Media Address by Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies,

Honorable Philly Mapulane (MP), on the occasion of launching the 2022 International Philatelic Exhibition in Cape Town on 01 November 2022.

  1.  Program Director, colleagues from the various stakeholders in the global philately community, and most importantly, the people for whom we are gathered here today, the media.

  2.  Next week, from 8 to 12 November 2022, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies will be hosting the international community of philately and philatelic material collectors and exhibitors. They will be exhibiting their collections here in Cape Town, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Today we have invited members of the fourth estate (the media) as a vital link between ourselves and members of the public, primarily to give you the opportunity to interact with all the important stakeholders in the hosting of this exhibition.

  3. The international body of philately, the Federation International de Philatelie (FIP), was founded in 1926 in Zurich, Switzerland, to oversee stamp collectors and philatelists globally. This was in acknowledgement of the important role that stamp collectors worldwide play in preserving the historical and cultural heritage of nations through stamps that have been issued by Designated Postal Operators.

  4. Since its inception in 1926, when only a small number of European federations came together to establish FIP, the Federation has worked tirelessly to promote the hobby that is sometimes called The King of Hobbies and the Hobby of Kings. Today, FIP enjoys global membership and works to promote philately and coordinates contact between philatelic organisations in different countries.

  5. FIP promotes its goals by hosting yearly international exhibitions during which collectors of stamps and philatelic materials, apply to enter competitions to display their valuable collections. These collections represent the efforts of collectors to both collect and preserve stamps that they have collected throughout the world.

  6. The main objectives of FIP include, among others:
    • Promotion of stamp collecting and philately;
    • Maintaining friendly relations and friendship amongst all collectors, and by extension, all nations;

    • Establishing and maintaining close relations with the philatelic trade and postal administrations, and

    • The promotion of philatelic exhibitions by granting patronage and auspices.

  1. The last of these objectives, the promotion of exhibitions, is the main reason why we are here today, to announce to you that next week we will be privileged to be host to this festival of fine art as presented through stamps, and to interact with some of the most important stamp collectors from around the globe.

  2. South Africa was granted patronage to organise the International Stamp Exhibition in 2021 during the 75th FIP Congress held on 2 December 2018 in Bangkok, under the theme “Road to Democracy”. The last International Philatelic Exhibition that was held in South Africa took place in Johannesburg in 2010.

  3. The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is the lead Department through our oversight role of the South African Post Office which, as you know, is the organisation tasked with the production and sale of stamps and philatelic material in the country.

  4. We received correspondence from the Federation International de Philatelie (FIP), regarding the hosting of a Philately Exhibition in this country, which was planned for March 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa. This correspondence was received at a time when the global community was under the uncertainty of a threat of a potentially catastrophic pandemic, COVID-19. At the time, the full effect and extent of this threat, was not yet adequately comprehended.

  5. For us as a country, the threat of a pandemic aside, we were glad that we were once again chosen to host the international community, under a theme that has such an emotional significance for our people, both socially and politically: The Road to Democracy.
  1. The focus of the exhibition as contemplated in 2021, would be to promote greater investment in education on Philately in South Africa and globally. Philately, despite its long history, has enjoyed little popular attraction as a hobby. It has also faced transformation challenges especially among the majority black Africans. With this event, we also aim to demystify philately by popularizing it among the disadvantaged communities. This will be done by, among others, hosting school children from around local townships to attend the exhibition daily. As part of the outcomes of the occasion of FIP International Exhibition 2022, we also seek to leave behind a legacy project with the establishment of the Philately Museum of South Africa (PMSA) which will be done in collaboration with the South African Post Office.

  2. The Museum will display the philatelic development history of South Africa, since the 1800s. It will also serve as a reminder to many, of the importance of philately in preserving the social and historical journey of the country. Our hope and wish is for you members of the media, to join us on this journey of promoting philately as an important preserver of history.

  3. We are also delighted to announce that our former President, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, has accepted the invitation to be the Chief Patron of the 2022 International Philatelic Exhibition when the invite was extended to him. This shows that the exhibition indeed enjoys the support of government, as well as the support of the country as a whole.

  4. In line with the theme for the 2022 exhibition, a special exhibition stall will be erected around the theme “The Road to Democracy”, providing philatelic and non-philatelic material depicting critical moments in the history of South Africa leading to democracy. This special exhibition has drawn on the knowledge and expertise of many key stakeholders, and it will form the centre of attraction at the exhibition venue.

  5. The hosting of this year’s exhibition in South Africa is something that we take very seriously as government, and it is an opportunity to continue our efforts, since 1994, to promote social cohesion in our country. It is for this reason that we have reached out widely to the media as an important stakeholder to our efforts to build social cohesion. I want to extend a special word of appreciation to the government of the Western Cape, with whom we have partnered to host those learners from around the province at the exhibition.
  1. Since 1994, when freedom was ushered in our beautiful Republic following the first ever democratic elections, we embarked on a journey of building a a united nation after our ugly historic past characterized colonialism and apartheid. We embarked on a journey of reconciliation which demonstrated to the world that humanity can embark on a journey of recognising that there is indeed only one race: i.e., the human race.

Since then, our country has hosted many important international events. We are glad that the international community continues to regard us as an important destination to host events that bring together people from across the world.

We therefore would like to urge you, the media, to continue your efforts in promoting this exhibition that takes place next week, and invite you and fellow South Africans, to be part of the event and to interact with the exhibitors and other important guests to the event.

I thank you

 Enquiries: Mr Thabo Shingange: 071 664 6858

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Facebook: Department of Communications & Digital Technologies

Twitter: @CommsZA

Issued by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies

Download document here: Media Statement – Media Launch by Hon DM Philly Mapulane