Commemorating Gauteng's golden heritage
SEPTEMBER is Heritage Month and Gauteng joins the rest of South Africa to celebrate the diversity, cultures and legacy of its citizens by hosting different activities throughout the month.
"This important period should be used to foster the importance of preserving our heritage for a solid and brighter future," says Gauteng MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Lebogang Maile.
"It should also be about promoting the importance of learning and embracing the rich heritage of South Africa, and in pursuing social cohesion and nation-building."
The year 2012 has been nationally declared the year of heritage and, among other things, aims to use the country's heritage as a catalyst in the realisation of South Africa's golden economy.
The strategy Mzansi Golden Economy was born from the 2011 National Heritage summit which explored the potential of the arts, culture and heritage sector. The strategy is based on the belief that the sector is South Africa's "new gold".
Accordingly, it has the potential to lead economic growth and job creation.
With its different activities for the month, Gauteng has taken the national theme further - it is also using the period to profile the legacy of the liberation struggle, with plans to unveil sites of importance and work towards the declaration of some institutions as heritage sites, including Constitutional Hill and the Regina Mundi church in Soweto.
"Gauteng has given the country a lot when it comes to the liberation of the country, and as such we believe it is an important site of heritage in the struggle for liberation," says Maile.
He points out that the province is home to important sites, among them Constitutional Hill, Freedom Park, the Apartheid museum, Nelson Mandela museum, the Human Rights (Sharpeville) precinct, Maropeng, Regina Mundi and more.
The move by Gauteng is part of the National Liberation Route project which aims to record Africa's history of liberation by profiling sites - including places of residence and terrains - known to have hosted activities and combatants of the liberation struggle.
Heritage Day festivities
On September 24, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane will host the province's main Heritage Day celebrations at Maropeng, the cradle for humankind.
The proceedings will also include provincial indigenous games, where the public will be able to play games such as diketo, kgati (skipping), intonga (stick-fighting) and more.
Also on the menu is a tour of the Maropeng area and entertainment by different artists.
Other Heritage Month activities are the provisional declaration of Constitutional Hill as a heritage site on September 22 at Constitutional Hill, Parktown, and the unveiling of nominated National Liberation Heritage sites at the OR Tambo Memorial in Ekurhuleni on September 26.