Heritage day is shared and celebrated by all South Africans. National Heritage day, celebrated annually on 24 September was established as part of the unification of South Africans across races and cultures. South Africans have inherited rich and diverse cultures, a land filled with wildlife and scenic parks, beautiful countryside, sites of scientific and historical importance, from national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, to literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections.
On 1 September 2015, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, will launch the National Heritage Monument at the Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria. The National Heritage Monument will be a heritage site that epitomizes intangible aspects of inherited culture, a history that will tell the South African story, enable us to share our diversity and propel us to continue working towards nation building and social cohesion.
The National Heritage Monument will include 400 life-size bronze statues of Pre-colonial, Colonial and Anti-Apartheid struggle heroes and heroines. The manner in which the statues will be placed will be known as the Long Walk to Freedom which will be the site’s most significant element because it will be seen as South Africa’s intangible cultural heritage foundation.
On the day of the launch, Minister Mthethwa will unveil the first 56 life-size bronze statues (of the 400) which will become part of South Africa’s cultural heritage landscape.
NAPTOSA is of the view that this new National Heritage Monument will also be a positive contribution to teaching and learning.