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( Article Type: Explanation )

Heritage is that which we inherit: wildlife and scenic parks, sites of scientific or historic importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections, together with their documentation.

Heritage is closely linked to culture in the sense that different cultures have differing priorities on what particular type of heritage they want to see protected and preserved. The fusing of different cultures in the new South Africa is likely to produce an interesting mix of heritage items for preservation.

The preamble of the South African National Heritage Resources Act states that our mutual heritage ‘…helps us define our cultural identity and therefore lies at the heart of our spiritual wellbeing and has the power to build our nation. It has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures, and – in so doing – shape our national character. Our heritage celebrates our achievements, and contributes to redressing past inequities…’