The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture reaches out to every artistic and cultural community in the Province to support and develop every tradition, with an emphasis on making redress to those that have been neglected and marginalised in the past. It addresses the full range of the artistic and cultural diversity of KwaZulu-Natal, conscious that it is this diversity that gives the Province its particular character and appeal. It also facilitates professional economic opportunities for individuals and groups that show talent. The Department seeks partnerships with all concerned stakeholders and to itself plays a catalytic and facilitating role.
The Department manages Special Projects which include:
MEC's Stakeholders' meetings
MTN Fashion Week
Annual Jazz Festival
National Youth Band Campaign
Artists Support Projects
16 Days of Activism
Chief Directorate: Arts and Culture
This operates through four regional Clusters that cover the entire geographic area of KwaZulu-Natal. Activities include:
The staging of musical/ dance and other events that bring indigenous culture to local communities.
The organising of musical/dance competitions on a district basis.
The organising of choral competitions on a district basis, culminating in a Provincial Eisteddfod.
The organising of rural workshops on music/dance and craftwork with a view to enhancing standards, developing business skills and encouraging communities to earn professionally from their talents, contributing to the Tourism Product.
Facilitating economic opportunities for talented artists; facilitating and funding opportunities for musicians to record their work.
Introducing to rural communities the skills and techniques of film, video and scriptwriting, as well as the economic opportunities they open up.
The Chief Directorate works collaboratively with the Playhouse Company and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (a Section 21 company not for gain) in various artistic development programmes. The KZNPO, a full size, fulltime professional orchestra, has a Development Programme that takes orchestral music to the remote rural districts and the urban townships, as well as a Cadetship Programme that selects and trains promising young musicians from all backgrounds. The KZNPO plays regularly in Durban, as well as at venues that range from small KwaZulu-Natal towns to the concert halls of Europe.
The Department also works with arts centres in different parts of the Province and supports them financially. The art centres currently aligned to the Department are:
Gobhela Art Centre in Sezela
JamboArt Centre in Pietermaritzburg
Ekhaya Art Centre in KwaMashu
Indonsa Art Centre in Ulundi
Directorate: Language Services
The Chief Directorate is also responsible for Language Services, which works for implementation of the Provincial Governments policy - in terms of the Constitution - of affording isiZulu, English and Afrikaans equal treatment as the official languages of the Province.
Simultaneous translation services (isiZulu/ English/Afrikaans/sign language) on request at functions of the Provincial Government or municipalities.
Translation of Provincial Government or municipal documents.
Serving on the Geographical Place Names Committee.
Serving on a committee to build up technical terminology in isiZulu.
Promotion of local literature through competitions and displays.
Directorate: Library & Information Services
The Directorate: Library and Information Services funds the building and refurbishing of local public libraries and supports a computerized library network across the Province.
The service currently support 167 public libraries, providing a constant flow of library material including books, magazines and audio-visual material such as music, DVD,s, audio books and videos for public use.
The infrastructure programme funds the entire cost of the library, including furnishings, equipment and computers. There are currently 11 new library buildings planned with three existing libraries to be extended and refurbished.
The local municipality provides the staff to run the libraries.
The Directorate is deeply involved in a national campaign to promote a Culture of Reading, in which local libraries play a key role in a lifelong learning process.
Local libraries in the deep rural areas play a multiple role. MEC Thusi believes strongly in the role that libraries play in social cohesion. They serve as venues for positive community participation, providing resources for constructive use of leisure time. They are family institutions, catering for all age groups and languages. The libraries built by the Department are of a high standard and incorporate community facilities such as study and seminar rooms, group activities rooms with kitchen facilities for cultural groups. Usage of libraries is free to all members of the community and theyare welcoming and safe places for children to find information to support their school studies and carry out their homework.
The new library at Tugela Ferry in Msinga is an example of the MEC’s drive to address the need for libraries in rural areas of our Province. The full cost of building, professional fees, furnishing and equipment will be over R 5 million and the value of Provincial Library books and other library material a further R 1,5 million.
Directorate: Archives Services
The Directorate: Archives Services preserves and documents the past and current history of the Province, as required by law. It has repositories in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Ulundi which are available to researchers and for visits by schools and other education groups.
The Directorate is currently engaged in a programme to gather Indigenous Knowledge, in which elderly people are interviewed and their memories of the early days of the Province are recorded for posterity.
Arts & Culture MEC Ms N Sibhidla-Saphetha
Nature of Business: The Department promotes arts and culture.
To provide and promote innovative and vibrant cultural and tourism services which address the diverse needs of the people of KwaZulu-Natal in order to enhance their quality of life.
Empowerment through Culture and Tourism.
MEC:Ms N Sibhidla-Saphetha Head of Department:
Acting HOD: Mrs ES Nzimande