September isHeritagemonth and on September 24,Heritage Daywill be celebrated at the Dannie Khuys Stadium in Upington, Northern Cape.
In South Africa we celebrate all the different aspects of our diverse cultural backdrop. Heritage month is a chance to take stock of where we come from and what our culture represents. Our land, wildlife, historic buildings, works of art, music and literature, museums, parks and heritage sites. Of-course braaing is a big part of our culture as South Africans, and this is why it is also unofficially known asNational Braai Day. Whatever the day means to you and how you choose to celebrate South Africa and your heritage – it is an important day of reflection and appreciation for our diversity. In an address marking Heritage Day in 1996, (former) President Mandela stated:
“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.
We did so knowing that the struggles against the injustice and inequities of the past are part of our national identity; they are part of our culture. We knew that, if indeed our nation has to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of division and conflict, we had to acknowledge those whose selfless efforts and talents were dedicated to this goal of non-racial democracy.”
The Deputy President ofSouth Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, is expected to deliver the keynote address and proceedings of the day will be officiated by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Joe Phaahla.The theme of this year’s heritage month isCelebrating the Heroes and Heroines of the Liberation struggle.
Heritage month is a chance to take stock of where we come from and what our culture represents
Some interesting Heritage facts:
– 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention and South Africa, in collaboration with the African Heritage Fund and the World Heritage Centre, will host this international conference.
– The Afrikaans Voortrekker Monument was declared a national heritage site in March 2012 by arts and culture minister Paul Mashatile.
– There are approximately 1000 museums on the continent and plus minus 500 of these are in South Africa.
– There are approximately 42 contemporary art galleries, 35 art museums, 5 art hubs or precincts in South Africa as accounted for by the Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA).
– In 2009 the Department of Trade and Industry estimated that South Africa’s craft sector alone contributes about 2 billion rands to South Africa’s GDP annually.
– There are eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa listed on the UNESCO portal namely – the Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and the Environs (1999), the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (2003), the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape (2007), the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (2004), the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (1999), the Vredefort Dome (2005) and the uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park (2000).
– There are several public entities that are in the care of the Department of Arts and Culture and these are; 6 playhouses, 15 cultural institutions and 5 other arts and culture institutions.