Conversations rolled out to hear the voices of communities
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s (DCAS) Stakeholder Management Unit assisted the National Department of Arts and Culture in rolling out the 2016 National Social Cohesion Community Conversations 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 the following six issues were identified across the country: race, language, sexism/gender, safety and security, economic redress/prosperous society and family values.
Role players and vulnerable groups that reflect the demographics of Villiersdorp, Kommetjie, Malmesbury and Franschhoek participated in the Western Cape dialogues during the week of 15 to 18 March 2016. They unpacked the issues that are dividing factors in their communities and discussed ways to solve them. Their valuable perspectives will be combined at national level to promote nation building and social cohesion.
“Underpinned by the National Development Plan, a space was created for each one of us to see the world through each other’s eyes and commit to finding solutions to issues that weaken social cohesion across our province”, said Liezl Jansen from the Stakeholder Management Unit who facilitated and attended all the local conversations.
The conversations concluded with each participant lighting candles in the colours of the South African flag. They 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.