COGTA kicks-off Heritage Month celebrations

3 Sep 2016

The Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), kicked off the Heritage month celebration with the two important celebrations that emphasised the importance of our cultures and traditions as South Africans.

The two events were held in two separate Provinces, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, but spoke to one another and emphasised the importance of recognizing our diversity as South Africans. This events were also about communities coming together, proud of their cultures and traditions, thus ensuring Social Cohesion and building cohesive communities.

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Des van Rooyen, attended and addressed the annual Nwamitwa day celebration in honour of her Royal Highness Hosi Nwamitwa II held at Valoyi Vatsonga Cultural Village (Nwamitwa).

On the other hand, the Deputy Minister for CoGTA, honourable Obed Bapela, attended and dressed the Mathibela Traditional Council cultural celebration.

The two events were well attended by a number of guests and dignitaries representing various sectors of society across the country. There were Traditional leaders, government, business and other sectors and most importantly the communities.

In Limpopo, at the Nwamitwa village, Minister Des van Rooyen commended the celebrations and their importance, especially considering that September is Heritage Month. “Our past under the brutal apartheid system, meant that our rich and diverse heritage was not celebrated as those who oppressed wanted to increase their dominance on the majority. Now the need for us as South Africans to do more to respect each other’s rights is important “, said Minister van Rooyen.

The Minister indicated that the commemoration of the Nwamitwa Cultural Day and the celebration of Hosi Nwamitwa’s coronation is more important as it asserts the identity, celebrate cultures and traditions of communities. This event is also taking place hot on the heels of Women’s month which recognizes the gallant and selfless contribution by woman like Hosi Nwamitwa in bringing development to our people.

In Mpumalanga at the Mathibela celebrations, the message was about imparting good values and principles, especially to our children. Every speaker emphasised the importance of respecting each other’s cultures and traditions, whilst educating communities especially the youth about understanding who they are. Parents and elders, were urged not to shy away from their responsibility to ensure that our youth are aware of their identity.

The Chair of the National House of Traditional Leaders, Kgosi Maubane said that leaders have to ensure that the youth are mentored and trained to respect the cultures and traditions of our people. He urged elders not go to our graves with the wisdom and knowledge about the history of the people and their leadership. The youth has to be prepared to take over the reigns and continue to build this important traditional institutions.

The deputy Minister indicated that as Africans we should be proud of our heritage and being African. He echoed the sentiments of other speakers that heritage month is important for the development our communities across the country. When people recognise who they are, they are able to express themselves better and be part of building a South Africa we envisage within the National Development Plan. “Our cultures and heritage as Africans are diverse, hence the importance of knowing and being proud of our art, food, music, languages, clothes, etc. By recognizing who we are, our minds will never be colonized, to this effect government will continue recognizing and respecting the rights of all South Africans and urge the same from communities”, said Deputy Minister Bapela.

Minister van Rooyen thanked traditional leaders for the important role they continue to play in our constitutional democracy, leading their communities and working hand in hand with government. The Minister thanked traditional leaders for the sterling work they played by encouraging their communities to participate in the local government elections. In conclusion, both the Minister and Deputy Minister wished South Africans well for Heritage Month and encouraged everyone to continue guided by our constitution and together moving South Africa forward. We all have to remember that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in their diversity.

Enquiries:
Mr Legadima Leso
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