Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

The heritage of everyone in South Africa should be respected and preserved

(Debate in Parliament on the transformation of South Africa’s heritage landscape)

A country is not simply a geographical area. It is an area that has been moulded over the years by all the people who live there to something that has a special meaning and heritage for all its communities – likewise, South Africa's history did not start and end with Apartheid. The intricate process started hundreds, even thousands, of years ago and no-one's participation in it may be overlooked.

The topic of so-called colonial and Apartheid statues as well as the need to get rid of them seems to be on the agenda of the ruling party and EFF yet again. There is no doubt that the Afrikaner's heritage will also be affected by this in some or other way.

The tendency to want to destroy and tear down statues is a cause for concern, it is also short sighted and arrogant. History is important, whether it is good or bad. The past must be remembered so we can learn from it and build a better future. The history of certain communities and peoples of South Africa cannot be eradicated or moved to some obscure place just because it does not fit in with the political ideology of some parties.

Instead, new statues should be added to the existing ones. The heritage landscape must be transformed by expanding it, adding to it. The statue of General Louis Botha in front of Parliament, which seems to be the ANC and EFF's latest target, must remain where it is. It, along with the bust of Nelson Mandela, also in front of Parliament, creates a complete picture of South Africa's entire history.

Unfortunately, the disregard for other's heritage does not only apply to statues, but also their language and cultural heritage in general. The derogation of other's languages and heritage does not belong in a country where the language and cultural heritage of communities are recognised and protected by its Constitution.

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