Pretoria: South Africans are encouraged to use Reconciliation Month to reach out to one another as the country continues to work together to build a united and prosperous nation.

The country commemorates the month in December and it will be held under the theme: “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state”.

“Reconciliation Month says that we ought to be walking this common road hand in hand conscious of our past and confident of our future, no longer at the mercy of systems that divided us into black and white and men and women and saw no measure of equality between us,” Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said.

The Minister said this period reminds South Africans of the first democratic elections which were held in 1994.

“We set South Africa on the pathway towards a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous reality characterised by nation-building and social cohesion and a better life for all,” he said.

This year’s Reconciliation Month focuses on recognising and highlighting the trials and tribulations of the Khoi and San people as well as the role they played in the liberation struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

“The truths of a nation are its realities. For us, even the truths of the realities of the past must be told, as these shape the present and the future.”

Minister Mthethwa said it was important for the citizens of the country to know its history.

“We can only overcome and transform that which we know and not that which we do not know or that which is hidden from view. This is why it is important that the full truths of our history are told,” Minister Mthethwa said.

The National Day of Reconciliation will be held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Mission Campus in Port Elizabeth on 16 December.

Ahead of the celebrations, Minister Mthethwa will host a panel discussion on reconciliation at the same venue. The panel discussion will reflect on the history of South Africa and the strides the country has made towards reconciliation.

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi will deliver a keynote address at the Zola Nqini Annual Memorial Lecture at the Uitenhage Town Hall on 9 December.

“Reconciliation Month is also about acknowledging the contribution of those who have played a sterling role in our struggle for liberation and also those who were marginalised,” said Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi.

Prior to the lecture, Nqini’s statue will be unveiled at Uitenhage Town Hall.

SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICAL NEWS

News Reporter