Cultural Affairs Awards 2015/16: Minister Celebrates Colourful Culture | Western Cape Government

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Cultural Affairs Awards 2015/16: Minister Celebrates Colourful Culture

4 February 2016

On 3 February 2016, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, delivered the keynote address at the annual provincial Cultural Affairs Awards ceremony in Paarl.

The Western Cape Cultural Affairs Awards are held annually to celebrate individuals and organisations in the Western Cape who make a positive contribution in the Cultural Affairs sector.  Awards have been given to organisations and individuals who have made a profound impact within the Arts, Culture, Language, Heritage, Museums, Archives, Geographical Names and Libraries sectors in the province over the years.

Below are the 2015/16 award winners in each category:

Arts and Culture

  1. Best contribution to Visual Arts, including Public Arts

Central Art Library, for the work they are doing in the field of visual arts and public arts, which is evident in their creative expression of different visual art exhibitions held in the Central Library gallery.

  1. Best contribution to Performing Arts: Dance

Sbonakaliso Ndaba, a performer, choreographer and a teacher that has been on the fore-front of the developing contemporary African dance in the Western Cape.  Her current work with Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership is evident of her expertise in the field of contemporary dance and has become a driving force behind this initiative.

  1. Best contribution to Performing Arts: Drama

Thamsanqa “Tamie” Mbongo, Thamsamqa has contributed extensively in the development of Drama in various communities in the Western Cape over the years.  He has achieved this through individual and collaborative projects and programmes with various stakeholders.

  1. Best contribution to the Performing Arts: Music

David Wickham, contributed to the development and popularisation of Steelbands in the urban and rural communities of the Western Cape.  the bands that he has developed can be found in areas such as Riebeek Kasteel, Vredenberg, Clan William, Langa and Mithcell’s Plain and

Lungile Jacobs, has contributed extensively to the development of Choral Music in the Western Cape.  He was also instrumental in the formation of WCCMA and CMFSA which are organisations that advocate and lobby for choral music provincially and nationally.

  1. Best contribution to the Literary Arts (including poetry, prose, play-writing)

Lyrical Base Project, for the work that they do in the development of young poets and writers.  The project is also engaged in developing spoken word writers among primary school children, and also assists them with reading and writing.

  1. Best contribution to Crafts and/or Design

Mark Jeneker, is well-established and an accomplished crafter himself.  He does sustainable work in terms of development arts and crafts.  One of his projects includes arts and crafts classes at the Central Art Library.

  1. Best contribution to the promotion of Cultural Activities

Balu Nuvision, has done impressive work in the development of the arts in the Western Cape in the past 30 years.  She is both a teacher and an arts activist; she’s also been part of the formation of Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership and

Brenda Skelenge, a teacher and a cultural activist.  The work that she does focuses on bringing tourists to cultural and creative events in Khayelitsha.  She is also using her house as a cultural hub where people can come and listen or watch performances from various local and established performers and music bands.

  1. Best Project: Disability in the Visual, Performing and Literary Arts

Unmute Dance Company, a mixed ability dance group, the only integrated contemporary dance company currently active in the Western Cape.

  1. Best project to Promote and Preserve an Indigenous Art Form

Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers, traditional Riel Dance is recognised as the oldest dance form in South Africa and a creative cultural expression.  The revival of traditional Riel dance in and around Wupperthal is a community initiative.  The troupe made their debut with much success at the annual Riel Dance Championship final in December 2013, where they became the ATKV Junior Riel Dance Champions 2013.  In April 2015 they qualified for the South Africa Champions of Performing Arts and came home with “Grand Champion Award 2015” for “Best Group performance” as well as four gold Medals and the “Overall Trophy Award” 


  1. Best Museum

Genadendal Mission Museum for the work done by their Youth Forum, which was launched on International Museums Day.  The forum meets every second Saturday, and was involved in setting up and planning the 2015 annual Heritage Day exhibition opening.  Special focus was placed on the youth and what they could take away from their experience in the group and getting more involved at the Genadendal Museum.

  1. Best New Museum Project

Music van de Caab Exhibition, Solms-Delta Wine Estate, well known as one of the country’s most progressive wine estates.  In 2005 they established the Wijn de Caab Trust to benefit the 200 historically disadvantaged residents and employees.  A major part of the transformation was the opening of a Museum in October 2005 which tells the stories of the indigenous inhabitants, colonial setters, slaves and the experiences of apartheid of the present day workers on the farm.

  1. Best Museum Volunteer

Dr I Balie, who is still actively involved in guiding visitors and tour groups, where and when needed at the Museum.  Some visiting groups specifically requested to have Dr Balie as their tour guide.  With his extensive knowledge of all artefacts on displays he still plays a key role in the digitization of the collection by guiding the auditing staff members.


  1. Neville Alexander Award for the Promotion of Multilingualism

Ria Olivier, served as chair of the Western Cape Language Committee for the past three years. As member, she is a very proactive activist for language rights, specifically Afrikaans. Hard working behind the scenes, Ria Olivier promotes bilingualism, especially for isiXhosa.

  1. Best contribution to Language Development

            Watu Kobese, identified a need for a Chess booklet in isiXhosa and worked together with the Department of Cultural Affairs and            Sport to develop the isiXhosa terminology for chess pieces and moves, a first of its kind initiative.


  1. Best Heritage Project

Dr Jayson Orton, Namakwa Sands, for his work at the Namakwa Sands Mine on the west coast of the Western Cape.  Dr Orson conducted a program of survey and excavation across the property, turning a cultural resource management project into a research project.  He went beyond expectations in his mitigation of mining impacts in Namaqualand by converting the rescue excavation into a sustainable research project.

