Minister Anroux Marais' Speech at Cultural Affairs Awards 2015/16 | Western Cape Government



Minister Anroux Marais' Speech at Cultural Affairs Awards 2015/16

3 February 2016

The Deputy Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Mr Piet Pretorius

Members of the Standing Committee for Cultural Affairs in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament

The Consul-General of the Netherlands, Ms Bonnie Horbach

The Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Kang Yong

Executive Mayors of various municipalities in the Western Cape

Councillors of various municipalities in the Western Cape

Heads of Departments of the Western Cape Government

Municipal Managers and senior officials of municipalities in the Western Cape

Nominees for the various Cultural Affairs Awards,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Good evening, molweni, goeienaand,

Tony Vacca once said, “Rhythm is a heartbeat. It’s the first drum, a story in sound that reveals our imagination and celebrates our power. Rhythm is the multi-culti common ground of the human family”.

Voel die ritme met ons Kultuurtoekennings geleentheid vanaand. Laat jou verbelding gaan. Vier vanaand saam, ons kleurvolle Wes-Kaap provinsie.

Voel trots en wees trots op ons historiese, kulturele en taalkundige erfenis. 

Ons maak vanaand toekennings aan verskeie organisasies en individue wat 'n blywende impak op die kunste, kultuur, taal, erfenis, museums, argiewe, geografiese name en biblioteek-dienste in die Wes-Kaap gemaak het. Die toekennings bied 'n geleentheid om die diversiteit van die kultuurlandskap van die provinsie met trots te erken en ten toon te stel. 

Each day the media reports on the social ills within our communities. Headlines dominating the media include: “Youth Gangs Spike”, “Teenage Pregnancy on the increase”, “Drug abuse on the rise”, “Killed in crossfire” and as of recent racist outbursts that have left many feeling undignified. Now I know that if it bleeds, it leads and that bad news sells, but there is so much good and positive development programmes underway in our communities, especially through cultural affairs. 

Since sworn in, I have been heartened by the commitment of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport to use sport and culture to build a socially inclusive, creative, active and connected Western Cape.

I have seen youth rise above the burden of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and poverty and share an international stage with 50 countries at the Annual Performing Arts Championships in California. Not only did they share the stage, they received global recognition by winning 29 gold and silver medals and a trophy for the winners of the open dance category. You will indeed understand why the Nuwe Graskoue Trappers deserved to win those accolades as they perform tonight. 

I have witnessed first-hand how, regardless of differing race, cultural backgrounds, language proficiencies and class, groups of youth showcasing their talent in drama across the province and sharing profound messages with packed halls of audiences.

If you think museums are boring places, where old things are housed, you may not have been to a Western Cape museum as of late. You will be amazed at how interactive and linguistically democratic our museums currently are. Our department is slowly but surely achieving our goal to transform museums into more socially inclusive spaces wherein our historical diversity is showcased for all to learn from. 

In my experience as Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, I have gained a better insight into the diversity of the Western Cape. While many are of the opinion that our diversity, that being: differing cultural backgrounds, beliefs, traditions, mother tongues, socio-economic status and even political affiliations, is what sets us apart and divides us as a collective nation. I am of the view that our beauty lies in our diversity. There is more that we have in common than that that sets us apart and the sooner we all realise this, the better. 

We need to get to a point where we understand and tolerate each other regardless of our differences. 

We need to get to a point where we celebrate our diversity and together work towards a socially inclusive nation 

and - there is no such a time as this.

Vanaand vier ons ons diversiteit, maar nog belangriker is die feit dat ons hier vergader is om diegene wat ons diversiteit lewendig hou deur kultuursake in die Wes-Kaap te herken en vereer. Ons erken uitstaande prestasies en bydraes op die gebied van kuns en kultuur, taal, erfenis, geografiese name, museums, biblioteke en argiewe in die Wes-Kaap vanaf 1 September 2014 tot 31 Augustus 2015. Ons beloon individue, organisasies en groepe wie se bydraes ’n verskil gemaak het aan gemeenskappe in die provinsie, wie se toewyding bydra tot die versterking van die grondslag waarop die Wes-Kaap kan bou en homself posisioneer  as die kreatiewe middelpunt van die nasie en daarvoor bedank ek u. 

In agreement with the late great Nelson Mandela who said, “our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation”. Through cultural affairs programmes we are also able to identify talent which would otherwise be lost to mischief, which essentially offers beacons of hope to our communities. Leading the way on cultural affairs programmes in the Western Cape for many years was our very own Chief Director, Ms Hannetjie Du Preez. Sadly, this year’s awards ceremony will officially be her last as she retires later this year. In 1999 het sy en die destydse Minister van Kultuursake en Sport, die ontslape Minister Glen Adams begin met die Wes-Kaapse Kultuurtoekennings. Hierdie toekenningsgeleenthede het van krag tot krag gegaan en vanaand is dit die laaste wat deur haar gereël is. Haar professionele aanslag en toegewydheid gaan gemis word, maar ek is doodseker dat ons nog by haar sal kan kers opsteek indien dit nodig blyk te wees. Dit mag dalk vanaand jou laaste Kultuur Toekenningsaand wees Hannetjie, maar ek is seker daarvan dat dit nie die laaste keer sal wees wat jy ons met jou teenwoordigheid sal vereer nie.  

To those receiving awards this evening, this is no small feat. The cause is way bigger than any individual, myself included. We all have the ability to change lives in the Western Cape for the better and you have become the shining role model in this regard. Congratulations to all of you. I trust that, together, we will continue to celebrate our diversity and enable social inclusion through constructive cultural affairs. 

Soos ek aan die begin gesê het, voel die ritme, voel die musiek, dit is suiwer emosie. Dit is die taal wat oor geslag, kultuur en nasionaliteite sny. Al wat u moet doen is om jou oë figuurlik toe te maak, met jou hart luister en die emosie te voel.

Ek dank u, enkosi, I thank you. 


Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for Minister Anroux Marais
Tel: 021 483 4426
Cell: 083 504 1171