The statue of Paul Kruger on Church Square in Pretoria is set to stay, as will the name Pretoria. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s minister of arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa, in partnership with the National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC), is set host the Africa's first Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministerial roundtable on the African liberation heritage next week in Pretoria.

Taking place under the theme: “Roads to Independence: The African Liberation Heritage -Towards An Integrated SADC Road Map to Africa we want”, the occasion is expected to bring together ministers of arts and culture, senior government officials and technical experts from the region to deliberate on the best strategy to effectively achieve the implementation of the African Liberation Heritage Programme (ALHP) as a collective.

As agreed in the bilateral meeting between Mthethwa and the former minister of information, culture, arts and sports in Tanzania, Nape Nnauye, in November 2016, the SADC ministerial roundtable discussion will seek to reinvigorate inclusive integrated planning on the implementation of the ALHP.

“It is envisaged that the conclusions of the discussions will enable the adoption of key resolutions to guide efforts in fast-tracking implementation of the ALHP in the region. An acceleration of a coordinated approach to Liberation Heritage across all spheres of government and increased alignment with civil society and business is expected following this gathering,” Mthethwa said in a statement on Friday.

Convened by the Tanzania, the main task of the ALHP is to identify, preserve, commemorate and document the common African liberation struggle history and memory to ensure that the current and future generations know about the collective fight for the continent’s independence and development.

Chief executive of the National Heritage Council, Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa, said: “We should not allow our liberation heritage to decay due to unrecorded history as our country has faced a number of liberation struggle époques which were mainly characterised by Resistance Battles, Wars of Dispossession, Apartheid and the Modern Freedom Struggle.”

African News Agency/ANA