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R2.5m for heritage awards

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An “on-going mayoral outreach programme aimed at bringing government closer to the people”, “never took place”

Picture: Danie van der Lith

TO COMMEMORATE Heritage Month, the National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC), in conjunction with the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and the Sol Plaatje Municipality (SPM), will tonight host the annual Golden Shield National Heritage Awards (GOSHA) – at a cost of R2.5 million.

The GOSHA recognises South Africans from different walks of life who dedicate their lives to the promotion, protection, preservation and transformation of culture and heritage.

“In line with its vision of building ‘a nation proud of its African heritage’ the NHC utilises different platforms in an endeavour to achieve such a dream. Although the country is still trying to unite and build one nation, the NHC recognises and appreciates the diverse cultural and heritage backgrounds of the South African people. Cultural diversity is one of the most unique and well-recognised characteristics of the nation. GOSHA invokes a national character that is inclusive of all of South Africa’s distinctive, colourful cultures and provides a platform for the country to honour such diversity,” the CEO of the NHC, Sonwabile Mancotywa, said.

Nominations were drawn from different parts of the country, culminating in the selection of 26 finalists who were chosen through a rigorous selection process. Tonight, thirteen winners will be announced during the award ceremony at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley and will walk away with cash prizes, trophies and certificates.

This event is an annual highlight on the national cultural calendar and is expected to be attended by government and traditional leaders, traditional healers, arts, culture, heritage enthusiasts and members of society.

It will be the third and last time the awards are held in Kimberley, as it has to rotate to other Provinces in South Africa,

According to a recent SPM council meeting agenda, the NHC and the SPM each contributed R1 million towards GOSHA 2018, with the DSAC contributing R500 000.

The agenda also states that “each institution has been requested to spearhead various activities leading up to the final GOSHA event”, with the Sol Plaatje responsible for the facilitation of an imbizo, the Mayoral Heritage Imbizo, on Wednesday, September 12.

While a draft programme and concept, as well as a budget of R107 000 for the imbizo, was attached to the council meeting minutes, SPM spokesperson, Sello Matsie, yesterday confirmed that the event, described as an “on-going mayoral outreach programme aimed at bringing government closer to the people”, “never took place”.

The proposed budget for the imbizo included R45 000 for catering for 500 attendees, R5 000 for a programme director, R5 000 for a poet, R15 000 for cultural dancers, R15 000 for a guest speaker, R12 000 for advertising, R5 000 for cleaning services and R5 000 for decor.