President Jacob Zuma says government has identified 28 heritage projects through the Department of Arts and Culture. He has been addressing the social cohesion summit currently underway in Kliptown Soweto. He says:”The heritage transformation projects that we are embarking upon, especially this year, will go a long way towards promoting reconciliation, unity and nation building.” The President says the upgrading and declaration of historic sites will ensure a more representative and inclusive South African history and heritage. He also says that the building and maintenance of new monuments and historic sites has a greater potential to stimulate economic activity and create much needed jobs in communities where these sites are located. “We outlined during the State of the Nation Address that museums and centres to be unveiled include the 1980 Matola Raid museum in Maputo, the Ncome museum in KwaZulu-Natal, phase 2 of the Freedom Park museum and the Steve Biko heritage centre in Ginsberg in King Williamstown”. Zuma says the heritage program will continue, in order to lay the foundation for a new democratic society with an inclusive heritage and symbols. According to Zuma, other memorial sites to be prioritised include that of the Pondo Revolt, the sites of the Frontier Wars, the 1913 revolt by African women in the Free State, the 1957 anti-pass revolt by women in Zeerust, the Rocklands Civic Centre in Mitchells Plein, where the United Democratic Front was formed, and the Gugulethu Seven monument in Cape Town. “We have also prioritized sites such as the Winnie Mandela house in Brandfort, the Dr. James Moroka house in Thaba Nchu and the Bram Fischer house in Westdene,” says Zuma. Earlier in the morning, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile addressed the summit saying he expected the meeting would come up with a clear program of action that would be implemented in order to unite South Africans. The Summit will run today and the most of tomorrow at Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown.
– By Esther Kalu