Media release

Government urges communities to promote and preserve their heritage

01 September 2015

1 September 2015

September marks the celebration of National Heritage Month which will be celebrated throughout the country whereby communities will showcase their diverse living heritage.
The Department of Arts and Culture as the custodians of the nation’s diversified heritage has officially launched Heritage Month on Tuesday, 25 August 2015. The launch was anchored on the Living Legends Legacy Project which aims to identify living legends across all arts disciplines and engage them actively in programmes that promote arts and culture development.
This year’s theme is: “Our indigenous knowledge, our heritage: Towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South Africa’s living heritage”, and the main Heritage Day celebrations will be held in Vleifontein, Makhado in Limpopo. The event will be a cultural fair that will showcase and promote South Africa’s heritage such as indigenous foods, craft, dance, music, instruments and objects.
Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams said: “September ushers in a new season and for South Africans it means to showcase and take pride of their living heritage including national symbols. As we welcome the spring season, it’s time for all of us to celebrate our heritage. We are a unique and diverse country, with eleven official languages, a National Anthem that is sung in three different languages which is a demonstration of the richness and dynamism of our heritage”. 
“As we begin the celebration of Heritage Month, we call on all communities united in our diversity, to celebrate our heritage, culture, tradition and our languages. It’s an opportune time for South Africans of all races, colour, creed, gender and religious beliefs to celebrate our uniqueness”.
“Let us use the Heritage Month as a platform to promote social cohesion and nation building. We call on all communities to play an active role in affirming, promoting and preserving our living heritage,” Williams said.
Government in all three spheres will make a concerted effort to create awareness about the importance of living heritage as a vehicle to promote social cohesion, nation building, economic development and inclusive citizenship.
Key activities will include the launch of the National Book Week on 3 September 2015 at Parktown in Johannesburg; the unveiling of the Matola Raid Memorial and the Interpretative Centre in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 September as well as the unveiling of the sculpture of Chief Bhambatha on 22 September in Greytown, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
A comprehensive calendar of heritage month activities will be available on government websites, and Follow at @GovernmentZA @ArtsCultureSA @SAgovnews and @GCISMedia for updates on government programmes. The official hashtag for Heritage Month is #Myheritage.  
Phumla Williams, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by Government Communications and Information Systems

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