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Department of Arts and Culture Develops New Policies

September 10, 2010

Department of Arts and Culture

The department of arts and culture is developing a national digitisation policy for heritage resources.

Minister of arts and culture, Lulu Xingwana, confirmed this on 6 September during a welcome address at the inaugural meeting of new members of the legal deposit committee.

According to the minister, one of the greatest challenges facing the legal deposit sector continues to be the collection and preservation of digital publications.

“The digitisation of heritage resources will be an important milestone in our cultural collective memory,” minister Xingwana told committee members. “We must make use of the unique opportunities provided by technology in recording, preserving and promoting access to the knowledge held within our memory institutions.”

The minister went on to say that one of her department’s priorities is to establish “official publications depositories” in each province. The main function of these depositories will be to provide members of the general public with access to official publications and government information.

She also told committee members that, following the advice of previous committee members, the department will make provision in Legal Deposit Act 54 of 1997 for the head of the South African Library for the Blind to be represented on the committee. “During the coming year”, the minister continued, “the department will commission an investigation into national Braille production needs and policy matters”.

“The purpose of the investigation,” minister Xingwana explained, ” is to develop a common, generally accepted Braille production strategy and a well-coordinated South African Braille production sector”.