Government calls on communities to celebrate SA’s diverse heritage

Photo: Heritage Day/

The South African government is calling on all communities to celebrate the country’s diverse heritage and its living legends.

In 1994, South Africa was born as a new nation embracing a multicultural heritage. This year marks the 20 year milestone since government declared Heritage Day as an opportunity to encourage all citizens to observe and celebrate their diverse cultural heritage.

Heritage Day was declared a national day in 1996, when Former President Nelson Mandela addressed the nation saying, “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”.

National Heritage Day celebrations will take place on Saturday, the 24th of September at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley under the theme “Celebrating our Human Treasures by Asserting our African Identity”.

Under this theme, government pays tribute to South Africa’s living legends and salutes them for their heroic contribution in affirming South Africa’s unique cultural identity and their role in preserving our living heritage.

Government calls on all communities to celebrate the custodians of our arts and culture for their efforts in promoting and protecting our living heritage.

“Our Living Legends are individuals who contributed their knowledge, talents and skills in the art and culture sector. Let us celebrate them for their enormous involvement in promoting our unique diverse heritage,” said the GCIS Acting Director-General, Donald Liphoko.

Furthermore, government’s plea to all South Africans is to take pride in our African identity and play an active role in affirming, promoting and preserving their heritage.

“The country is known for its rich cultural and ethnic diversity and South Africans need to reclaim and fully assert our identity to ensure that our diverse and unique culture unite us as a nation,” said Liphoko.

Government urges all sectors of society to take part in the Heritage Month campaign and promote our multicultural national identity.  There are a few exciting initiatives happening this year and in which we ask all members of society to participate.

All South Africans are encouraged to celebrate Heritage Fridays by ‘living their heritage’ and showcase their traditional attire, music, food, dance, embrace their mother tongues as a way of promoting our African identity.

Statement Issued by Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS)