Minister of Arts and Culture launches the 2013 Heritage Month

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06 Sep 2013

Art workMinister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile launched the Heritage Month during a media briefing on Monday 3 September 2013 in Sandton. The theme for this year's Heritage Month is “Reclaiming, restoring and celebrating our heritage”.

Prior to 1994 our museums and monuments were accessible only to a few and reflected the experiences and political ideals of the minority. Through this theme the DAC seeks to reaffirm and promote Liberation Heritage as an integral part of South Africa`s living heritage to the youth, in particular the “born free” generation.

The DAC has since made headway in transforming the heritage sector by establishing monuments, memorials and museums in honour of some of our liberation struggle icons from South Africa and the continent. These include Freedom Park in Tshwane, the Ncome Museum in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Matola Memorial and Interpretation Center in Mozambique, the Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg and the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha.

South Africa is also home to eight of the world's official heritage sites, as determined by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee. The DAC has identified more than 28 heritage sites that will be implemented this year and these will create more jobs in arts, culture, heritage and construction and related sectors.

Mashatile maintains that arts, culture and heritage is the “new gold”. The sector has created many jobs and has since been included in the Economic Cluster of government departments. “Through Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE), we are channelling large scale investment into our sector, to unleash its potential to contribute, even more, to social cohesion, nation building and economic empowerment”, says Mashatile.

The national Heritage Day event will be held at Siza Dukashe Stadium, Mdanstane in the Eastern Cape Province. On this day South Africans come together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and diversity that has the power to help build our nation.

Heritage Month comes just a few months before South Africa celebrates 20 Years of Freedom. The celebrations will provide an opportunity for the Government to reflect on progress that has been made in realising former President Nelson Mandela’s dream of ensuring our diverse heritage is respected and recognised equally.

The road to Towards 20 years of Freedom will be preceded by Freedoms Fridays. The purpose of Freedom Fridays is to encourage South Africans to wear anything that expresses their pride of being South Africans. It could be garments in national colours, traditional gear or even shirts Arts of various national sports teams.

Enquiries: Mack Lewele 012 4413083 or 0824505076