Past wrongs need to be corrected

We need to engage in an unjaundiced and reparative conversation as a nation in order to correct what happened in the past during apartheid and colonial rule, the writer says.
We need to engage in an unjaundiced and reparative conversation as a nation in order to correct what happened in the past during apartheid and colonial rule, the writer says.
Image: Gallo Images

What is heritage without culture and what is culture without history? These are questions we need to ask ourselves as we aspire to create a multiracial society under the premise of the rainbow nation.

As we seek to become a nonracial society, we also need to think back on where we come from as a nation. During Braai Day, as Heritage Day is also known in SA, we need to engage in an unjaundiced and reparative conversation as a nation in order to correct what happened in the past during apartheid and colonial rule.

The remnants of the Natives Land Act of 1913, the Group Areas Act of 1950 and the Native Resettlement Act of 1954 played an undesirable role in dispossessing black people of their ancestral land.

The effects of these legislations wreaked havoc and damage that is palpable and ubiquitous till today. Blacks are still landless.

This legacy has produced an unequal and polarised society, sowed division among the citizens and has fertilised poverty. As we march on our trajectory of nation building, we must come together as a nation and find each other halfway so that we can have a lasting solution to our problems.

Efforts to expropriate land without compensation are welcome. I also welcome minister Thoko Didiza's words on Heritage Day during the renaming of the Kaizergracht Street back to its original name of Hanover Street in District Six, Cape Town.

For me this was the act of restoring dignity to the disenfranchised and the marginalised. She said the restoration of the name is also about preserving our heritage and identity as black people.

Themba Mzula Hleko, Rosslyn Gardens, Pretoria

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