Eastern Cape Sport and Recreation Awards 🗓

Eastern Cape Sport and Recreation Awards in recognition of provincial sporting excellence
The Department hosted the much-anticipated Sport and Recreation Achievers Awards in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Sport Confederation, Buffalo City Metro Municipality and strategic partners such as Old Mutual, Joma Sports and Hollywood Bets. The red carpet rolled out on the 22nd of September 2023, at the East London International Conversion Centre.
The awards recognised and celebrated individuals, federations and teams who excelled both on and off the field for the period 1st June 2022 to 30 July 2023.

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture received 149 nominations from 31 federations, which included district sport federations, school sport structures and media houses, with most nominees coming from the Nelson Mandela Metro.

“It’s all systems go for the awards, and we are excited to welcome the awardees and host our guests for the evening, which will include Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa and Deputy Minister Nocawe Mafu.”

“Through these awards, we want to encourage community members, especially the young people that when they participate in sporting activities they can be healthy and this could also be a prospective career, similar to the finalists that will be awarded tomorrow,” said MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe, ahead of the awards ceremony.

Provincial Heritage Day 🗓

Provincial Heritage Day Celebrated to Mark 140th Anniversary of Lesseyton Methodist Theological Training Centre
The Eastern Cape Provincial Government led by Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane celebrated the Provincial Heritage Day in Lesseyton Methodist Heritage Site Precinct, Komani on Sunday, 24 September 2023.
This year’s Heritage Day was dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Lesseyton Methodist Theological Training Centre and historically significant events associated with the landmark.

Under the theme “Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity in a Democratic South Africa”, the province showcased the rich cultural heritage sites that, over the years, were used to convene political gatherings, including meetings attended by former struggle stalwarts such as Charlotte Mannya Maxeke.

The training Centre is one of the heritage sites which forms part of the Eastern Cape’s Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route that incorporates other significant sites within the broader Chris Hani Liberation Heritage Route.

Former students such as Reverends Z.R. Mahabane and Dr E.J. Mqoboli were some of the prominent alumni of Lesseyton Methodist Theological Training Centre, who are known for their immense contribution in the struggle towards national liberation. Their endeavours in the fight against oppressive colonial policies impacted positively to the liberation struggle.

The Eastern Cape Provincial Government has plans to restore the site and utilise it for provision of services that would benefit the nearby communities.

DSRAC Gives Back to the Community in the Spirit of Women’s Month 🗓

The country commemorates Women’s Month in August to pay tributed to women who marched to the Union Building on 9 August 1956 to protest the Pass Law to women and this year marks 67 years.
In celebration of this year’s Women’s Month, the department undertook a fun-filled fundraising campaign, inviting DSRAC male staff to drape their heads in colourful doeks on the 16th of August 2023 in a #WearADoek initiative to show their appreciation to all women.
A R50 fine was paid by those who did not follow the day’s dress code. Proceeds from the initiative were used to purchase donations handed over to Amantinde Isibindi Safe Park, a centre dedicated to caring for vulnerable youth in King William’s Town. Thanks to a generous donation by Vodacom, 100 packets of sanitary towels were donated, alongside a variety of bulk fruit and pre-loved clothing collected by the department’s Women’s Forum.
The Forum had previously contributed food parcels to the centre to commemorate this year’s Mandela Day, and Corporate Services General Manager, Ms Ncumisa Fololo, announced that the Women’s Forum is adopting the centre for outreach projects undertaken this year to assist those in need and bring about positive change in the department’s surrounding community.

September Dedicated to Public Service Month to Improve Service Delivery 🗓

The Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Noxolo Kiviet launched the Public Service Month alongside the Eastern Cape Provincial Government in East London ICC on the 31st of August 2023.

The launch kicked off with various foundations, NGOs and government departments showcasing the services and programmes they provide in adorned exhibits, in anticipation for the event’s main session.

This year’s theme for Integrated Public Service Month (IPSM) is ‘Building a Professional Public Service for Inclusive Quality Service Delivery,’ which strives to enhance service delivery and reestablish ethical behaviour among public servants.

Minister Kiviet delivered the event’s keynote address and applauded the dedication of public servants in supporting their continued efforts to uphold the Batho Pele principles.

“Public employees to continue supporting law enforcement agencies and institutions that defend democracy, as they are central in ensuring that steps are taken to ensure good governance and administration,” said Minister Kiviet.

