Heritage Day 'should celebrate diversity'
13 September 2012
Members of Parliament have called on South Africans to use Heritage Day on 24 September to celebrate diversity and to reach outside their comfort zone to discover and embrace other cultures.
Members of Parliament (MPs) made the call on Wednesday during a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi challenged South Africans to invite someone from a different social and cultural background to enjoy a braai with them, be they orphans, the elderly or a work colleague from a different social background.
'Patriotism a goal to work towards'
He said MPs should ask themselves whether Heritage Day had seen any increase in social cohesion, or whether it had become little more than a holiday or the country's 'national braai day'.
The African National Congress' Masefele Morutoa said South Africans should listen to each other's different views and that patriotism should not be seen as a natural tendency, but a goal that needed to be worked towards.
Democratic Alliance MP Niekie van den Berg appealed to every South African to do everything possible to create a better country, as the country was one full of possibilities.
The problem, he said, was that South Africans didn't listen enough to one another and needed to work to find a middle ground.
In finding the middle road, the Independent Democrats' Sarah Paulse called on all MPs and South Africans to commit themselves to the ideals set in the National Development Plan, which was released last month.