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Heritage Month: Advancing transformation of South Africa’s Heritage and landscape



Posted: 03 September 2018

The month of September in the South African national calendar is declared Heritage Month and it is celebrated annually in September.

This year’s Heritage month theme is ‘’The Year of Nelson Mandela: advancing transformation of South Africa’s Heritage and landscape’’. 

Heritage month recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our historical inheritance, language, the food we eat as well as the popular memory.

South Africa is also home to eight of the 981 World Heritage Sites which are recognised by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organisation as places of outstanding cultural and historical importance. They are;

  1. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo
  2. Robben Island in the Western Cape
  3. Cradle of Humankind in Gauteng
  4. the Cape Floral Region in both the Western and Eastern Cape
  5. Vredefort Dome in the Free State
  6. uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
  7. Isimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu- Natal
  8. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in the Northern Cape.

Prior to 1994 our museums and monuments were accessible only to a few and reflected the experiences and political ideals of the minority. Since 1994 Government has ensured that many institutions like museums and monuments reflect the history and experiences of all our citizens.

Our cultural institutions are today in line with our Constitution and our Bill of Rights that recognise and respect people's culture equally.

Various Heritage sites and buildings have been named after a number of our liberation struggle icons from South Africa and the continent. These include Sol Plaatjie, Nelson Mandela, Shaka Zulu, Steve Biko, Samora Machel, Kenneth Kaunda and many others.

Our national anthem represents various components of our past and it is owned by everyone. Our heritage gives us a sense of identity and belonging.

Heritage opens opportunities in jobs and skills providing platforms for performers, crafters and subsidiary industries.

Our rich liberation heritage must be used to draw visitors to South Africa and will also serve to ensure that we protect our common heritage and advance a national heritage, which is inclusive of cultural diversity.
Happy Heritage Month!

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