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Reconciliation Month 2018
Reconciliation Month was launched by the Department of Arts and Culture on 1 December 2018 under the theme: “The year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu: Liberators for reconciliation”.
The month is aligned to the centenary celebrations of struggle stalwarts Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. These two liberation heroes were at the heart of driving our national reconciliation project.
Madiba had overseen our peaceful transition from apartheid to a society built on the pillars of democracy and freedom. He consistently remained an advocate of national unity and reconciliation.
On 10 May 1994 Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first democratically elected President and oversaw the Government of National Unity. In 1996, he signed into law a new Constitution for the nation, establishing a strong government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.
In marking Reconciliation Month we can honour our struggle icons by reaching out to each other to foster a more cohesive society. We can also advance our national reconciliation project by exhibiting the values of these two icons.
National Reconciliation Day on the 16 December came into effect in 1994 and was intended to help build a united and prosperous South Africa. The Government of National Unity identified a day which would be dedicated to this ideal.
Despite positive strides since 1994, the recent incidents of racism show that South African society remains divided. The privilege attached to race, class, space and gender has not yet been fully reversed.
Reconciliation Month is therefore of even greater importance today as we strive to build cohesive society. Social cohesion is one of the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan and Government’s Medium-term Strategic Framework 2014 - 2019.