Whatever your heritage, wear it proudly on Heritage Day, Monday, September 24. Photo: ANA

Pretoria - As South African marks Heritage Day on Monday, Parliament appealed to communities to unite, work together to tackle social ills and to heal the divisions of the past.

"South Africa must continue to show collective intolerance of phenomena that threaten our national unity and social cohesion, including social ills, such as racism, crime, and violence against women and children," spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

"As we celebrate the centenary birthdays of Madiba and Ma Albertina Sisulu, let us draw inspiration from the principles by which they lived and upon which our democracy is founded. Let us, united in our diversity, recommit to building a South Africa in which the quality of life of all citizens is improved and the potential of each person is freed."

The statement on behalf of Parliament said communities should reflect on the journey travelled in healing the divisions of the past.

"Heritage Day is also a time to take stock of how far we have come in realising our pledge to heal the divisions of our past so that we build a democratic South Africa based on justice," said Mothapo.

"A catalyst of true freedom, unity, and prosperity of a nation is an inclusive economy – harnessing the skills and talents of all our people to achieve the future to which our Constitution aspires. Economic transformation, land restitution included, must be vigorously advanced to ensure true reconciliation and to heal the divisions of the past."

Mothapo said Parliament’s public hearings on whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution is necessary have stimulated a national conversation about the role of land reform in creating such a South Africa. 

"President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of measures to rejuvenate our economy should provoke a similar conversation among all of us about how we can contribute," he said.

Heritage Day is celebrated annually in South Africa, It recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of the nation. It is a day when South Africans commemorate and reflect on their varied cultural heritage.

On Monday, Acting President David Mabuza will lead the national Heritage Day celebrations at the Riverview Stadium in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal province. 

The South African calendar marks September as the Month of Heritage and the celebrations of the 2018 Heritage Day are being observed under the theme: “The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: advancing transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape.”

African News Agency (ANA)