Minister Meyer Congratulates Uys and Le Roux on Their Awards
Media Statement by Dr Ivan Meyer, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
On behalf of the Western Cape Government and the people of the Western Cape, I congratulate satirist and AIDS educator, Pieter-Dirk Uys, and arts educator and disability rights activist, Marlene le Roux, on being awarded the prestigious German-Africa Award by the German-Africa Foundation for their contribution to change and transformation in South Africa.
As a playwright and satirist, Pieter-Dirk Uys has made an invaluable contribution to the fight against social prejudice. Through the arts this anti-apartheid and AIDS activist highlighted the evil of racial discrimination and the social prejudice caused by ignorance and the stigmatisation of HIV/AIDS. In a career spanning over 40 years, Uys, who wrote and performed 18 plays and more than 50 revues and one-man shows, often through his alter ego, Ms Evita Bezuidenhout, crept into the hearts of many South Africans.
As a cultural practitioner and activist for the rights of the disabled, Marlene Le Roux, the Director of Audience Development and Education at Artscape in Cape Town, has played a significant role in making the arts accessible to a wider range of audiences. Through the years she served on many organisations dealing with the arts, youth, education and human rights issues. Her book, "Look at Me", has also done much to draw attention to mental and physical disability.
Through their illustrious careers, Marlene Le Roux and Pieter-Dirk Uys have illustrated the powerful role that the arts can play in bringing about social change. The Western Cape therefore celebrates their achievement and wishes to thank the German-Africa Foundation for acknowledging the role that they have played and continue to play to rid the Western Cape and South Africa of discrimination. Two previous recipients of the German-Africa Award are the former Ministers of Finance, Mr Derek Keys and Mr Trevor Manuel.
Le Roux and Uys will be travelling to Berlin, Germany, in November to receive their awards.