WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
4 MAY 2019
It gives me great pleasure to be present at the 18th Nasionale Toneelspelkompetisie at what has become my second home as of late, our wonderful Artscape Theatre Complex this evening.
Central to the work of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is to allow our people to critically see their environments differently and to establish their rightful place in taking ownership of their circumstances and communities. This inculcates a sense of belonging, pride and will to prosper which in turn then lets our children dream bigger and imagine better futures for themselves.
Contrary to the popular belief that knowledge is power, I believe that the power instead lies in the expression of that knowledge and more importantly in it being understood by another. The 2005 UNESCO Global Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions recognises that culture contributes to development holistically - both socially and economically. The convention affirms that cultural diversity should be celebrated and protected. By making diversity accessible to all, it increases our range of choice, and helps "nurture human capacities and values". It argues that when diversity is celebrated, it allows for a more complete realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms central to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is for these reasons that we support competitions of this nature as it affords the opportunity for cultural expression to flourish across the country. The nature of our business plays a powerful role in shaping, framing, communicating and influencing the future. In fact, according to the South African Cultural Observatory, “It is our responsibility to reflect, question, resist, review and rebuild when and where necessary. In short, it is our duty to reimagine the future”. Our department has made great strides in implementing a reimagined future in trying times, but we will fail in our objectives without our passionate partners.
On that note, I wholeheartedly thank all who had a hand in the success of this much needed platform, particularly Kyknet, the Artscape, the SBA and most importantly our aspiring performers amongst us here today. Always remember that our strength lies in our diversity and as the African proverb reminds, “Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter”.
Thank you for sharing your story with us.