Community Conversations Support Living Together In Harmony
“Let us all unite and celebrate together”. The first line of the African Union Anthem set the scene when the anthems of the African Union and South Africa officially opened the 2017 National Social Cohesion Community Conversations on 14 February 2017 in Bredasdorp.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s (DCAS) Arts Development Unit supported the National Department of Arts and Culture and National Institute Community Development and Management in rolling out the interactive conversations between government and communities in the Western Cape.
The 3-year plan is arranged across the nine provinces of our country to create opportunities for all South Africans to contribute to nation building and social cohesion. At the previous Conversations in 2014/15 and 2016 the following six issues were identified across the country: race, language, morals and values, safety and security, poverty alleviation and youth.
The conversations are structured around the following questions:
- Why is it difficult or sometimes impossible for South Africans to live together in harmony without discrimination?
- What are the things that currently unite us as a nation?
Role players and vulnerable groups that reflect the demographics of Bredasdorp, Villiersdorp, Fish Hoek and Franschhoek are participating in the Western Cape dialogues during the week of 14 to 17 February 2017. They are unpacking the issues that are dividing factors in their communities and discussing ways to solve them. Their valuable perspectives will be combined at national level to promote nation building and social cohesion.
The conversations concluded with participants lighting each other’s candles to the soothing sounds of the song This is my African dream. The representatives have committed to work together as a community and a nation to love our country and its people, to know our Constitution, sing and respect the National Anthem, fly the South African flag and share our country in harmony.