Minority religious groups concerned over 'Western' calendar
"We as Africans must get our own calendar"
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South Africa's "westernised" calendar does not please everyone, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities heard this week.
"We cannot as Africans live (according to) a Westernised calendar. We must get our own, such as the Chinese, who have their own," a member of the public told a CRL hearing in Bloemfontein.
The meeting was held to hear inputs on the revision of public holidays.
The CRL commission will sit in Bethlehem today.
Representatives of diverse religions and cultural communities attended the workshop at the Bram Fischer building in Bloemfontein.
Delegates said the Christmas and New Year public holidays only benefited Christians, and had been written into law through the Public Holidays Act (Act No. 36 of 1994).
Members of the Basotho, Khoi-Khoi and Khoi-San said they would also like to have national days.
CRL CEO Pheagane Moreroa said the idea was "not to have 365 public holidays", but to protect minority rights.
"We cannot allow that everything becomes a public holiday, because we would never work, but this is about minority rights and their rights must be protected," he said.
"Remember, we are trying to build a nation, we are trying to create social coherence and we are trying to create peace."
Moreroa sought to assure the gathering that CRL was looking for results so the rights of minority religious groups could be recognised.