Today, 3 September 2018 the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) MEC Bulelwa Tunyiswa launched Heritage Month under the theme, "The Year of Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela: Advancing Transformation of South Africa's Heritage Landscape", at the Amathole Museum in King Williams Town. 
The theme is positioned within the broader context of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Centenary Programme that pays tribute to the selfless role that was played by the internationally recognized icons of South Africa's glorious liberation struggle who would have turned 100 years if they were still alive in 2018.
Addressing members of the media MEC Tunyiswa indicated that, "the two stalwarts of South Africa's liberation struggle and pioneers of the country's freedom and democracy, laid a solid foundation for all of us, black and white, to coexist and live in peace and harmony in an environment that promotes national reconciliation, unity, social cohesion, social justice and socio-economic prosperity."
"We also need to be reminded that this is the birth month of the late Mother of the Nation, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who also would celebrate 82nd anniversary of her birth on 26 September 2018.  May their souls rest in eternal peace," said Tunyiswa.
She further added that, "our icons of the liberation struggle and centennials, Tata Oliver Reginald Tambo, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu represent an extremely rich tapestry of the Eastern Cape's cultural heritage that connects the cultural dots for one to understand the massive role that was played by many local heroes and heroines in shaping South Africa's contemporary history." 
"I am calling upon members of the media to cover much of what provincial government, state entities, municipalities, cultural institutions and our social partners will be rolling out this month as these activities are aimed at building the 'Rainbow Nation', promote patriotism, unity, peace and foster social cohesion.  These activities will also contribute to local economic development, as most of the goods and services that will be needed will be procured from them.  Our heritage has a massive potential to boost tourism and thus contribute to employment opportunities for many of people, particularly youth and women.  Let us all join hands to celebrate, protect and market our rich heritage for the benefit of current and future generations."

Lined up highlights for the Heritage Month activities:

04National Book Week
Qumrha, Great Kei LM, 10:00DSRAC and Great Kei LM
06Cleansing of Bhisho Massacre Site through traditional and religious ritualsBhisho Heritage SiteDSRAC and HOTL
0726th Anniversary of Bhisho MassacreGood News Church, KWT, 10:00DSRAC, OTP and HOTL
1241st Anniversary of Death of Bantu Steve BikoWreath-laying Ceremony at Grave Site in KWT at 09:00, and Event at Steve Biko Centre, Ginsberg at 10:00 DSRAC and SBF
13 - 14Chris Hani District Heritage Day Celebrations (remembering the role of Tata Mandela in bringing development in the Emalahleni Local Municipality through Infrastructure development: building of Thambekile Senior Secondary School at Hala 2; and a clinic, both sponsored by BMW; and providing tarred road from Cacadu to Cala).Hala 2 Village at Cacadu, Emalahleni LM at 10:00DSRAC
13 -16Religious Heritage ExpoSt Matthews, Keiskammahoek at 10:00ECPCC, Provincial Govt and social partners
14BCMM District Heritage CelebrationsTsholomnqa at 10:00BCMM and DSRAC
14-16Geneva Scholtz Provincial Women's Rugby Tournament MiddleburgDSRAC
14-16Macademia Nuts Harvest FestivalNcerha Village, EL at 10:00DSRAC and Imidushane Traditional Council
15Nkosi Tyali Annual Heritage Ceremony
Woburn, Alice at 10:00DSRAC, UFH and DAC
18Social Cohesion DialogueMthatha at 10:00DAC and DSRAC
22Chris Hani District Choral Music Championship Komani at 10:00DSRAC
23Learners Competition on Significance of HeritageNelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha at 10:00DSRAC, HOTL and Nelson Mandela Museum
23Dialogue on Nelson Mandela and Albertina SisuluNelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha at 17:00DSRAC, HOTL and Nelson Mandela Museum
24Provincial Heritage Day CelebrationNelson Mandela Stadium, Mthatha at 10:00DSRAC, HOTL, ORTDM and KSD LM
27Opening of New LibraryKareedouw, SBDM at 10:00DSRAC

The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature Deputy Speaker, Mr Mlibo Qoboshiyane who was amongst the dignitaries at the event applauded the Department for launching the Heritage Month at the museum. "This is my first time at this museum and it has reach history that needs to be showcased so that the Eastern Cape and the country should know our culture and heritage.  However there's a need for more of our cultural assets to be preserved and also exhibited in these museums", said Qoboshiyane.    
Amathole Museum Director, Mr Fred Kigozi presented and overview of the museum, its history and the developed, modern and state of the art progressive exhibition called Idabi Lenkululeko eQonce. The exhibition integrates local history including Bhisho Massacre, pieces on icons including Steve Biko, Mapetla Mohapi and Steve Tshwete, as well local sport.
Members of the media and guests had an opportunity to view the Idabi Lenkululeko eQonce exhibition through a guided tour by the museum's historian and researcher, Ms Stephanie Victor. 
September has been declared as the Heritage Month to showcase the country's rich cultural heritage. The activities of the Month culminate to the celebration of Heritage Day which is on the 24th of September every year. Whereby South Africans are provided an opportunity to profile and showcase the cultural diversity whilst at the same time affirming the country's nationhood.   Government has strategically positioned Heritage Month as a vehicle to promote cultural diversity, multiculturalism, nation building, unity and social cohesion.  
Members of the media are invited to attend the media briefing as follows:
For media queries, contact:
Mr Andile Nduna
Cell: 071 411 4820

Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Eastern Cape
No. 5 Eales Street,
King William's Town,
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