Hopefully, you’re all enjoying Heritage Day on Thursday. Whether it’s a time for sombre reflection or a responsible, law-abiding jol, the day is ours for celebrating what makes us both unique, and a vital part of South Africa’s rich cultural tapestry. The five major political parties have delivered their messages to the public – with varying attitudes:

Political party messages for Heritage Day

ANC: ‘The fight to establish our culture is ongoing’

“We are a nation of eleven official languages that also celebrates other languages commonly used by various communities in South Africa, including German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Portuguese, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. And we are the nation taking the world by storm with the Jerusalema dance challenge!”

“But we must stand firm against attempts to disrespect our culture: An offensive hair advertisement that was recently published shows that we still have a long way to go. The apartheid government denigrated our cultures and tried to make us ashamed of our cultures, our traditions, our languages, and our very appearances.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

DA: Party pushes policy of ‘non-racialism’ on Heritage Day

“We don’t share a single heritage, nor even a common idea of what heritage means. Today South Africans will be celebrating in a thousand different ways. Some of it will be serious and reflective, and some of it will be light-hearted and fun. And that’s fine. This diversity of approach to Heritage Day reflects the diversity of our country.”

“Supporting the idea that we are so much more than products of our skin colour should not be a controversial position, and I know that sanity will eventually prevail and many of those who now try to paint non-racialism as some kind of radical idea will eventually come full circle.”

John Steenhuisen

EFF: ‘There is no heritage to celebrate on Heritage Day’

“As things stand in South Africa, there is no heritage to celebrate while many of us are landless and on the outskirts of our own economy. The heritage of South Africa is one of dispossession and continued humiliation at the hands of the white-minority. We call on people to consider whether they truly have ‘heritage’ in a country like this.”

EFF statement

FF Plus: Afrikaners must ‘proudly express themselves’

“The FF Plus encourages all South Africans to be proud of who and what they are – be proud to be coloured, be proud to be black and be proud to be white. Every nation must be afforded the opportunity to cherish, conserve and build out its own heritage. Our Constitution very clearly states that the country belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”

“At present, this right of Afrikaners is being infringed upon and the ANC is busy driving a subtle process to destroy and demonise everything that has to do with the Afrikaner and their heritage. Every Afrikaner must proudly express their culture and have an appreciation for the sacrifices that our forefathers made for our future.”

Pieter Groenewald

IFP: ‘Diversity, customs’ define the strength of South Africa

“We are committed to developing a culture of reconciliation, human respect, and personal growth. We want to promote and support worthy customs, protecting the plural nature of our society. Our strength as a nation lies in our diversity.”

IFP statement

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Presh JM Reporter

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