Hon House Chair, chairperson of the portfolio committee Ms Xoliswa Tom, members of the portfolio committee, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we may all recall that memorable moment on 9 May 1994 when the then President, speaking at his inauguration, pledged, and I quote:
We enter into a covenant that we shall build a 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.
As we celebrate 20 years of democracy, we have learned with deep sadness of the passing away of the African literary giant, Nadine Gordimer. We offer our condolences to her family, friends and the arts community. We can say that through her pen and the actions of all our people on the world stage, we, as a nation, have indeed walked tall without any fear and with confidence, dignity and pride.
On the eve of Nelson Mandela Day, we can say that indeed, Tata, we have acted true to your pledge to the people of South Africa and the world. We have embraced the vision of nonracialism, nonsexism, and a democratic and prosperous South Africa, and we have strengthened our relations with the world. We can do so much more to ensure that ours is a country where everyone fully participates in cultural life and is able to access cultural resources.
Singenza lukhulu ukuqinisekisa ukuthi abantu bakithi bayayijabulela inkululeko yabo ngendlela ehloniphekile futhi enesizotha. Kuwumsebenzi wethu ukuthi zigqugquzele umoya wobunye nokuzwana. Isisekelo salokho kube kungumlando wethu onothile, ukusebenzisana, ukwethembana, ukwazisana kanye nokuxoxisana uma kufanele sixazulule izinkinga zethu njengesizwe.
Esikhathini esiningi esedlule ingcindezelo nobandlululo kube nomthelela omkhulu ekwakhiweni kwezimpilo zethu, izindlela esiphila ngazo, amathuba umuntu okufanele awathole empilweni, ikakhulukazi ezintweni ezifana nemindeni, ukubuswa nokuphathwa kwezwe, amasiko, isimo somnotho, imiphakathi esiphila kuyo, izinto ezingamagugu ezwe kanye nendlela nje yokuphilisana singabantu ezweni lakithi. (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)
[We can do more to ensure that our people celebrate their freedom in a respectable and dignified manner. It is our duty to encourage the spirit of unity and harmony. The foundation of this will be our rich history, working together, trusting one another, recognising one another and engaging each other if we have to resolve our problems as a nation.
In the past, oppression and discrimination had a huge impact on our nation building, our way of life, opportunities that we are supposed to get in life, especially in respect of things such as families, governance and leading the country, culture, the economic status, our communities that we live in, our county's heritage and social cohesion.]
The pattern of development and underdevelopment is one that continues to dominate our society today. It is layered upon the sediment of the past dispensation that functions as part of the foundations of the new order. As a result, ours is an inheritance of multiple fractures that have yet to be healed despite the unifying ethos of arts and culture.
It remains our task to remake out of our fractured past a more socially and economically inclusive society that is proud of all of its cultural expressions and a people that act together to enable the birth of a new culture and create new forms of engagement towards greater unity.
The challenge we face as a society is the process of building our nation out of a vast cultural and economic legacy of difference and inequality. Thus, the National Development Plan, NDP, is a response to five key dimensions, which are: inclusive social and economic development, sustainable investment and growth, decent jobs and sustainable livelihoods, a capable developmental state, and expanding opportunities. The NDP goes further to specifically outline what we are faced with in the arts sector. I quote:
Arts and culture open powerful spaces for debate about where a society finds itself and where it is going. Promoted effectively, the creative and cultural industries can contribute substantially to small business development, job creation, urban development and renewal.
As we enter the second phase of our transition to transform our society, a brand new era is upon us. We shall turn our programmatic goals into practical interventions that together constitute radical economic transformation. Our plan for the next five years responds to the unfinished business of economic transformation as a framework for the economic vitality of our social and cultural fabric. It restores social transformation as a pillar for nation-building and unity.
The Mzansi Golden Economy programme, in line with this strategy, has begun a process of transforming the arts sector to encourage and support the pro- poor innovations necessary to equip citizens, especially the youth, with theoretical and practical experience.
Over the next five years, we shall be piloting several creative arts incubators across the country. These will be hotbeds for cultural entrepreneurship and democratise access to tools of production. These hotbeds will be the sights that we encourage as government for the creation of local content. This is part of the Mzansi Golden Economy programme, which seeks to expand supply and work opportunities, grow audiences, transform the colonial heritage landscape, collect relevant data to inform policy direction, and develop artists to be economically self-reliant. The incubators will enable us to measure the output of locally developed content in terms of music, artworks, film and stage productions, amongst other artistic outcomes.
