Dept to sign agreement to support craft industry

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Arts and Culture will later today sign an agreement with Old Mutual to promote the craft industry.

"The agreement is aimed at supporting crafters in the form of business training, leadership development, business systems development and market access," the department said in a statement.

The two institutions have joined forces to form the Department of Arts and Culture-Old Mutual Legends Programme, which aims to provide a platform that will turn local craft initiatives into viable businesses.

The partnership was formed through the absorption of the most promising projects from the department investing in Culture Programme into the Old Mutual Legends Programme.

Head of the Old Mutual Foundation, Andile Ncontsa, said through the partnership, a need was identified for emerging craft initiatives to be transformed into financially sustainable and self supporting businesses.

"Through this partnership emerging craft initiatives will be empowered to become sustainable businesses that will provide decent jobs and income for local people, especially those in vulnerable communities," he said.

This is in line with this year's theme for heritage month, "Celebrating South African Craft, Our Heritage." September marks the annual heritage month celebrations in the country.

South Africans across the country will celebrate their rich and diverse culture on national Heritage Day, on Thursday.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will join the people of Limpopo, when they kick-start the day's activities with a cleansing ceremony at Tjate Heritage site in Sekhukhune, where the main event will be held.

On the day, more than 180 members from different services and divisions within the South African National Defence Force will participate in a parade.

This will include a national salute comprising a Guard of Honour from the national ceremonial guard, 21 rounds of gun salute by four artillery regiment and a salute flight.

This will be followed by a fly past by two Hawk Lead in Fighter Trainer aircraft from the South African Air Force. The parade will be concluded by a final national salute.