Speak up on Colonial History and Cultural Symbols

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The Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will convene a special consultative meeting on transformation of heritage landscape at Freedom Park on Friday, 17 April 2015 from 9am – 5pm.

In a significant development, Mthethwa has invited members of the public to participate and thus make their voices heard to help shape policy and developments on the issue of heritage transformation.

Comments are most welcome answer the following questions in less than 250 words:

·       What do you think of colonial and apartheid symbols

·       What should be done to these

·       What needs to be done to speed up heritage transformation

·       What statues need to be put up to reflect our new society

The consultative meeting follows the #RhodesMustFall campaign by students at University of Cape Town that has spread to other parts of the country, including Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Ficksburg where colonial symbols have been vandalized and toppled.

Over 200 special guests, including political parties, academics, student leaders, cultural activists, non-government organization representatives, media and other relevant stakeholders have been invited to attend.

The purpose of the gathering is to invite leaders, individuals and organizations to make significant contribution to chart the way forward on transformation of the heritage landscape.

“The heritage landscape and other cultural symbols reflect the memory and identity of the nation.

“This is a significant consultative meeting for us to determine the way forward in building a heritage landscape that reflects our heritage and expresses our identity as a constitutional democracy based on progressive values

“But for us it will always be important to canvass the views of all members of our society in an inclusive manner to have a sense of meaningful participation and contribution.

“Thus we urge those who will not be able to attend for one reason or another to make their voices heard through on-line contribution,” said Mthethwa.

The purpose of this platform is to provide space for those who cannot attend the event to contribute to the discourse on heritage transformation. Thus citizens and other people are most encouraged to contribute their thoughts, ideas, views and sentiments on this significant issues.

All contributions will be taken into consideration as South Africa charts the way forward on how to deal with its past in the present.