Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy and the Freedom of Artistic Expression
24 April 2014
Celebrating 20 years of democracy is both an opportunity for rejoicing, and an opportunity for commemoration.
During the leadership of the founding father of our democracy, Nelson Mandela, South Africa was blessed with a world-acclaimed Constitution. It is this Constitution which forms the backbone of our determination to create a non-racial, equal and inclusive society.
Freedom of expression is a key value of our Constitution which provides, among other things, for amongst freedom of artistic creativity. Tonight’s performance, Credo, reflects our heritage of artistic expression in the Western Cape. The year 2014 also marks the centenary of the first performance of South Africa’s first symphony orchestra. The Cape Town Municipal Orchestra, as it was known in 1914, is the predecessor of today’s Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. The origins of Cape Town Opera can be traced back to the early 1920s with the establishment of University of Cape Town’s Opera School at the South African College of Music.
Tonight we celebrate our hard-won freedom and the privileges the Constitution has bestowed on us. We also reflect on the many opportunities that our democracy has brought us. We rejoice in the fact that an artist of the calibre of Sibongile Khumalo and the many others who will be participating in tonight’s programme can do so in the full knowledge that they can indeed give full expression to their creativity.
Dr IH Meyer
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Western Cape Government