Culture programme makes strides in KZN

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vryheid - Since its inception in 2005, KwaZulu-Natal's Investing in Culture programme has made strides by empowering and funding women's cultural projects in disadvantaged communities.

The programme focuses on creating concrete economic opportunities for craft, music, performing arts, design and other arts sectors.

Through partnerships established, products developed from several projects funded by the Department of Arts and Culture through the programme, are able to enter the mainstream markets.

Speaking in Vryheid, north of KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend, Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana said the programme has supported a total of 95 projects since 2005 with an investment of just under R54 million.

In the current financial year, the number of projects funded in the province is 18 at a cost of R11.5 million. There are 11 projects that are currently being supported by the department, while there are 56 projects completed.

"Most of the 56 projects that have been completed are still continuing on their own even though departmental funding has been depleted," the minister said.

The programme contributes to poverty alleviation and job creation as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme. 

"This programme uses arts and culture to encourage and nurture a spirit of economic independence for our cultural workers and artists," the minister said, adding that this initiative was shifting women from poverty line into the mainstream economy. 

Its expected impact is to create a platform for everyone, especially those in the second economy and the periphery, to become community builders, creators of wealth and contributors to local and national economies.