Editor's Note

Celebrating South Africa’s unique heritage

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Welcome to another edition of South Africa’s favourite business monthly as we celebrate Heritage Month in South Africa (SA).

The heritage of SA is a kaleidoscope of different inputs, from our KhoiSan forefathers, the first to roam these lands and who imprinted a deep history of rock art, culture, hunting/gathering and a general sustainability ethos. It is somewhat ironic that SA’s first inhabitants were far more conscious of the environment than our current generations, who often take it for granted while perceiving themselves to be more ‘advanced’.Largely nomadic in nature, the KhoiSan believed in only taking enough from the land for their needs.

In approximately AD200, the first farming communities familiar with the use of iron, regarded as the forebearers of Bantu-speaking people, establish themselves south of the Limpopo River. They kept livestock and maintained crops, unlike the KhoiSan, and bought with them a rich history of their own, something that is often lost in Southern Africa’s history, which is under-subscribed with pre-colonial content.

Outspoken Professor Jonathan Jansen recently said that it’s difficult to get away from the colonial roots of our education system, which favours more Eurocentric learning and languages. But according the professor, most young people and parents want learners to be educated in English so that they communicate easier in the workplace and can find a better job. The education system really is a melting pot at the moment.

There is little doubt that the effects of colonialism are still felt today, and are reflected in our heritage post 1652. We must learn from the mistakes of that era and ensure that SA is a better place to call home. South Africans have a tremendous ability to forgive the wrongdoings of the past and work towards a better future.

Many countries might have had a civil war by now, given the history of the country, but South Africans seem to want to get on with life. There are enough challenges raising a family, dealing with crime, and transport delays while keeping a job in 2018, to have to continually grapple with the past.

So, as we celebrate Heritage Month, let’s try and embrace our heritage —warts and all—to forge a better future and heritage for generations to come.

 

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