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South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August

September marks the annual Heritage Month in South Africa.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa launched Heritage Month 2014 in Gauteng on 31 August under the theme: “Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy: Tell Your Story that Moves South Africa Forward”.

Among the projects identified to advance the “Tell Your Story” campaign are the reburials of Nat Nakasa and Moses Kotane. Repatriations of unsung heroes provide South Africans with an opportunity to learn more about their personal struggles, the circumstances that led to them living in exile and the impact they had on the liberation of our country.

Other events:

National Book Week from 1 to 7 September under the theme: “Going Places” focusing on the power of books and how they can ‘figuratively’ and ‘literally’ take South Africans to places. Events are planned in all the provinces and will include reading in indigenous languages, storytelling and motivational talks, word-a-thons, poetry sessions and book debates.

The Mahikeng Heritage campaign will be launched at Rooigront Prison situated in the Mahikeng Local Municipality within Ngaka Modiri Molema District. The location chosen for this campaign is a heritage site because of its historical importance to the country.

Ratlou Heritage Campaign is planned for 11 and 12 September in Ratlou Local Municipality at Setlhwatlhwe Heritage Site.

The reburial of Nat Nakasa will take place on the 13th September in Durban with President Jacob Zuma presiding. The repatriation of Nakasa's remains after 50 years marks a turning point in the redefinition and role of journalists, writers and the media in South Africa. His story provides a perfect platform for us to examine ourselves to engage in constructive national discourse.

Kgosi Suping Ceremony, a traditional symbolic ceremony dedicated to Kgosi Suping who was the first Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has earmarked this project to honour Kgosi Suping at Supingstadt for his contribution in shaping the involvement, contribution and relevance of traditional leadership which is an indigenous practice of political history of the African peoples.

Ditsobotla Heritage Campaign will be undertaken in Itsoseng Township in the Ditsobotla region. The purpose of the campaign is to engage our communities on issues of heritage management, benefits through heritage tourism as well as ownership.

There will be a launch of a book, “Chiefs, Land and Mining in the North West Province” on 30 September 2014. The book traces and details the legacy of mining and how forced removals led to mushrooming of resistant movements across the province.

Heritage Day 24 September: The Department of Arts and Culture in conjunction with the Presidency and the Provincial Government of North West will host the main event to celebrate Heritage Day at James Motlatsi Stadium in Klerksdorp. Other provinces will be organising Heritage Day celebrations too. President Jacob Zuma will be invited to give a keynote address at the main event.

Oral History Conference: Celebrating our heritage will continue beyond Heritage Month. The Department of Arts & Culture will host the 11th National Oral History Programme for South Africa from 14 to 17 October. The theme for this year’s conference is “Reconsidering the post-apartheid moment: Oral History and the Politics of Transformation”.

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. An envisaged Liberation Heritage Route is one of the initiatives that are designed to provide a comprehensive story about the struggles that were waged by our people in quest for their freedom and liberation.

Various heritage sites and infrastructures in South Africa are named after the liberation struggle icons, e.g.:

  • The Sol Plaatjie Municipality in the Northern Cape
  • The Nelson Mandela Museum in the Eastern Cape
  • Luthuli House in Gauteng
  • Shaka Zulu Airport in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Tshwane Municipality in Gauteng
  • Steve Biko Memorial in the Eastern Cape.

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.

These sites are:

The sites offer a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate the value systems of the country.

In addition to these sites, the country has 17 national heritage sites and the country is taking steps to protect more of its heritage sites.

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Newsroom | Publications | Heritage Month 2014 | 1 - 30 September

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