Acceptance of NDP an encouraging development – Zuma

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cape Town – The overwhelming acceptance of the National Development Plan (NDP) by Parliament is an indication of agreement on what South Africa should look like by 2030, President Jacob Zuma said today.

Addressing the National Assembly during a debate on Heritage Day, Zuma said the agreement by MPs on the plan is an encouraging development.

The last 19 years, he said, had seen the development of new national symbols, monuments, museums and festivals that define the new non-racial South Africa.

“It was never going to be easy to build a new nation out of the ashes of colonial oppression and apartheid… but all that has been achieved in the past few years which indicates the determination of our people to build a new society,” he said.

He said the new flag, raised for the first time on April 20, 1994 continues to instill pride in all South Africans, while the national anthem is a powerful demonstration of South African reconciliation, by bringing two songs together, incorporating five of the country’s 11 national languages.    

The country’s coat of arms, which pays homage to some of the country’s oldest inhabitants and their languages, he said, also expresses an ideal that is central to South Africa’s national heritage – “unity in diversity”.

Zuma also singled out two other examples where cultural symbols had encouraged reconciliation and diversity.   

These are the completion of a new road between the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria with Freedom Park and the bridge linking the Ncome Museum and the Blood River Monument.

He said ever since the release of former president Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990, the country had stood as a beacon of hope in the world.

Some of the work under way this year on cultural symbols, includes the construction of a statue at Union Buildings in Pretoria to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the seat of government.

He said maintenance projects on Robben Island had helped create jobs for over 100 young people from local communities, while ticket sales, specialised tours and conferences had helped bring in R60 million – exceeding the value of R58 million grant it receives from the Department of Arts and Culture.

“We need to build on this economic potential and turn out heritage into key components of our economic development plans,” said Zuma.

He said the Department of Social Development would lead celebrations during Older Person Week, which The Presidency will launch on September 29 and which will run till October 1, the day honoured as International Older Persons Day.

The Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile said as part of the build-up to 20 years of democracy celebrations to be held next year, South Africans should come forward and identify to the department, sites and individuals – mainly unsung heroes and heroines – that have contributed to where South Africans are today. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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