Minister Anroux Marais' speech at the Dias and Port Festival cultural evening
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
MOSSEL BAY DIAS AND PORT FESTIVAL CULTURAL EVENING
2 FEBRUARY 2018
Good evening, molweni, goeienaand,
It gives me great pleasure to be present at the 2018 Dias and Port Festival in the beautiful Mossel Bay this year again. I am especially happy to be a part of the festival as its theme is “where cultures meet”. This theme is indeed fitting because it embodies the landing of Bartolomeu Dias and his fleet in 1488 when the European and indigenous South African cultures met in what we know to be Mossel Bay today.
Each year, the Dias and Port Festival has mastered the art of diversifying the cultural expression at the festival in that it is socially inclusive of all. You will soon be surrounded by different languages, sharing different cultures, learning about different life experiences, all of which is captured in this significant festival and draws us closer to each other as human beings.
For this, the Western Cape Government wholeheartedly thanks you. We trust that this festival will go from strength to strength as it is indeed an useful means for cultural tourism in a way that creates not only job opportunities but skills development as well, so to increase not only the standard of living for those in Mossel Bay but the greater Southern Cape and the province at large. It also allows visitors to experience all the splendour Mossel Bay and its people have to offer and in that way highlights exactly why Mossel Bay won the Town of the Year accolade from Kwela in 2017. Once again, a big congratulation is extended to Alderman Levendal and the Municipal team on this auspicious acknowledgment.
Due to the severe budget constraints under which the municipality and this festival in particular has to flourish, it is pivotal to not only spread the word on its benefits but to advocate for sponsorships to invest in community building through the Dias Festival. To achieve this, we have to collectively encourage various partnerships to promote community support, participation and unity in celebrating cultural diversity. Remember as Mattie Stepanek once said, “Unity is strength, when there is teamwork, wonderful things can be achieved”.
I trust each of you will enjoy the festival and embrace both the local and international treats on offer while making beautiful memories in our fairest Mossel Bay.
I thank you.