Arts and Culture leads Heritage Month activities to foster social cohesion and nation building

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02 Sep 2015

September marks Heritage Month celebrations in South Africa and this year’s theme is “Our indigenous knowledge, our heritage: Towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South African’s living heritage.” Heritage Day will be celebrated nationally on 24 September 2015 in Vleifontein, Makhado Local Municipality in Limpopo Province.

The Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa launched Heritage Month on 25 August 2015 during the launch of the Living Legends Legacy Project, a programme aimed at recognising the role played by South African legends in the arts, culture and heritage sector.  The Minister pledged an amount of R5million as an initial investment for the establishment and implementation of the Living Legends Legacy Project and a further 15 million over the medium term framework. This special fund will be utilised specifically to facilitate programmes that will have the legends as the primary beneficiaries.

“This year’s celebrations will highlight the significance of Heritage Month as a vehicle to foster social cohesion, nation building, economic development and inclusive citizenship. The pinnacle of the Heritage Month celebrations will be the hosting of various commemorative events and cultural fairs in various parts of the country,” said Mthethwa.

The Department of Arts and Culture as a custodian of South Africa’s cultural, artistic and heritage programme was tasked by the Cabinet in 1998 to transform the heritage landscape of the country to ensure that it truly represents the diversity of our society. The Liberation Heritage Route is one of the critical elements in the implementation of this mandate. The National Liberation Heritage Route will link all liberation heritage sites in South Africa, the SADC region and the continent. The National Heritage Monument, a heritage site that will be situated at Groenkloof Reserve in Pretoria with statues of pre-colonial, colonial and anti-apartheid struggle heroes and heroines will be launched later this month.

On 11 September 2015, the President of South Africa accompanied by Minister Nathi Mthethwa will unveil one of the major infrastructure intensive projects, the Matola Memorial and Interpretative Centre in Maputo, Mozambique. This project is expected to boost tourism and creating jobs while honouring the country’s liberation struggle heroes and heroines. South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent. South Africa, as a member of AU supports Agenda 2063, a joint African roadmap for continental development which seeks to build an integrated, economic prosperous and peaceful Africa.  Media who wishes to cover the event may register online by following the link below:

The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi will launch the National Book Week on Thursday at 10:00, 03 September 2015 at Emoyeni Estate, Johannesburg.  The campaign will run from 07 to 13 September 2015. National Book Week is an initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture in association with the South African Book Development Council (SABDC).  The National Book Week is an annual premier platform through which government, the book sector, media and civil society establish dynamic partnerships for the promotion of the culture of reading. The campaign will feature a number of reading activities for the young and old including a bus full of activities that will travel throughout the country. Activities will include storytelling, a toy library, poetry, workshop and a mascot called Funda Bala who will distribute books to children.

Government encourages all residents in the Republic of South Africa, and those from the rest of the continent and the African Diaspora who resident in the country to participate in the Heritage Month activities.

Media enquiries: Lisa Combrinck spokesperson 082 821 4886 / Peter Mbelengwa 082 611 8197