‘Heritage’ refers to both socio-cultural practices and physical objects such as buildings and items, that are handed down from one generation to the next. Examples of heritage practices can include language, songs, dress codes, recipes, stories and others.

We all have a heritage and it can form a strong part of our identity as individuals. A person’s heritage allows them to explore their creativity, and promotes the opportunity for each of us to learn about other cultures, and enjoy and experience rich cultural diversity.1 

Although being born in South Africa gives someone a national South African heritage, each person will also have a more personal and private heritage.2

With so many diverse people living in South Africa, their cumulative identities are what makes our combined South African cultural heritage so unique and special. It is why it is so important to celebrate, recognise and explore this diversity of cultures surrounding us.



  1. Features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages or buildings, that were created in the past and still have historical importance.3
  2. Property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance, valued things such as historic buildings that have been passed down from previous generations, and relating to things of historic or cultural value that are worthy of preservation.4

Cultural heritage: This not only includes monuments and collections of objects, but also comprises living expressions inherited from our ancestors, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social manners, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices related to nature and the universe; and knowledge and techniques linked to traditional crafts.5

A country’s natural heritage: This includes the landscape and natural environment of a country, as well as the natural resources that make up a part of the country. It includes areas within and unique to the country that are considered to have animals and plants that are in danger of going extinct, and are therefore protected and respected internationally as World Heritage Sites, for example, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. 

Identity: The fact of being, or feeling that you are, a particular type of person, organisation, etc.; the qualities that make a person, organisation and so on different from others.6

Celebrating Heritage Day (1.09)

Answer the following questions

  1. At its core, an identity is what defines you. Consider how you would answer the question, ‘Who are you?’.
  2. What is your personal heritage and do you feel it forms a part of your identity? 
  3. In what ways can you represent your heritage, in terms of dress, food, music, etc.? 
  4. What aspects of your heritage will you be sure to pass on to the next generation?

If you are using the Achieve Careers LO Programme, the following information and activities are recommended:

  • GR 8 CAPS eBook – Section 3 (pp. 40–41)
  • GR 11 LO Manual – Section 5 (p. 87) 
  • GR 10 LO Manual – Section 3 (pp. 46–49)
  • Teacher’s Flash Drive –  LO Resources – Democracy and Human Rights folder

Important Dates:
1st – 7th  September – Arbor Week
5th – 11th September- National Book Week
8th September – International Literacy Day
10th September – World Suicide Prevention Day
24th September- Heritage Day
26th September – World Environmental Health Day


  1. UNESCO. Heritage, [Online], Available: bit.ly/HeritageUNESCO [23 Aug 2022].
  2. South African History Online. What is Heritage?, [Online], Available: bit.ly/HeritageWhatAC [23 Aug 2022].
  3. Cambridge Dictionary. Heritage, [Online], Available: bit.ly/MeaningHeritage [23 Aug 2022].
  4. The Open University. What is Heritage?, [Online], Available: bit.ly/HeritageWhat [23 Aug 2022].
  5. UNESCO. Cultural Heritage, [Online], Available: bit.ly/HeritageCulturalAC [23 Aug 2022].
  6. Cambridge Dictionary. Meaning of Identity in English, [Online], Available: bit.ly/DefinitionIdentity [30 Aug 2022].
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