Premier Announces Provincial Planning for Celebrating Ten Years of Democracy
"Celebrating our first Decade of Democracy in the Western Cape is of great importance - both to reconnect with the achievements and challenges of the past ten years, but also to make use of a valuable marketing opportunity to present our trading partners and potential investors with the concrete proof of our success." These were the words of Western Cape Premier, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, addressing business leaders at the Annual General Meeting of the Helderberg Afrikaans Business Chamber in Strand on Monday evening.
The Premier made use of his speech to outline the Western Cape Government's planning for the upcoming celebrations, and also to call on the business community to become more closely involved in these activities. "There is no better selling point for the Western Cape than what we have achieved - especially in the last two years. We have created a vibrant, stable, and growing economy, we have fast-tracked delivery and poverty alleviation, and we have forged - for the first time ever - an agreement between government, business, labour and civil society. We must use the Decade of Democracy celebrations to get this message of success across."
Speaking about the preparations of the Western Cape Government, the Premier announced that the Provincial Cabinet last Wednesday approved a planning framework that focuses on five major themes:
- Celebrating the freedoms already attained;
- Taking pride in our achievements since 1994;
- Looking ahead to further progress, democracy and stability;
- Highlighting the importance of inclusivity and partnerships - local and international; and
- Acknowledging ongoing learning as we deal with the challenges that remain.
Amongst the core events up to 27 April, identified by the Premier in which the Provincial Government will participate to take forward the branding and message of the 10 Years of Democracy celebrations, were:
- International Women's Day - the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the development of district and local gender structures in the province on 8 March 2004.
- Argus Cycle Tour - making use of the world's largest timed cycle tour to carry the message of the Decade of Democracy celebrations on 14 March 2004.
- Human Rights Day - major celebrations recognising unsung heroes who helped to build human rights in the Western Cape at Athlone Stadium and also on the West Coast and in the Paarl/Worcester region on 22 March 2004.
- Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees - making use of South Africa's largest arts festival to carry the message of the Decade of Democracy celebrations from 3-11 April 2004.
- North Sea Jazz Festival - 9-11 April 2004
- Two Oceans Marathon - 10 April 2004; and
- Freedom Day Celebrations - with the main Western Cape metro event to be held at the V&A Waterfront and a live video link to the National Celebrations in Pretoria at midday on 27 April 2004.
"Naturally the celebrations will continue throughout this year," said the Premier, "With a second phase of events after 27 April - leading up to what we plan to be the highpoint of the Western Cape celebrations - the official unveiling on 16 December of our sculptures honouring South Africa's four Nobel Peace Prize laureates." First announced at the end of last year, the Nobel Square project honours the contribution to South Africa of the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk.
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