Govt committed to transform heritage landscape

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pretoria - The completion of the Heritage Transformation Charter by the National Heritage Council (NHC) signals government’s ongoing commitment to transforming South Africa’s heritage landscape.

“This Charter … will help us strengthen efforts aimed at crafting a new and inclusive narrative of where we came from as a nation, of who we are, our common values as well as our shared history and heritage.

“It reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that the stories and struggles of all South Africans are told and that they are included as part of our national memory,” Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said, after receiving the Charter from the Heritage Transformation Charter Task Team in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The Charter will also help in terms of strengthening efforts to build new monuments, commemorative sites and museums as well as develop new symbols that are reflective of common heritage, shared dreams and values.

Through the Charter, Minister Mashatile said government will advance the goal of using heritage to support local economic development, job creation, skills development as well as the promotion of social cohesion, nation building and national healing.

Minister Mashatile commended the work of the task team. “We are encouraged by the work you do to bring back the dignity of those who suffered untold humiliation in the hands of our erstwhile colonisers.”

The minister said the NHC is in the process of securing the return of the remains of Chief David Stuurman, the leader of the Khoi people who died in Australia in 1823.

Minister Mashatile said the Liberation Heritage Route remains one of the key projects of the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy.

“We will continue to look up to the NHC to drive the project towards its successful completion, working together with all stakeholders.

“We look up to you to continue supporting communities as they seek to tell their own stories of their struggles and their victories and thus preserve their local heritage.

“These stories are largely untold and many community heroes and heroines that are part of these stories remain unsung,” he said.

Minister Mashatile is expecting the NHC to continue its work of honouring those who contributed to the achievement of freedom and democracy.

This, he said, must be done in order to promote national healing and to allow communities to find closure to events of their unhappy past.

“We also expect the NHC to strengthen its contribution to nation-building and social cohesion.

“This will go a long way in advancing our goal of building a proud and caring society, as envisaged at the National Summit on Social Cohesion we convened in Kliptown in 2011, as well as in the National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030. - SAnews.gov.za

 

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