A pat on the back for SA

HERITAGE DAY. Boy asks:
HERITAGE DAY. Boy asks: "WHAT IS MY HERITAGE FATHER? Graphic pic: Yalo. 25/09/2009. © Sowetan.

SOUTH Africans have every reason to be the most optimistic crowd in the world.

SOUTH Africans have every reason to be the most optimistic crowd in the world.

We might be viewed in some quarters as violent. Also, our rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.

Add to that our ailing health system, housing problems and others and you would be excused for believing we are about to press the self-destruct button.

Yet our optimism is not based on sophistry: we are no longer the pariah of the world.

Until 15 years ago, after centuries of the subjugation of Africans by colonialism and apartheid, we were the only country that legalised racism and decreed that Africans were inferior to Caucasians.

The world was waiting for the worst uprising by anindigenous people.

We can therefore not underestimate the importance of yesterday - Heritage Day.

It is an apt reminder of the treacherous route South Africa has traversed since Jan van Riebeeck landed on our shores. The legacy of so-called separate development will live with us for many more moons.

Thanks to small mercies, we can now celebrate out diversity. We should pat ourselves on the back for having transformed peacefully into a South African nation.

As Nelson Mandela stated: "Never, never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another."

X