Anne-Lise Fourie, SANBI

Heritage Day on 24 September recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of our nation. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Our living heritage is the foundation of all communities and an essential source of identity and continuity. This includes cultural tradition, oral history, performance, ritual, popular memory, skills and techniques, indigenous knowledge system and the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships.

Living heritage plays an important role in promoting cultural diversity, social cohesion, reconciliation, peace and economic development. In every community there are living human treasures who possess a high degree of knowledge, skills and history pertaining to different aspects of diverse living heritage. It is therefore important for South Africans to reclaim, restore and preserve these various aspects of living heritage to accelerate the use of living heritage to address challenges communities are facing today. We should ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What have we done to elevate our heritage, culture and customs?
  • What is Heritage Month without our history and freedom? 
  • How are we protecting our centers of natural history, our environment and our collective memory of traditional leadership and early intellectuals that worked closely with them for that matter?

I have attached an eBook on the diversity of South Africa.  Please share with your staff and colleagues.