

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED: Minister Mthethwa hosts an Imbizo and public lecture on 20th anniversary of the Constitution and the contribution of the Freedom Charter at Bophelong  

Arts and Culture Minister Mr Mathi Mthethwa-f

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa will on Sunday, 26 June 2016 deliver a key note address at the 20th anniversary of the Constitution and Freedom charter memorial lecture at Bophelong Community Hall, Vanderbijlpark in Emfuleni Local Municipality. The lecture will amongst others illustrate the centrality of the Freedom Charter in contributing to the development of the Constitution of the country and focus especially on youth issues, achievement and challenges since the attainment of our Freedom and Democracy as well as how the constitution has changed the face of politics in past 20 years since its adoption in 1996.

As the supreme law of South Africa, the Constitution provides the legal foundation for the existence of the republic and therefore sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government.

“South Africa’s Constitution is one of the most progressive in the world and enjoys high acclaim internationally. The rights to freedom and security of person, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, including of artistic creativity, freedom of association and freedom of movement and residence are among those rights guaranteed as enshrined in this Constitution”, said Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Members of the media are invited as follows:

Venue             : Bophelong Community Hall, Vanderbijlpark in Emfuleni Local Municipality, Gauteng.

Date                : 24 June 2016

Time               : 14h00

RSVP: Madimetja Moleba, 060 974 7482, or Mthuthuzeli Nqumba, 074 478 7681,

For enquiries please contact Ms Lisa Combrinck, 082 821 4886 or Teresa Magidela, 072 222 3169

Issued by the Department of Arts and Culture


Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival’s Residency

fak'ugesiCall for artists addressing technology and/or creative technologists from the Southern African region to participate in the annual Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival’s Residency in Johannesburg, South Africa. The deadline for applications is 28 June 2016.

Festival Residency Focus: The focus of the Fak’ugesi Festival in 2016 is on the role of alternative knowledge and organisational systems in technology. We are looking for artists and creative technologists who are exploring concepts of community, spirituality or femininity in technology in Africa in their practice. Practitioners in the fields across a variety of fields from contemporary art, game design, interactive design and creative computing are encouraged to apply. Continue reading

The African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) to celebrate its 10th Anniversary with the first African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum

World Heritage FundThe much anticipated first leg of the 10th  anniversary celebrations will be an African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum hosted by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) in partnership with the South African Government and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Continue reading

Minister Mthethwa to meet Swedish Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke for a Bi-lateral Meeting

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa will meet Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy Hon Alice Bah Kuhmke on Monday, 25 January 2016 at Freedom Park in Pretoria, Gauteng.

Minister Bah Kuhnke is responsible for democracy, the national minorities, civil society, the language and culture of the Sami people, discrimination, culture, media, human rights at a national level and faith communities. Continue reading

Minister Nathi Mthethwa to visit Embabe Primary School in Richards Bay as part of Back to School Campaign

Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, will on Monday, 18 January 2016 visit the Embabe Primary School at KwaMbonambi in Richards Bay, KwaZulu Natal as part of the “Back to School Campaign” to interact with educators and learners and instil a culture of patriotism at the school. The visit also forms part  of build-up activities for the Centenary celebration of the school. Continue reading

Minister Nathi Mthethwa dissolves the Board of the Pan South African Language Board

Arts and Culture Minister Mr Mathi Mthethwa-fArts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, has dissolved the board of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB).

He has done so in terms of section 5(5A) of the Pan South African Language Board Act No.59 of 1995. Section 5(5A) allows the Minister to dissolve the Board on reasonable grounds.

Minister Mthethwa has indicated that:

  • There was no common understanding between the Department and the Board as to what the strategic role of the Board should be.
  • The understanding of the Board of its role and mandate was inconsistent with the legislative mandate provided by the PanSALB Act and the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No 1 of 1999).
  • The Board had difficulties in understanding or aligning to the frameworks governing the relationship between the Executive Authority and the Board which impacted on the budget vote.
  • The Board did not act prudently with regard to employer-employee relations, which made PanSALB vulnerable to legal claims and compliance requirements with certain statutory obligations.
  • No sufficient leadership was demonstrated by the Board throughout its term, despite certain interventions from the Department and the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture.
  • The Board had difficulties in fulfilling its objects as outlined in Section 3 of the PanSALB Act and in particular, the creation of conditions for the preservation, development, promotion and respect for official and other languages in South Africa.

“I have dissolved the Board of PanSALB with immediate effect. The development of our languages and the promotion of multilingualism in South Africa need to be accelerated. The year 2016 must produce tangible results. Let us start on a clean slate and act decisively on challenges affecting PanSALB,” said Minister Mthethwa.

Minister Mthethwa with the concurrence of the National Treasury  has appointed the Board of the National Heritage Council (NHC) as the Accounting Authority for PanSALB in order to ensure the development of a turnaround strategy and its implementation without delay.

The turnaround strategy will seek to alleviate cash flow problems, to ensure a conducive environment for productivity and the fulfilment of the objects of PanSALB.

Further measures will be taken during the course of the year to ensure stability at PanSALB.

For enquiries, contact Lisa Combrinck at 082 821 4886 /