  1. Best Heritage Impact Assessment or Heritage Report

Chris Snelling for Paardevlei Precint 3 HIA, This HIA (Heritage Impact Assessment) is regarded as an excellent current example of its type.  It effectively integrates structures, landscapes and context into an understanding of the significance of heritage resources. 


  1. Best Public Library: Children’s Services

             Mount Pleasant Public Library for the Reading project they intensively continued with this year. Despite a limited staff                             component and room space they were able to help the children of the community with their reading abilities.

  1. Best Public Library: Youth Services

Kensington Public Library, for the significant strides made in contributing towards the development of the community, particularly the youth, offering opportunities like the sewing club, computer literacy and a career expo. 

  1. Best Small Public Library (1-3 staff members)

Prince Albert Library. Despite the fact that this was the only nomination, Prince Albert Public Library impressed the panel with the overwhelming support they received from the local community with the nomination. The help they provided to the animal welfare society as well as their support to the library in the local prison were much appreciated. They did exceptionally well during the annual Leesfees.

  1. Best Medium-sized Public Library (4-8 staff members)

Masiphumulele Public Library , City of Cape Town, they have grown in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, with amazing projects from Fine Arts to Ikama Youth partnership, as well as reaching out internationally. 

  1. Best Large Public Library (9+ staff members)

Bellville Public Library, City of Cape Town, a shining example of moving with the times and adapting to the changing demographics and effects of urbanisation.  Out of the box thinking like the Takeaways Services to deal with the parking challenges; the outreach in the Home Affairs Queue; and the amazing work that they are doing living up to their motto ‘Sensational Customer Service’. 


  1. Archives Advocacy Award

Archival Platform, a Civil Society organisation that is committed to deepening democracy through the use of memory and Archives as dynamic public resources.  They conduct research in various aspects of Archives and Records management.

  1. Most Influential Person in Records Management

Juliana Vercueil and the Registry Team, Western Cape Liquor Authority, which is a newly established organisation, and within the three years since its establishment, Ms Vercueil and her team has established a fully functioning Registry unit within the Authority.  She has also been involved in a specialised project that needed to be complete in a short period of time, which is commendable.

3.   Best Contributor to Archival Heritage

Erika le Roux and the Client Information Services of Western Cape Archives and Records Service, their greatest contribution lies in a well-organised reading room, their interaction with the researchers and support to them.  First- hand knowledge are shared.  They incite researchers to come back due to the service provided, including research support.  There is a great knowledge of information capsulated in data resources.  On a day to day basis they promote the Archives with enthusiasm and professionalism


  1. Best contribution to the Standardisation and/or Public Awareness of Geographical Names

The Naming Committee, (Brett Herron, Chair) and the Public Participation Unit of the City of Cape Town, for their work done to ensure that an extensive public participation process was conducted to invite names for the seven unnamed footbridges over Nelson Mandela Boulevard and Rhodes Avenue.  They initiated and followed through an extensive consultation campaign involving all players to name the seven bridges.  The final choice represents the most diverse set of names, reflecting the city’s diverse history, heritage and culture.


1.   Outstanding Achievement of Women in the Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Balu Nivision, for her tireless commitment to the community via the creative arts, thereby effecting change in traumatised individuals and communities plagued by adversity.  She co-founded the INDONI ACADEMY, which helps to transform the lives of young people.  She does therapeutic interventions with the use of dance, music therapy and art.

      2.   Outstanding Achievement of Youth in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries     or Archives

Kronendal Music Academy of Hout Bay, for their long-term commitment to caring for the needs of children from all walks of like, which helps to create cross cultural solidarity.  They provide a home away from home for children from troubled backgrounds, where they can be nourished physically and emotionally.  They are consistently innovating new ways to improve their service to the Hout Bay Community.

3.   Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Jennifer van Papendorp, who has worked in the Arts and Culture field in the Western Cape since 1981 and for the past 34 years has contributed in many ways. She has worked as a dancer with Jazzart Dance Theatre, Southern women, Abamanyani, and Somatic Jam.  She has taught thousands of young people, adults and teachers over the years.  She has lectured in movement and Dance Technique and Theory for the Western Cape Tertiary institutions.  She also served as a WCED principle Subject Advisor and Curriculum planner in Arts and Culture and Dance Studies.  She co-established the first Artscape Schools Festival and produced a number of public performances for the Focus School learners in professional theatres.  She also collaborated with the Department of Culture Affairs and Sport in helping to set up and supervise the WCED branch of the MOD dance programme in seven schools.

4.   National and International Contributions in Arts and Culture, Language, Heritage, Geographical Names, Museums, Libraries or Archives

Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers, Traditional Riel Dance is recognised as the oldest dance form in South Africa and a creative cultural expression.  The revival of traditional Riel dance in and around Wupperthal is a community initiative.  The troupe made their debut with much success at the annual Riel Dance Championship final in December 2013, where they became the ATKV Junior Riel Dance Champions 2013.  In April 2015 they qualified for the south Africa Champions of Performing Arts and came home with “Grand Champion Award 2015” for “Best Group performance” as well as four gold Medals and the “Overall Trophy Award” 

Minister Marais congratulated all winners and nominees on the evening, and said “These awards offer an opportunity to acknowledge the diversity of the cultural landscape with great pride. Celebrate our colourful Western Cape Province with us tonight. Feel and be proud of our historical, cultural and linguistic heritage. I believe our beauty lies in our diversity. The things we have in common are more than those things that set 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 work together towards a socially inclusive nation.”

Photographs of the winners are available upon request. Please contact Tania Colyn on to request specific winners’ photographs. 

Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for Anroux Marais, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 4426
Cell: 083 504 1171