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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


SA Theatre Initiative’s national consultation process gathers momentum with halfway point this weekend.

The Southern African Theatre Initiative’s national consultation process on the performing arts is gathering momentum, with the KwaZulu-Natal Theatre and Dance Indaba on April 4 and 5 2009 marking the halfway point in this endeavour.

The KZN indaba, taking place at the Playhouse over the weekend of April 4 and 5, is the fifth of nine provincial indabas being hosted around the country.

SATI is heading to all the provinces, with the support of the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), to listen to the issues affecting arts practitioners prior to the National Indaba. There, provincial task teams will make submissions and recommendations to DAC to inform future legislation and ensure growth, development and sustainability within the various arts disciplines.

At the North West Theatre and Dance Indaba, held in Mmabatho on March 21 and 22, the focus was on aspects such as transformation of the sector and human resources development. SATI executive secretary Mpho Molepo highlighted the importance of arts practitioners speaking up for themselves and not being fragmented in order to be taken seriously.

Cultural practitioner Itumeleng Motsekoe said that big budgets were not always necessary to create art, but that initiative was needed. “Our province has raw talent which still needs to be explored, and there is a need for more development in the province,” he said. “We focus on other issues when we should be putting on shows.”

Marlise Kruger provided an overview of the successful Aardklop Festival, which creates 850 jobs prior to and during the festival and contributes some R50 million to the local economy. She said that although Aardklop was growing annually, financial sustainability, mounting high-quality productions and audience development remained challenges.

Moses Tumane, representing the province’s MEC for sport, arts and culture, touched on the need for teachers to be trained in arts and culture, while other speakers pushed for the establishment of a theatre school in the North West.

“The performing arts are not a single event,” Tumane pointed out. “Our contribution to economic development should be quantified to ensure that we are taken seriously.”

The Indabas are a part of the national consultative process on theatre and dance an initiative by Southern African Theatre Initiative (SATI) supported by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), National Arts Council (NAC) and Business Arts South Africa (BASA)

To secure a place at the KZN Indaba, contact SATI on 011 838-8932 or e-mail