Minister Marais' Speech at the West Coast Dance Teacher Training Programme
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
WEST COAST DANCE TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMME ADDRESS
23 AUGUST 2019
Good evening, molweni nonke, goeienaand
It is always an absolute pleasure to be in the Saldanha Municipality and this evening’s occasion makes this visit all the more special.
Today, we officially acknowledge and celebrate the first cohort of dance teachers who completed the West Coast DCAS Dance Teacher Training Programme this year.
The Western Cape Government is fully aware that many, if not all, of our districts in the province are plagued with destructive social ills such as gangsterism and substance abuse and its devastating implications it has on the positive aspirations of our youth. However, on the other side of the same coin, we also know that if our youth is occupied with positive development programmes, they can instead be deemed youth with potential rather than youth at risk as anti-social activities fail to become a priority. The DCAS Dance Teacher Training Programme and the very reason we are here today personifies this notion and brings into fruition our Arts Development strategy to increase and strengthen its roll out of the genre development programme through enhanced collaborations with municipalities and organisations. As the programme has evolved, the citizen impact has been maximised in rural communities where arts and culture development are often neglected. The project’s roll out in the Central Karoo district and now in the West Coast epitomizes the commitment to our departmental vision underscored by the Whole of Society Approach (WOSA) principles has leveraged partnerships and resources in the face of austerity measures and further budgetary limitations. Necessity has now seen the Department begin to model rural arts development in the face of the challenges to strengthen social inclusivity and integration through its identified drivers of culture and economic opportunity.
Today we celebrate the youth from the West Coast community who were trained by Dance For All and equipped with the necessary skills needed to competently and more importantly confidently teach interested dance groups in their very own communities of residence.
The certificate received today not only accredits the new dance teachers’ developed skills and determination as proof of self-empowerment but now also creates meaningful opportunities for the younger generation to express themselves through the art of dance in their very own spaces.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the new dance teachers amongst us but more so thank them for making the conscious decision and concerted effort to improve their own personal development. In turn they are now able to create the platform for themselves and fellow youths to start their own dance organisations incorporating events management and entrepreneurial skills to result in sustainable opportunities to become self-sufficient artists in their own right. You have indeed and I trust will continue to make a significant contribution to the upliftment and development of the West Coast and greater Western Cape.
Together, we have made great strides in establishing meaningful sustainable partnerships that has set the innovative scene that makes the Western Cape the leading sport and cultural destination of South Africa. With this first cohort of dance trainers, we look forward to Saldanha becoming the dance hub of the West Coast.
I leave you with the Hopi proverb paraphrased: to be audience to dance, is to hear hearts speak and on that note, I encourage you to speak louder, more confidently and more often, the world is waiting to hear your heart.
I thank you
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171