National Council for Adult Education

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National Council for Adult Education (some sources have National Advisory Council for Adult Education or refer to it by the acronym NACAE), was a project of the Jan Smuts government to see to the educational and social needs of South Africans after the second world war.

The project

The council derived from a specific recommendation made in the Eybers Commission (1945), a voluminous report about an investigation of the needs in the country after the war. The theatre-loving Dr G.W. Eybers, was appointed the first Director of the council in 1946, with the chairman of FATSSA, P.P.B. Breytenbach, as a member.

NACAE and theatre in South Africa

In January 1947, at Breytenbach's request, the Council set up a sub-committee to study theatre matters. Chaired by Breytenbach and made up of Myles Bourke, Anna Neethling-Pohl, Donald Inskip and Steve Naudé. (secretary), it submitted a proposal for a state-funded theatre - based on an outline by Myles Bourke - to the government. It was through this proposal that FATSSA obtained its first grant of £400, plus a loan of £3,600 in 1947, to organise professional tours in 1948, and - in effect - to establish the National Theatre Organisation (NTO). The sub-committee itself initially found itself acting as a mediatory body between the amateur organisation and the professional performers, and once NTO had been formed, it constituted the core of the controlling body for the organisation.

[TH & JH]


Rinie Stead in Hauptfleisch 1985

P.J. du Toit, 1988

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