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SA SWEDISH PARTNERSHIP (article first published : 2004-07-26)

Statement to the press by Minister Z P Jordan, Minister of Culture, South Africa and Minister Marita Ulvskog, Minister of Culture of Sweden issued on June 14 at the African Window Museum, Pretoria:

“For the past 30 plus years, South Africa and Sweden have enjoyed a relationship of co-operation in the field of arts and culture. The collaboration between our two countries has spanned the struggle for freedom and the dawn of the democratic era in South Africa.

“By virtue of the fact that Sweden and South Africa started collaborating on a government to government basis in 1994, the nature of our partnership has evolved over the last ten years to the extent where as we begin another decade of democracy, we are once again transforming our relationship, to one founded on the principle of shared ownership and mutuality.

“Today we will officially launch the Swedish/South African Cultural Partnership Programme. This is a groundbreaking, innovative approach to funding in the South African context that is founded on the principle of mutuality - moving away from the one-directional way in which funding has traditionally operated in the country as well as taking pro-active steps to prepare for the future, when development cooperation funding moves to other countries on the continent. This replaces the previous Sida funding strategy and presents opportunities for a wider spectrum of organizations to apply for funding.

“What this means is that alongside a Swedish contribution of R45 million of the next three years, the DAC is contributing R12 million over the same period, making joint ownership of the programme a reality - a first for both the Department of Arts and Culture and Sida. This R57 million over the next three years will be made available through the Cultural Partnership Programme for the growing of partnerships between our respective cultural sectors in exciting arts and culture projects, covering the full spectrum of the arts.

“The programme will be overseen by a joint committee (consisting of representatives of both Sweden and South Africa), run by co-ordinators in Sweden and South Africa. All applications are assessed by a peer review panel in each country before being submitted to the joint committee for recommendations. A help-desk will be set up to support matching South African institutions/NGOs to appropriate ones in Sweden.

“Once a year the Partnership Programme invites a wide range of South Africa and Swedish institutions/NGOs to apply for up to three years of Project Grants or for one year Planning Grants. All possible channels and networks are used to spread the required information. The first call for proposals was in February 2004 (for the 2004 financial year) and another call will be made in June/July 2004 (for the 2005 financial year). All arts genres are considered but each proposal must have commitment to education and training, cultural management, capacity building and research. All projects should follow human rights principles and practice, and need to demonstrate adherence to a majority of the criteria for funding.

“The Objectives of the Partnership Programme include support and stimulate projects of high quality in all categories, whether at academic or grassroots levels. It will facilitate opportunities for more South African and Swedish institutions and NGOs in the culture sector to take part in the long-term institutional co-operation programme.

“The Swedish-South African network will be encouraged to build projects inclusive of other, more disadvantaged institutions/groups in the local sector, who thus also can acquire new skills or otherwise can benefit from the project.

“The Partnership programme will work towards clarifying and strengthening a shared ownership of processes at large, as well as within the projects, to enhance a balance between the South African and the Swedish Partners and between the co-operating institutions. It will also play a useful and co-operative role in the funding landscape of South Africa and assist in building networks between funded partners in both countries.

“Another aim will be to encourage and assist models of collaboration with mutual benefits through partnership and exchange projects of various kinds. A funding mechanism will be established that is efficient, pro-active in building relationships between South Africa and Sweden, and cost-effective, with resources not being consumed by unnecessary bureaucracy.”




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