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Heritage Month is celebrated annually in September
and the celebrations of the 2018 Heritage Day will be observed under the
theme ¡§The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: advancing transformation of
South Africa¡¦s heritage landscape¡¨.
It 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
is endowed with multi-faceted languages, cultural practices, genealogies and
a biodiversity network and natural wonders that the world marvels at.
is an opportunity to reflect on the strength and wealth of South Africa¡¦s
rich heritage and to chart forward a programme of transforming society and
attaining social cohesion in modern day South Africa.
democratic government has since its inception, under the Founding Father,
President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, enacted progressive legislation that
has fast-tracked transformation of the heritage landscape in South Africa.
and wealth of South Africa¡¦s Heritage in the indigenous languages that are
spoken, the National Parks where the biodiversity inhabits, the cultural
beliefs and practices that are lived, the History of the Liberation of South
Africa and the 9 Natural Wonders declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Sites
will continue to be safeguarded, protected, promoted and preserved for the
sustainable use of future generations to come.
sites and infrastructures in South Africa are named after the liberation
struggle icons, like:
Plaatjie Municipality in the Northern Cape
Nelson Mandela Museum
in the Eastern Cape
House in Gauteng
King Shaka International Airport
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:
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo
Island in the Western Cape
of Humankind in Gauteng
Floral Region in both the Western and Eastern Cape
Vredefort Dome in the Free State
uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Isimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu- Natal
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in the Northern Cape.
The sites offer
a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate
the value systems of the country.
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
¡§The place of
wisdom¡¨ as Mapungubwe is known is situated in the Limpopo province. The site
lies on the open savannah of the Mapungubwe National Park, at the
convergence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. It touches the northern border
of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
This is a site
that was populated by a civilised kingdom over 900 years back. Settlements,
artefacts and graves of these communities can be seen at the site. It also
has a national park where various bird and animal species, including four of
the Big 5, roam freely.
information contact Mapungubwe: +2715 534 7923/24
Vredefort Dome was declared a heritage site in 2005. Some two billion years
ago a meteorite 10 kilometres in diameter hit the earth about 100km
southwest of Johannesburg, creating an enormous impact crater. This area,
near the town of Vredefort in the Free State, is known as the Vredefort
information, contact Vredefort Dome: +27 18 299 5371
Cradle of Humankind
Known in South Africa as the Cradle of Humankind, the region of
Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and environs has one of the world's
richest concentrations of hominid fossils, evidence of human evolution over
the last 3.5 million years. It was declared a heritage site in 1999 and
2005. Found in the provinces of Gauteng and North West, the fossil sites
cover an area of 47 000 hectares.
information contact Cradle of Humankind: +27 14 577 9000
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.
Government has set in motion the process of declaring another historic place
in the history of South Africa, Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, a heritage site.
Speaking at the
50th commemoration of the Liliesleaf Farm raid by the apartheid police
President Jacob Zuma said preserving the site would contribute to the
on-going process of national healing and the building of a more cohesive
So join in and
help preserve and spread awareness of our heritage resources. They are not
just symbols of our past, but they are the foundation for our future as
has been instrumental in ensuring that our cultural institutions portray
South Africa¡¦s diverse history.
1994 our museums and monuments were accessible only to a few and reflected
the experiences and political ideals of the minority.
1994 Government has ensured that many institutions like museums and
monuments reflect the history and experiences of all our citizens.
cultural institutions are today in line with our Constitution and our Bill
of Rights that recognise and respect people's culture equally.
named various Heritage sites and buildings after a number of our liberation
struggle icons from South Africa and the continent. These include Sol
Plaatjie, Nelson Mandela, Shaka Zulu, Steve Biko, Samora Machel, Kenneth
Kaunda and many others.
Africa is also home to eight of the world's official heritage sites, as
determined by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.
national anthem represents various components of our past and it is owned by
gives us a sense of identity and belonging.
opens opportunities in jobs and skills providing platforms for performers,
crafters and subsidiary industries.
liberation heritage must be used to draw visitors to South Africa and will
also serve to ensure that we protect our common heritage and advance a
national heritage, which is inclusive of cultural diversity
Department of Arts and Culture has identified more than 28 heritage and
related projects which it is attending to in this 2013/14 financial year.
projects will contribute towards social cohesion, nation building and
encourage our Taiwanese friends visit all these places that make South
Africa a unique and proud country.