Pretoria - South Africans should not be comfortable when “living in glass houses”, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said yesterday.
The minister was speaking during the commemoration of Africa Month at Hosea Secondary School in Hammanskraal.
“Problems in other countries in Africa do affect South Africa, and we cannot live in a glass house as South Africans and think we are safe.
“For us to be safe, everybody around us must be safe because our destiny as Africans is tied together,” Motshekga said.
“When the Zimbabwean economy suffers, its citizens will come to our country and their problems become our problems.”
Motshekga said everyone had to be dedicated to fighting together for lasting peace. She elaborated: “Unless we fight together there will not be peace for all of us.
“There will never be peace if not all of us have peace in this continent.”
She said it was important for Africans to know and talk about Africa Day, so that everyone could know what it meant to be an African.
National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa representative Madzena Nndivhaleni said it was of importance that Africans stood together in order to advance Africa as a continent.
“If we could change the system of education we can advance our learners.”
Nndivhaleni said the first thing a learner knew was their home language. “We need to educate our learners; language is important.
“Language is a gift that we give to our children; it aligns the children with tradition of their family and people around them,” he said.
The inception of Africa Union gave birth to Africa Day, and Africans needed to be proud of who they were and to take pride in that.
“Africa Day has become a symbol of Africa’s people, freedom and progress. For a long time the true identity and history of Africa was concealed from an international level.
“We have been told that there is no evidence of our history, but there are certain books which were written but are not considered to be part of our history,” said Nndivhaleni.
He also said there were stories passed from one generation to another, but not considered to be history.
“It is up to us as Africans to write our own books, our own history. We must find ourselves and find pride in the changes that the Department of Education is bringing,” he said.
The Africa Day, which is commemorated on May 25 every year, aims at recognising and acknowledging the milestones achieved within the continent and the pivotal role played by the African Union in uniting the continent.
It is also on this day that various fallen heroes and heroines of the country and across the continent are acknowledged, and it creates a platform to promote unity, peace, national identity and building a cohesive society.
Since 1995 there has been continuous and constant commemoration of people, historical anniversaries and events to signify major milestones on the journey to democracy and freedom in the history of South Africa.