Beaufort West has a unique history. It is a town of many firsts: it is the oldest South African municipality, the birthplace of world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr Chris Barnard, the first motel was started in 1852 and so the list goes on.
It is against this backdrop that the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) rolled out the Oral History Initiative to the community of Beaufort West. The event, launched by Minister Anroux Marais, took place on Monday 15 August 2016 at the Kwa-Mandlenkosi Hall in Beaufort West. The project is a partnership between the Department and the Beaufort West Municipality.
The day was a celebration of sharing local history and celebrating sport, song and dance. Local singer Dan Lucas, traditional gumboot dancers from HM Dlikidla Primary School and the Khoisan Dancers from Restvale Primary School enticed the audience with their spectacular performances. Local storyteller, author and playwright Wendy Anthonie interwove the local history with her personal experience and her passion for the Karoo. Valerie Goliath, local sport legend, highlighted the history and power of sport and her ongoing efforts in uplifting the local community through involvement in sport.
Minister Marais addressed the audience and encouraged them to keep history alive. “In a time where our world needs much healing, more social inclusion, rather celebrating our diversity than being opposed to it (a dividing factor), and sharing your stories is significantly relevant to making a positive change in our communities,” she said.
DCAS is committed to preserving the stories of our local communities for future generations. Let us continue to celebrate our stories, BETTER TOGETHER.