Heritage Month Celebration

South Africa celebrates Heritage Month in September under the theme: “The Year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: Advancing transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape.” The Heritage Month programme will focus on the transformation of the South African heritage landscape over our democratic journey. It will focus on both the tangible and intangible heritage of South Africa.

In the past, the majority of people were alienated from managing and preserving their own heritage. This deprived them the freedom to bequeath to upcoming generations the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives. At the start of democracy the Arts and Culture Task Group was mandated to reconfigure the arts and culture landscape to redress past imbalances and reflect an inclusive democratic South Africa.

The celebrations over Heritage Month will consist of the active participation of museums, galleries, libraries, archives, community art centres to highlight the importance of transformation of the heritage landscape.

South Africans will be encouraged to visit these institutions to contribute to their sustainability and relevance in addressing societal problems. Citizens are also encouraged to participate in community dialogues which will be held at these heritage institutions.

The dialogues will focus on the transformation of the heritage landscape and in particular the contribution made by the former President Nelson Mandela. President Mandela consciously believed arts, culture and heritage are the cornerstone of advancing social cohesion and nation building.

He said: “When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.

Over the month South Africans can come together to share, celebrate and showcase their cultural heritage. Heritage Month is a platform for communities to showcase different aspects of South Africa’s diverse heritage.