The 2023 edition of the IPSM seeks to bring services to the people, an initiative aimed to demonstrate a government that is at work.

EC Government Officially Opens National Arts Festival 🗓

The Eastern Cape Government has officially opened the 49th edition of the National Arts Festival (NAF) on Thursday, 22 June 2023, in Makhanda
The provincial government contributed more than R14 million to this year’s NAF and the financial contribution is part of governments commitment to support the arts community, particularly those that come from the province, to showcase their talent in this National and International highly regarded NAF platform.
This year’s the festival is celebrating its 49th year in existence and one can expect to be blown away by the immense talent that will be displayed in more than 2400 performances in the eleven days, covering every genre from theatre, to dance, to comedy, jazz, classical music, family theatre, film and more. It is South Africa’s most vibrant and diverse festival, giving life to the phrase “there is something for everybody.”
2023 marks the 21st year of the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture’s support of the festival and part of the financial injection, is set to fund the Eastern Cape’s showcase for the artistic categories such as, Visual Arts and Craft, Lit fest (Literature Festival), EC Indigenous Dance and Music Ensemble, Official Opening, EC Jazz Festival (Previously known as Dakawa Jazz), Fingo Festival, Homestay Project and the Film Festival.

Youth Day Celebration in Gqeberha 🗓

The Eastern Cape Premier, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, along with his Executive Council attended the Youth Day Celebrations in Gqeberha on 16 June 2023, at Issac Wolfson Stadium in KwaZhakele.
This year marks the 47th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising, where hundreds of young people rose up against the brutal apartheid system and ignited resistance around the country. This uprising inspired the nation but also ended with hundreds being brutally killed. In 1994, the new democratic government declared 16 June as National Youth Day and June as Youth Month.
The Youth Month is celebrated under the theme: “Accelerating youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future”.
Premier Mabuyane highlighted the challenges faced by the youth. “Today our youth face a new enemy in poverty, inequality, and unemployment. As the Eastern Cape Government, we call on young people to collaborate with us as we collectively build an inclusive economy, create employment, alleviate poverty, and transform our communities. Let us awaken the spirit of 1976 where young people were actively involved in defining their future and the country they wanted. This generation must continue to build a nation that encourages dialogue, fosters social cohesion and celebrates its heritage.”

Fringe Show 🗓

Festinos came out in numbers to support the opening day of National Arts Festival.

Africa Day Celebration as hosted by Women forum of DSRAC 🗓

On 29th May 2023, DSRAC sons and daughters braved the inclement weather to attend the Africa Day Celebrations as hosted by DSRAC Women’s Forum. The jovial and celebratory mood filled the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg as men and women in colourful African regalia, dressed to kill were in ululations, dancing, singing expressing their joy and celebrations in memory of 60 years of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity. Indeed, the event was a resounding success as evidenced by the quality of the presentations, comments and the African Union and the excitement it generated.
All speakers were on fire with the General Manager- Corporate Services, Ms Ncumisa Fololo setting the tone for the day. In her opening and welcoming remarks, she cited that there are remarkable women that have left a wonderful and powerful legacy in the resistance heritage liberation route of South Africa. “Legendary women like Charlotte Maxeke, Lilian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Mandela, and many others like them, are worthy of being preserved in the annuls of history and be reflected on as the pathfinders and trailblazers in the liberation struggle of our country, the Republic of South Africa. Likewise, Africa has not been limited of women of steel throughout the continent of Africa, from jurisprudence, traditional leadership, academia and in a range of disciplines. As women, we are charged to emulate these remarkable women, take the spear from them and soldier on, as aluta continua”, echoed GM Fololo, to the rousing applause from all attendees.
The keynote speaker address for the day was presented by Prof. Wotshela. He was well prepared and kept all the attendees on the edge of their seats with his powerful presentation. Moving down memory lane with a geographic positioning of Africa and how it was sliced out like cake-pieces as the European imperialist colonizers salivated to getting a piece each, with a sole intent to exploit its rich mineral resources and enslave its inhabitants for their narrow-selfish interest of self-aggrandizement.
“Through the callous act of land dispossession of imperialism, Africa was shared among European powerhouses like the Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Italy, among others. The intent was to deprive Africa of their sovereignty, prospects for economic growth and dominance. This was the catastrophic period of the continent that needed African intellectuals, revolutionaries, and leaders to have a fighting spirit to redeem their selves from exploitation, domination, and dispossession. Legendary African statemen like Haile Silassei, Former Emperor of Ethiopia, Kwame Nkrumah, a Pan-Africanist of Ghana, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, came up as the shining light towards the total liberation of Africa through the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 1963, which later was changed into the African Union (AU). Soon after the liberation of South Africa in 1994, the country made a valuable contribution to the development of the AU with its representation in the organisation. May we, as South Africans always be enthused to keep the memory of the AU alive and work towards the realization of its ideals, values and mandate,” implored Prof. Wotshela.
Throughout the presentation, the audience’s attention was glued to Prof Wotshela with affirming and applauding expressions.
A million kudos to DSRAC Women’s Forum for being so their thoughtful initiative and hosting this debut event. Without a shadow of doubt, this event was worth it and is a move in the right direction as DSRAC has a mandate to strive for social cohesion and nation building, the aspirations that the force African Union espouses.

