President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday, September 24, 2020, virtually deliver the 2020 National Heritage Day keynote address under the theme “Celebrating South Africa’s Living Human Treasures”.
Under this theme, the living human treasures seeks to refer to and celebrate the repositories of knowledge, customs and traditions.
This year’s Heritage Month will be dedicated to the living human treasures, namely, Dr Esther Mahlangu; Mama Madosini Latozi Mpahleni and Mama Ouma Katrina Letsau.
As part of the celebrations and in their honour, three books have been launched that acknowledges efforts of these great women, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of artistic occupation, putting South Africa on the global cultural map.
Throughout the month, government will also promote South African indigenous knowledge holders who have been producing goods and services within local communities but have not received deserved national or international acclaim and recognition.
Heritage Month is also being directed towards highlighting the fight against gender-based violence and femicide in the country. As part of raising consciousness across society, government will continue to facilitate dialogues and hold panel discussions on GBV, aimed at engendering and sustaining positive behavioural change.
Heritage Month objectives are to promote the rich and diverse indigenous knowledge systems of South Africa; create awareness around the scourge of GBV and encourage our living human treasures to champion the care of women and girl children within communities, and expose learners and the youth to the richness of South African indigenous heritage.
It also seeks to advance the profile of South Africa’s outstanding indigenous knowledge holders as moral compasses in communities; promote the appreciation of and economic potential of products, goods and services made by indigenous knowledge holders, and enhance social cohesion and nation building through indigenous knowledge.
This year’s national day celebrations will highlight the vastness and richness of indigenous knowledge systems represented by our rites of passage, festivals, music, crafts, science, innovation, knowledge and our relations with the universe