Happy Heritage DayPublished: September 24, 2023
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Fellow residents. I take pleasure in wishing you a happy and enjoyable Heritage Day despite the cold and rainy weather.
I am sure, like me, you are also happy to have the rain, but would happily exchange the bitter cold for sunshine. However, we need the rain in order for our water resources to be replenished, despite the bitter cold and the flooding of localized areas.
Even Mother Nature shows us that with the good comes the less desirable. Much in the same way, opportunity comes with adversity.
The opportunity we have now, is to claw back the gains we made during and shortly after 1994, when racial and cultural diversity were celebrated and appreciated with enthusiasm and acceptance. Sadly, we lost that spirit of unity and tolerance.
We already made so many concessions to be more accommodative and accede to change for the common good.
The 24th of September used to be known as Shaka Day to commemorate the legacy of Shaka Zulu, the phenomenal Zulu leader, who died on this day in 1828.
As a compromise and to be more inclusive, the post-Apartheid government changed the name of the day to Heritage Day. The political landscape was completely changed for the better.
Nelson Mandela once said: "With democracy, we have the opportunity to ensure that our institutions reflect history in a way that respects the heritage of all our citizens.”
We are all amazing in our own way, enriched by our heritage, beliefs, traditions and unique experiences. Together, we are so much stronger as families, communities and leaders.
We must therefore hold firm as a community and take ownership of our environment, whether it is nature or our community.
Hopefully the cold weather will not deter you from celebrating fully. Enjoy every moment but remain vigilant and cautious.
I thank you.
Cllr Gary van Niekerk