South Africa will use the Dubai Expo platform to create economic opportunities as well as promote the country as a tourism and investment destination.
Addressing the digital integrated Heritage Week Dubai Expo Exhibition, Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Director-General Vusumuzi Mkhize said heritage tourism has multiple benefits that will accrue to South Africa.
“Among them are issues of economic spin, addressing unemployment and inequalities. We live in an extremely dynamic time. The global economy is changing very fast, our environment is being altered daily as a result of climate change and we are all still grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 devastation.
“Therefore agility and our capability to reposition our heritage so that it is not lost in the midst of the pandemic is crucial and this platform presents this opportunity as we sell South Africa as a country of opportunities,” Mkhize said on Monday.
The department launched the digital integrated Heritage Week Dubai Expo Exhibition at Freedom Park Museum, a heritage site in Tshwane. The digital exhibitions will be showcased from Monday until Saturday.
The week-long heritage integrated programme is a virtual journey for the South African community and a physical journey for Dubai expo visitors, providing an interactive exploration of South African history and heritage through some of the country's key national heritage sites, and demonstrating how each of these sites has contributed to the shared humanity and the shared past.
“It is important that we do not underestimate the potential of heritage to offer inspiration and encouragement in our communities. South Africa’s heritage, since the advancement of democracy bears testimony to our resilience and the resilience of human spirit over adversity. As among other world heritage sites, which we have in South Africa, tells of this story and that is Robben Island.
“The advancement of democracy and its dispensation in particular for South Africa opened endless opportunities which benefits various formal and informal sectors in the country,” he said.
Mkhize said the heritage sector benefitted from the transformation agenda of the new South Africa through government policies.
“The 1996 White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage has recently been revised in order to take the arts, culture and heritage into the future,” he said.
The Dubai Expo South African Pavilion opened on 01 October 2021. This month it will focus on culture and identity.
The department said cultural heritage resources are significant because they contribute to the present economy and have the potential to benefit future generations.
“Furthermore, incorporating technologies into heritage programs raises the worth of heritage in terms of economic growth. Cultural heritage has an economic development value in South Africa since it comprises structures such as art and craft goods, traditional cuisine and dwellings, monuments, traditional festivals, military museums, history museums, cultural and historical places and events, among others,” the department said.
Source: South African Government News Agency