South African Cultural Observatory

Executive Direction

BY 30.09.19

Protecting and preserving our heritage infrastructure a gesture to future generations

As we celebrate heritage month, as we visit various heritage sites, as we remember the journey walked and traversed by our forebears, it is wise to take to heart the words of the Spanish philosopher and essayist George Santayana when he said that “those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes, and those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it”. It is often said that a community with no sense of history has no sense of future. It is thus important that we do our best as South Africans to preserve and protect our rich heritage to ensure that generations that come after us are conscious of our history and can use it to build a united and prosperous society.

We must thus commend and encourage the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture for their programme of developing the infrastructure of heritage sites across the country to ensure that the Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route (RLHR) tells the South African story. Not only is this work important for preserving our history, but it increases the potential of attracting economic development and tourism. The liberation heritage route honours those who dedicated their lives to the struggle for liberation in South Africa. The route is expected to comprise a number of sites that express the key aspects of the South African resistance and liberation experience.

World over, there is a positive relationship between successful cultural tourism and well-protected and preserved heritage. In fact the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane echoed this point when she recently spoke at the event to mark to World Tourism Day held at the Mandela Capture Site. She said “the Mandela generation has bequeathed on us a great gift which we need to nurture not only for South Africans and future generations but for humanity as a whole”.

A monument was erected at the Mandela Capture Site in honour of the late former President Nelson Mandela for his efforts to free South Africans from one of the most vicious systems humanity has ever witnessed. It is a story about how Mandela was captured as he was travelling in disguise as a chauffeur when the apartheid police who had been looking for him for 17 months finally arrested and captured him on the stretch of road near the site. This marked one of the most significant moments and turning point in the resistance against apartheid.

This and many stories of brave men and women who fought against the evil system of apartheid give us a glimpse of where we come from as a people and a country. They are important for our heritage, and monuments such as The Mandela Capture Site help us preserve a collective memory as a nation and teach us what we and future generations should avoid. Heritage is thus not about some distant history with no impact on the present, it is about us, it lives with us and has a direct economic bearing on current and future generations.

Executive Direction June 2020 Executive Direction June 2020

As we all know and have somewhat even become accustomed to it, due to social distancing measures put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 26, we have all not able to travel to any venue to consume any form of arts and culture products. Libraries, archives, museums, films and television productions, theatre and orchestra performances, fashion shows, concert tours, zoos as well as music and arts festivals have all been closed or come to a complete halt. Could this signal a death knell for the sector? The answer has to be a Big No, at least not if we can help it as consumers and key stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries.

READ MORE
Executive Direction April 2020 Executive Direction April 2020

With the disastrous havoc wreaked by the Coronavirus, the world as we knew it yesterday is no more. As humans that occupy the planet earth, we have never found ourselves in this position, at least not in modern times.

READ MORE

Executive Direction - December 2019 Executive Direction - December 2019

2019. What a year it was. It has been an exciting year for the Arts, Heritage, Cultural and Creative sector.

READ MORE
Executive Direction - August 2019 Executive Direction - August 2019

This year the International Women’s Day theme was #BalanceforBetter. It essentially talks to a balanced world being a better world.

READ MORE

More News
Calling on cultural heritage professionals and curators Calling on cultural heritage professionals and curators

The South African Cultural Observatory is conducting a short online survey on the repatriation of African (especially South African) cultural artefacts currently held in foreign museums.

Mitigation plans to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Sport, Arts and Culture sector Mitigation plans to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Sport, Arts and Culture sector

Statement by Minister Nathi Mthethwa on mitigation plans to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Sport, Arts and Culture sector.

Executive Direction June 2020 Executive Direction June 2020

As we all know and have somewhat even become accustomed to it, due to social distancing measures put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 26, we have all not able to travel to any venue to consume any form of arts and culture products. Libraries, archives, museums, films and television productions, theatre and orchestra performances, fashion shows, concert tours, zoos as well as music and arts festivals have all been closed or come to a complete halt. Could this signal a death knell for the sector? The answer has to be a Big No, at least not if we can help it as consumers and key stakeholders of the cultural and creative industries.

COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector COVID-19 Impacts on the Sports Sector

World over, sport is recognised by many societies and governments as a major contributor to economic and social development. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected sports of all types across the world and is likely to have a major negative impact.

Mapping the Economic Value of the Creative Industry Mapping the Economic Value of the Creative Industry

In many countries, the growing importance of the cultural and creative industries is increasingly being recognised. The SA Cultural Observatory recently released its second Economic Mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries in South Africa 2020 (Economic Mapping Study).

Connect with us