Arts and Culture

ACDP policy on arts and culture


A multi-cultural, democratic society

South Africa is blessed with many distinct cultures, each with distinct languages and traditions. Their relationship should ideally be conducted in a non-racist and non-discriminatory framework. For multi-culturalism to succeed all cultures must be free to pursue their inherently innate distinctives, while in a national sense work together in an interdependent manner for the benefit of all.

Christianity and multi-culturalism

The central theme of the Bible focuses on the reconciliation between God and humanity. The Bible teaches that cultural groups should reconcile themselves towards each other and be pliable in areas of mutual consent.

Multi-culturalism and legislative protection

Multicultural democracy will flourish if all cultures are given equal opportunities to develop within the broad context of society.

All individuals must be treated equal before the law.

Promotion of arts and culture

The ACDP believes that all cultures must contribute to the cultural richness and diversity of this nation.

All organisations and institutions involved in promoting activities in the arts, culture and sport must be given the freedom and space to pursue the development and expression of their skills and arts to the highest level.

There must, therefore, be no discrimination in any area of language, religion, race, creed or culture.

The ACDP does not support the need for a Commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities. We believe that a Commission of this nature can develop indirect powers to regulate the functions and powers of organisations, whether cultural, linguistic or religious. Such a commission could attempt to nullify the diversity of freedom of expression, and usurp the powers of operations of such organisations.

The ACDP will promote family values, and any type of expression that is detrimental to a person’s health, dignity and social responsibility will be appropriately sanctioned.

The ACDP will distinguish only one body to manage the arts, culture and sports administration.

The ACDP notes that that the luxury taxes that are currently applied to musical instruments and artistic materials makes them expensive and beyond the reach of aspirant artists. This has a discouraging and stifling effect. All such taxes duties and excises should be removed in order to stimulate the development of South African artistic creativity.

We support the imposition of local content quotas on radio and TV in order to provide an outlet for our talented people.

Naming and renaming

The ACDP’s policy relates to the naming and renaming of public roads, public spaces, natural and man-made landmarks and all other government/publicly-owned buildings, facilities and artefacts.

Names of such entities are not only locational tools. They also reflect the rich and diverse, cultural, religious, ethnic and historical heritage of a country. They have powerful positive or negative meanings for people and communities, and provide opportunities to either promote community harmony or perpetuate hurt and division. No nNaming or renaming policy should attempt to deny the very characteristics which contributes to making South Africa what it is. History cannot be undone and hurts cannot be healed by simply renaming an entity.

Consideration must be given to cost implication when proposing a name or symbol change.

The ACDP does not support the notion that renaming is a triviality that should only occur, and is only justifiable, once all of society’s many other ills are successfully addressed and eradicated. Instead, and in recognition of the spiritual and historical meaning of names, the ACDP acknowledges that renaming can also be a precursor to or forerunner of successfully addressing and eradicating society’s many ills.

In this regard, the ACDP’s naming and renaming policy will assist South Africans, through government structures, the church and civil society, to heal the hurts and memories of their past without erasing or denying, but instead informing and educating people of South Africa’s diverse ethnic, religious and cultural heritage and history. This policy contains guidelines relating to commemorative naming, including not naming an entity after a living person; name selection, including the strengthening community identity and the theme of national unity and names to be avoided, including names whose literal or translated meanings are found to be Biblically and/or spiritually offensive and/or evil, names that pronounce a curse and not a blessing on the people of the area, names that promote intolerance and hatred, names that perpetuate the legacy of apartheid or names that are found to be offensive, blasphemous, indecent, or insulting to the majority of members in the community in the area, their religion, gender, political affiliation, culture, race, history and heritage.

Language policy

The ACDP acknowledges and respects:

  • The 11 official languages of South Africa;
  • The right to communicate in the language of one’s own choice;
  • The linguistic diversity in each province; and
  • The needs of people with communicative disabilities.

To this end, our language policy aims to:

  • Give effect to sections 6 and 9 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (108 of 1996) referring to language and equality respectively;
  • Sensitise its people to the linguistic needs and preferences of others;
  • Ensure that the language needs and preferences of others are accommodated with courtesy;
  • Build unity and cohesion by enhancing respect for the cultural and linguistic diversity of others; and
  • Encourage multilingualism.