Deputy Minister; Hon. MM Sotyu
Director General, Mr V Mkhize
Members of staff of the Department
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen
I extend my warmest greetings to all of you. We have gathered here this morning this morning to honour those who came before us left their mark so that we this generation can live a better life.
In the life of every nation, there arise men and women who leave an indelible and eternal stamp on the history of their peoples; human beings who are both products and makers of history. And when they pass they leave a vision of a new and better life and the tools with which to win and build it.
These are people who have made it possible for us to be where we are today. We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Their actions commands us to discharge our responsibilities with the outmost dedication whatever the station of life we find ourselves in.
We must always remember that we are creating something that our people have never experienced before, mistakes will be done in an effort to realise that noble goal. Those who in life do not make mistakes have done nothing. What is important is to do the best you can in your station of life.
The heritage month this year is observed under the theme: “The Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Celebrating our Liberation Heritage”
Our heritage month this year coincide with the centenary birth of that African patriot who strode the globe like an African colossus. Oliver Reginald Tambo, a man who was characterized by amongst others the following:
An unwavering commitment to serve the people of our country, continent and the world with no expectation of any personal benefit.
A sustained determination to conduct himself in a manner that communicate a message that never betray the cause of freedom, peace and social progress.
The formation of liberation movements the world over had a common objective which was to free citizens from colonial and inter-colonial rule. South Africa’s liberation and democracy is part of the internal victory against oppression.
Key to this struggle too was international solidarity therefore it is important to put into context the resistance and liberation heritage route and international liberation heritage to be celebrated, which encompasses sites and persons both inside and outside the borders of South Africa. OR Tambo, South Africa’s foremost diplomat, is memorialised both domestically and globally.
Also this year we mark the fortieth anniversary of the brutal murder of a combatant for freedom and social justice Stephen Bantu Biko. A man who demonstrated in practical terms what it means to be servant of the people.
Programme for the Month.
Consistent with what I outlined above we will embark on a number of initiatives this month. Amongst them are the following:
- Book Fair on the 8th of September.
- On the 11th September breakfast conversation with learners.
- On the 14 September we will be attending a gathering of African leaders in Namibia for the African World Heritage Fund.
- On the 18 September Official opening of Cultural village of Sqakatha (Ntenga).
- On the 21st September memorial Lecture on Gert Sibande, The Lion of the East.
- From the 19th -21st September we are hosting Ministers from SADC countries to discuss Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route.
We should work doubly hard to make sure that these events I have listed above succeed.
I call upon all the members of staff to honour this legacy of these men and women of our country who laid their lives so that we can live, by being true to our assignments as public servants.
I thank you.