These creative arts incubators will be located in cultural precincts and villages that will position the creative sector at the centre of cultural life and economic development. Through constructing and upgrading spaces, these facilities will bring people together for social dialogue and cohesion. Together with eThekwini Metro, we are piloting a fashion hub in the city. We are working on the development and implementation of five-year strategies for fashion, design, animation, crafts and performing arts.
The National Film and Video Foundation will begin a roll-out of pilot film hubs to grow township and rural audiences and provide infrastructure for emerging film makers to tell the South African story through film. We shall establish a film fund that will support the growth of the local film industry. This will also lay the platform for the department to create a specific venture-capital fund that will finance cultural entrepreneurs. This is in line with the goals of the NDP.
The Mzansi Golden Economy venture-capital fund will be established over a period of three years. We will work closely with the National Treasury to develop the MGE venture-capital fund for the creative arts, which will take into account the unique needs of the artists and the sometimes erratic nature of the revenue streams in that sector. Through this fund we will invest in the early stages of artist development through taking the artist's products to the markets. This will close the big gap that is currently faced by artists who end up living from hand to mouth or die as paupers as a result.
We will launch the Mzansi Golden Market platform, an e-platform, will showcase the works of artists and enable the buying of a range of art services on-line. It will encourage individual artists, art organisations and businesses to register. It also acknowledges that government is the biggest buyer of goods and services and will use this platform as their first choice for buying. This means unlocking opportunities within government and the private sector for the buying of goods and services in the arts and culture sector.
We will work closely with the Department of Small Business Development to ensure that cultural entrepreneurs can start their creative enterprises with no red tape so as to ensure that artists are the beneficiaries of incentives earmarked for small businesses.
As part of this phase of our five-year initiative, we will engage with the Davis Tax Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of tax incentives in the arts and culture sector to enable cultural entrepreneurs to access opportunities that are otherwise prohibitive owing to onerous financial barriers. We shall intensify our work with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Communications to reform the South African intellectual property regime.
Task teams set up to explore local content and music development will submit concrete recommendations to government. I must pause here and say that we are determined to ensure that indeed local content determines the content in our country. We have been talking about this for a long time. It is time that we put in place mechanisms to ensure that our local artists are exposed through that local content. [Applause.]
The visual arts task team is assisting with a visual arts national policy framework, which will include recommendations on the creation of resale rights for artworks that will enable artists to benefit through secondary markets for their work alongside galleries, auction houses and art collectors.
We shall work with the Department of Communications and the SABC to increase and sustain support for local content and local content producers. We shall closely monitor local content commitments made by broadcasters and be more vigilant so that artists get full exposure of their work.
We are supporting the interim committee of the Creative Industries' Federation, appointed in March 2014, to lay the groundwork for an organising body that will foster unity and advocate the interests of all arts, culture and related disciplines. The committee will shortly commence with its nationwide sectoral engagements. We have embarked upon a national mapping study to quantify the economic impact of our cultural industries.
Studies on the cultural economies of Limpopo and Mpumalanga have been completed. These indicate that the arts and culture sector is already making a significant contribution to the economies of these provinces. Studies on the remaining provinces have already begun. We are reviewing the White Paper on arts, culture and heritage, and I have engaged with 28 entities reporting to the Ministry in this regard. The outcome of this engagement is that we have to take a hard look at their business models to improve their efficiency.
The Department of Arts and Culture supports 22 national and regional festivals, including the Diamonds and Dorings festival in Kimberley, the Macufe festival in Bloemfontein, and others. In honour of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, we shall host a month-long Africa festival starting in May 2015. This will showcase African fashion, fine arts, crafts, dance, literature, music, theatre, films and food culture. This will include a series of dialogues and seminars in a festival of ideas to forge African unity and exchange through arts.
We shall also take this opportunity to popularise African heritage as we continue to support the African World Heritage Fund that enables African countries to better identify, preserve and promote their heritage.