Museums and Learners awarded at International Museums Day 🗓

The Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe awarded three museums and top three high school learners from their respective districts, who won TV screens, laptops, printer and hard drive for excelling projects and school competition at the International Museum Day (IMD) held in Makhanda on 25 May 2023.
The Department held school competitions from 8 districts of the province, where learners were given an opportunity to expand their knowledge and participate in essay writing based on this year’s IMD theme: “Museums, Sustainable and Wellbeing”.
Natalie Shihanyra from V.M. Kwinana High School in Nelson Mandela Metro, Thekela Sobisi from Hoerskool P.J.Olivier in Sarah Baartman District and Apiwe Falteni from blythswood High School in Amathole District came position one to three respectively and will represent the Eastern Cape Province at the Robben Island Museum Summer School in October 2023.
Museums presented projects that promote sustainability and well-being of museums, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in lower visitors figures and revenue generation. Amathole, Graaf Reinet and Albany museums were the top three Museums whose projects were well presented. The museums were awarded big screens, laptops, and a trip to Lower Saxony in German.
The other activity that took place on the day was donation of school shoes. MEC Kontsiwe donated 204 school shoes to learners from 11 identified local schools within Makana Local Municipality. These learners come from indigent families and the donation seeks to enhance their learning experience during the winter season and to encourage them to continue with their schooling.
Exhibits tell us stories about how our nation, our communities and our cultures came to be and without them, those stories could be forgotten. Museums serve our communities in a multitude of ways, as we have seen first-hand.
MEC Kontsiwe highlighted the importance of museums and indicated that, “museums are valuable institutions, that is why we have 58 museums in the Eastern Cape. Twenty of these are province-aided while others are under municipal, business and community ownership. Museums tell stories that cannot be told in classrooms. They possess what the classroom may not: the materials and information that enrich and create an experience that is memorable.”
“Exhibitions housed in these institutions are timeless, moreover, in museums that are in a province such as ours. This is because the province is diverse in heritage and culture and it also has a rich history. Part of that history is based on events that took place in areas such as this and areas surrounding Makana and those are the wars of resistance,” said MEC Kontsiwe.
IMD is an annual event celebrated on 18 May by the worldwide community to raise awareness on the importance of museums in the development of our society. This international event is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and was established in 1977. Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among people.

MEC Kontsiwe Engages Stakeholders at Post Policy Speech Session 🗓

MEC Nonceba Kontsiwe hosted a Post Policy Speech Engagement Session with the sport, arts and culture fraternity in attendance at Steve Biko Centre recently. The purpose of the session was to engage the stakeholders and outline the department’s plans for the 2023/24 financial year.

MEC Kontsiwe emphasized the importance of the session and indicated that, “the stakeholder engagement and public participation are integral elements to the department’s work in developing, designing and implementing services and policies that benefit the public that has entrusted us with these offices or whom we are here to serve.”

MEC Kontsiwe further added that, “this year marks 29 years of the country’s democracy. Our key priority as a sector throughout these years has been to try and create an enabling environment for social cohesion and nation building. “

“Building a socially cohesive society means working hard in building positive social relations which will bind us together irrespective of our diversity as a people. Government prioritizes this in a bid to look after the wellbeing of the nation, fight exclusion and marginalization, create a sense of belonging for all citizens and promote harmony. That is why we have to work hard to ensure that whatever hinders our service delivery is dealt with,” said MEC Kontsiwe.

Among the discussions that took place at the session, the stakeholders highlighted the importance of partnerships and urged the department to involve them in its plans so that they can assist the department to achieve its goals while also developing the athletes and the creative industry of the province.