South Africans must celebrate their heritage and diverse cultures

Pretoria – Cabinet has called on all South Africans to celebrate their history and diverse cultures as the country marks Heritage Month in September.

“This year’s commemoration will take the format of a cultural fair and communities are encouraged to use their living heritage such as food, craft, dance and music to promote cultural diversity, human rights, nation-building and economic development,” Cabinet said in a statement on Friday.

This year the month will be celebrated under the theme “Our indigenous knowledge, our heritage: Towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South African’s living heritage.”

Tourism Month

South Africa will also celebrate Tourism Month in September, which is an opportune time for families to visit the country’s heritage sites to reconnect with their past.

During Heritage Month, the Department of Arts and Culture will undertake a sod turning on the National Heroes Acre in Pretoria to signal the start of construction of a national monument that will depict the pre-colonial era, liberation struggle and the different heroes who fought for social progress.

China’s Victory Day

President Zuma will attend the 70th Anniversary of the End of the Occupation of China and World War II in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from 2 to 4 September 2015, and will have a bilateral engagement with President Xi Jinping.

The day, known as Victory Day in China, will be celebrated on the 3rd of September. It will see a series of commemorative events, including a rally, a military parade, a reception and an evening gala will be held in the capital, Beijing.

South Africa’s relations with the PRC is at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership underpinned by the Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which covers all relations between the two countries.

SAPS National Commemoration Day

On 6 September, South Africa will celebrate the courage and dedication of officers who paid the ultimate price to protect communities.

The annual South African Police Service (SAPS) National Commemoration Day will be celebrated at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“Through the SAPS recruitment campaign, an additional 6 252 members will be enlisted during the 2015/16 financial year to enhance detective services, visible policing, crime intelligence, forensic services, including protection and security services,” Cabinet said in a statement.

Cabinet has called for youth to consider a career in the SAPS, which offers numerous opportunities. More information can be obtained on www.saps.gov.za.

Public Service Month

The annual Public Service Month will take place across the Public Service in September under the theme “Moving South Africa forward: Taking the Public Service to the people”.

The month will highlight government services, dedication, commitment and excellence in public service delivery.

Feedback will be provided on progress made following the 2014 public service-wide consultative meetings and engagements with frontline public servants on “reinventing the way public servants work”.

According to Cabinet, an efficient public service is a key requirement to deliver on the NDP and Cabinet calls on public servants to recommit to the Batho Pele principles by delivering high quality, cost-effective and efficient services to all South Africans.

XIV World Forestry Congress of the Food and Agriculture Organisation

During its meeting on Wednesday, Cabinet was also briefed on progress made for hosting the XIV World Forestry Congress of the Food and Agriculture Organisation to be held from 7 to 11 September 2015 in the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre, KwaZulu-Natal.

The theme “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future” reflects people-centred forestry, forestry’s role in socio-economic development, needs and opportunities for investments, and the role of forests in economic development.

“This relates directly to government’s priorities on poverty eradication, rural development and job creation. The congress will also focus on water scarcity and climate change,” Cabinet said in a statement.

This is the first World Forestry Congress to be held in Africa and provides an opportunity to profile the continent on the global forestry stage. An outreach programme will inform the public, including vulnerable groups, about possible participation.

Arbor Week

The congress will follow National Arbor Week (1 to 7 September) under the theme “Here’s to a new Forest” and appeals to South Africans to plant just one tree today and help invest in a sustainable future. – SAnews.gov.za

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