The quest for nation-building and social cohesion in South Africa was recognised by the ANC already in 1969 at the Morogoro Conference in Tanzania, where the preamble to the Freedom Charter, "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white," was further unpacked through understanding that the South Africa of the future will not be a country divided unto itself and dominated by a particular racial group. It will be a country of all its inhabitants.
The United Nations has subsequently defined a cohesive society as one where all groups have a sense of belonging, participation, recognition and legitimacy. In our social cohesion strategy, we have advocated the development of social capital as a resource created by the relationship between people. The challenge we face as a society today is to build cohesion. The department will intensify its work to encourage active citizenry towards an inclusive society, as is captured in the NDP.
Sizimisele futhi siyazibophezela siwuMnyango Wobuciko Namasiko ukuthi bonke abantu bakithi babe yingxenye yokugqugquzela ukugujwa kwamasiko nemicimbi ebalulekile yezwe. UMnyango wethu uzosebenza ngokuphindiwe ukweseka imigubho ephathelene nezinhlelo eziqondene nabantu besifazane, ikakhulukazi ukweseka lo mkhankaso ogqugquzela ukulwa nodlame olubhekiswe kubantu besifazane, owaziwa ngokuthi, "Hlanganani ukuqeda udlame olubhekiswe kubantu besifazane", phecelezi, "Unite To End Violence against Women". Kulo mkhankaso abantu abasha benza imibukiso elandisa ngokuhlukunyezwa nodlame olubhekiswe kubantu besifazane. Lona umkhankaso weNhlangano Yezizwe Ezihlangene. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[We are also determined and committed as the Department of Arts and Culture to ensuring that all our people are part of encouraging the celebration of our cultures and our country's important events. Our department will increase its efforts to support programmes aimed at women, especially to support the campaign that promotes fighting the abuse of women, known as "Unite to End Violence against Women". Through this campaign, the young people are showing exhibitions that speak about the violence against women. This is a United Nations initiative.]
We shall seek to raise the consciousness of our people through the liberation heritage route. To trace the story of our struggle throughout the country and the continent in partnership with the National Heritage Council, we shall commence the national roll-out and implementation of the projects in the provinces.
We are establishing a Heroes' Acre in order to locate the heroic deeds of our people in fighting for nonracialism and nonsexism in South Africa. This will stand as a monument where the public can pay homage to those who fought for freedom. This will be the permanent tribute to those who gave their lives for all of us to be free.
We are working hard to ensure that the remains of our renowned journalist, who called himself "A Native of Nowhere", the iconic Nat Nakasa, will be repatriated from New York to South Africa where he will be reburied as a citizen of a free South Africa. [Applause.]
Talks are also under way to exhume and repatriate the remains of Malume Moses Kotana, the great struggle icon - and general secretary of the Communist Party for almost 40 years, the treasurer general of the ANC - from Russia to a final resting place in South Africa. [Applause.] In this way, we shall be honouring the request that has come from his widow, Mama Rebecca Kotana, who turned 102 in February this year.
As part of the transformation of the arts landscape, we are pleased to announce that on 10 June 2014, the Market Theatre, as it is known in Johannesburg, was renamed the John Kani Theatre in honour of our living legend. [Applause.]
We continue to observe the commemoration of 20 years of freedom through telling the South African story and fostering constitutional values through distributing the Bill of Rights to schools and on all national days. All national days are happening under the main theme of celebrating 20 years of freedom and democracy in the country, focusing on educational programmes, public dialogues and community engagements. Going forward, we have embarked upon processes to change the way we commemorate national days.
In honour of our icon and late President, Tata Nelson Mandela, we encourage all South Africans in the month of July to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to improving the lives of others. We are also pleased to announce that we shall be launching a renovated Nelson Mandela Museum in Umtata, where upgrades on the Bhunga Building are close to completion. Tomorrow, President Jacob Zuma will unveil a bust of Tata Nelson Mandela in Mvezo, on Mandela Day. [Applause.]
Guided by the National Development Plan and the Strategic Approach Outcome 14 in transforming society and uniting the country, together with all our programmes and interventions, we are working towards building a creative ecosystem and enabling environment within which our citizens can flourish and which will enable people to work together to achieve common goals. In this way, we shall continue to honour and indeed work tirelessly in sustaining and growing this nation, barely 20 years old, so that it is indeed "at peace with itself and the world" as Madiba predicted. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]