Minister Gatz in South Africa to celebrate 20 years of cooperation in youth development
From 25 May to 1 June, the General Representation of the Government of Flanders had the pleasure of hosting Mr Sven Gatz, Flemish Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels Affairs in South Africa. The main focus of his visit was the cooperation between South Africa and Flanders on youth policy, a cooperation that is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Another emphasis of the visit was culture, and more particularly the ASSITEJ World Congress and Theatre Festival for Children and Young People in Cape Town.
With regard to the cooperation between Flanders and South Africa in the field of youth development, Minister Sven Gatz had a bilateral meeting with Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe to discuss the accomplishments of the cooperation and the way forward. On 30 May, the 1st Youth Volunteer Network Conference took place in Centurion. Minister Gatz and Deputy Minister Buti Manamela addressed the conference and stressed the importance of youth volunteerism. The next day, two projects were visited in the framework of the cooperation. In Kliptown, the volunteers of the Tausrac Foundarion shared their moving stories and spoke about how they make a difference in the community. At MES in Hillbrow, volunteers help out in the children's day care centre. In Cape Town Minister Gatz also met with Mr Albert Fritz, Western Cape minister for Social Development. Together they visited the Sozo Youth Café in Vrygrond, a joint project of the Sozo Foundation and the Western Cape Government. The Minister also visited the Nyanga Arts Development Centre, one of the four community arts centres that was supported by Flanders between 2007 and 2010 as part of the Batsha Youth Programme.
With regard to culture, Minister Gatz had a meeting with Ms Anroux Marais, Western Cape MEC for Cultural Affairs and Sport on 26 May. Later that day, the Minister attended the impressive "Us/Them" theatre performance by Bronks, that was part of the ASSITEJ World Congress and Theatre Festival for Children and Young People. In the framework of that festival, Johan De Smet of KOPERGIETERY was awarded the prestigious Artistic Excellence 2017 award. Minister Gatz was also welcomed at the University of Western Cape to discuss the exhange and cooperation with Flemish universities and UWC’s Dutch language teaching.
In Gauteng, the Minister visited the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg on 29 May. After a tour of the theatre and the Market Square, the Minister met with representatives of some of the inspiring cultural institutions in Newtown and surrounds. Next stop was Moving into Dance Mophatong, where Minister Gatz was treated to threw short dance performance and discussed the company's work and philosophy. The visit of Minister Sven Gatz was rounded off by a visit to the Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni. With the representatives of the centre, he discussed, amongst other points, the International Community Arts Centres Conference that took place at Sibikwa and in which De Roma and De Warande from Flanders took part. He also attended “Chapter 2, Section 9”, a moving piece about gender equality, hate crimes and corrective rape.