The speech of the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mr Dan Kgothule, on the occasion of the Sport and Arts against substance abuse and Gangsterism, Kutlwanong
4 Jul 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen
This is indeed a very important occasion in the calendar of our department. We have said it before that this department is at the centre of the drive to ensure social transformation and moral renewal in our communities and broader society.
At the time when the country is gearing itself for the staging of the national Social Cohesion conference we are happy that as the province we are ready for that conference following the hosting of district Social Cohesion Dialogues.
As part of our stepping stones towards the Social Cohesion and moral renewal goal we are also staging these Sport and Arts against Substance Abuse and Gangsterism campaigns in view of the fact that substance abuse and gangsterism are also at the core of the decline in the moral fibre of our society.
Undoubtedly, substance abuse and gangsterism, which are closely linked, are wreaking havoc in our communities. We cannot wait and watch as families are ripped apart by violence stemming from gangsterism and substance abuse. We cannot stand and watch when our young people who should be productive members of society find themselves with nothing else to do but preoccupy themselves with things like assaults, robbery, and rape and so on.
These Sport and Arts against Substance Abuse and Gangsterism should help us to salvage our young people and communities from these scourges. This is the campaign that we will roll out particularly here within Matjhabeng Local and the broader Lejweleputswa District Municipality in view of the high level of the scourge of gangsterism.
Programme director, young people here in Matjhabeng and Lejwelepustwa, and indeed across the length and breadth of our Province, must begin to note that there is life beyond the sub-culture of gangsterism and substance abuse. We have as part of this programme today groups of young people who will showcase their talent in the field of sport and arts. These young people have resolved to preoccupy themselves with productive activities which will give meaning to their lives in the long run. Such groups as Pantsula Dancers, Spotsjwa Dancers, Hip Hop Dancers and so on, should serve as shining examples of what young people can do when they are focused on positive aspects of life.
Sport and Arts can indeed serve as channels to transform the lives of young people. We will roll out two programmes in this regard as part of this campaign and these are: Afro Fusion Plus, in the field of the Arts, and Sport Ward Leagues, in the field of Sport.
Sport Ward Leagues:
The Sport Ward Leagues has been initiated by the Department in partnership with the Odendaalsrus Sport and Recreation Council. This initiative has been carried out as part of the effort to combat crime in the community of Kutloanong.
The League will run in all the six (6) Wards within this town and at the end of the league the winner will be determined. The future plan is for all towns of Matjhabeng to participate in the Ward Leagues.
The Ward Leagues will only play in the 3 identified codes namely, Netball, Volleyball and Football.
The basic objectives are to:
- Increase participation in different sport codes for mass participation;
- Mobilise communities towards the nation-building goal;
- Encourage participation in sport from an early age; and
- Minimise youth delinquency within communities.
Afro Fusion Plus:
The Department has through Thabong Arts and Culture Center committed to unroll several arts and culture programmes in the Lejweleputswa district. These programs are also intended to address various social problems existing in our communities.
These arts and culture programmes will be rolled-out in the communities, including schools and prisons. The objective of these arts and culture programmes are:
- Re-integration of ex-prisoners back into communities;
- Cultural ex-change;
- Mentoring of young people in various genres of arts and culture;
- Skills transfer; and
- Establishing platform for showcasing of talent.
Programs to be rolled-out on the stipulated towns are as follows:
- Dance Program that include Pantsula; Hip-Hop; Potjwa and Kwaito
- Art in prison program
- Art in school program
- Heritage dialogue and cultural exchange
Programme director, let me in conclusion point out that it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that our communities do not degenerate into the chaos of violence precipitated by substance abuse and gangsterism. The future of our children is at risk if we are going to fold our arms and simply pretend that all is well. Let us all join hands together and ensure that we stem the tide of the scourge of gangsterism and substance abuse.
I thank you.
Issued by: Free State Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation
4 Jul 2012
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