“South Africa has rich, unique and diverse cultural heritage which together with our natural heritage of beautiful ecosystems, wildlife and unique mountains, make South Africa a world in one country.”
Her Excellency, the South Africa’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Claudinah N. Ramosepele told the guests at a luncheon to mark the country’s Heritage day in Switzerland, adding the day is to celebrate and recognise the cultural wealth of the country.
Though South Africans observed 24 September as the National Heritage Day, the Ambassador said “the first Heritage Day was instituted during 1995 but of course, the roots of the day far precede 1995 and goes back to when people first walked our beautiful shores.”
“However,” she said “our living heritage is the foundation of all communities and essential source identity and continuity. It plays an important role in promoting our cultural diversity, social cohesion, reconciliation, peace and economic development.”
She noted that since arriving in South Africa during the 18th century the Swiss has formed a small but important part of the rich cultural fabric that is South Africa.
“I am pleased to note that this contribution continues through partnership with the Swiss Government, our business relations and through the efforts of many of you around this table who has taken the initiative through very innovative cultural projects,” she expressed.
The Ambassador told the guests that 2017 edition of the Heritage Day has been declared the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo to mark his centennial year; and to honour him for dedicating “his live to the liberation, freedom and equal opportunity for all South Africans.”
She hinted that the South African Government will celebrate former President Mandela’s centenary which falls on 18 July 2018, and that the Embassy in Bern will also to mark this important centenary in Switzerland.