The Department is committed to building at least one art centre per district municipality. In order to realize that vision, we have to date built such facilities in Mbazwana, Bulwer, Osizweni and uThungulu. We also provide support to arts centres across KwaZulu-Natal, with The Playhouse Company and KZN Philharmonic Orchestra being the major beneficiaries. The BAT Centre, Catalina, Ewushwini, Gobhela, Jambo, Khula, Rorkes Drift and Stable Theatre also receive funding.
As part of ongoing efforts to create platforms for artists to develop and showcase their talents, an artist skills training programme is in place. The Department offers training in the fields of graphic design, choreography, film making and directing as well as business management. The KZN Music House, which continues to unearth musical talent in the province, is also now managed by the Department.
The Department plans to preserve, develop and promote the diverse cultures in KwaZulu-Natal. This includes creating awareness about the significance of cultural days such as Freedom Day, Africa Day, uMkhosi kaNomkhubulwane, uMkhosi WoMhlanga, uMkhosi Wesivivane, uMkhosi weLembe, Diwali, uMkhosi Woselwa, the Afrikaner Cultural Festival and Eastern Rendezvous. The Department believes it is through appreciation of our cultures that we can transform society and build a united nation.
The Department plans to reintroduce the Language Bill through the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture to preserve of our culture and heritage. Financial support is provided to 65 reading and writing clubs as part of our efforts to encourage authors who write in indigenous languages. The Department offers translation, interpreting and editing services to government departments, agencies and state institutions.
The libraries the Department builds nowadays match those built anywhere in the world in terms of standard, features and what they have to offer. As part of efforts to enhance youth skills development, libraries undertake promotional projects which include participation in National Library Week and producing Literacy Week packages.
The Department plans to intensify the implementation of the KwaZulu-Natal Archives and Records Services Act. A film, video and sound preservation unit which will preserve information in these areas is also set to be established. The Department aims to develop a Digitization Strategy to guide our drive to computerize archival information. This unit’s is Oral History section is currently recording various parts of our province’s history such as the 20 years of democracy festivities, political violence in KZN and veterans on the struggle for liberation.
The Department is committed to transforming the Museums Services unit, both in terms of content and architecture. Museums Services has joined libraries in the provincialisation process. During the 2014/15 period, we will provide financial assistance to 37 museums through this process. 19 museums will receive subsidies in the form of transfers. The Department also plans to digitize our museum items.