By Charndré Emma Kippie
It’s a busy September as Heritage, Tourism and Public Service take centre stage!
Each September South Africa celebrates Tourism Month which is geared towards raising awareness on the critical role of the tourism sector’s contribution to the South African economy. Tourism Month incorporates a variety of themed programmes and campaigns that are aligned with the values of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day initiatives which kick off, annually, on 27 September. This year, the theme for all tourism celebrations is: “Tourism for inclusive growth”. In addition, the international official celebration will be held in Cote d’Ivoire, in Africa. With the impact that Covid-19 has had on SA’s tourism, this year it is vital that organisations use this period to uplift their business and focus on recovery and growth.
International Literacy Day: 8 September
For more than 40 years, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has celebrated International Literacy Day. As an important human right, and the base for all learning and development, literacy is a key component of everyday human life. Unfortunately, literacy for all – children, youth and adults – is a goal that has still not been achieved. Thus, governments and organisations are working tirelessly across the globe to improve the statistics, with only about four billion people in the world being literate at present. This year’s theme will be “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”, as the pandemic has had a disastrous effect on teaching and learning as a whole.
Public Service Month
Public Service Month is commemorated in South Africa as an integrated strategic national event in the calendar of the Department of Public Service and Administration. In September, Public Service Month is geared towards reminding citizens of the significance of serving communities. It is also a time to assess the influence that Government has, especially around issues of service delivery. This year, all South African public servants are encouraged to audit their service delivery strategies, visit hospitals, schools, police stations and courts, talk to citizens, mediate the delivery of services and getting things done, and eliminate the red-tape in the delivery of services. This month we also prioritise making sure that all systems and infrastructure are working and use public resources correctly to the benefit of all citizens.
Eye Care Awareness Month: 21 September – 18 October
Health awareness in general is always important, but each September and October South Africans are reminded to take special care of their sight. Eye Care Awareness Month is acknowledged to bring attention to the necessity of eye health, and to all preventative measures and treatment of avoidable blindness. According to our statistics, around 75% of all cases of blindness are actually avoidable, through prevention or treatment. This is why it is so incredibly important to make an appointment with your local optometrist and get your eyes tested at least once per year. Other than regular eye assessments, you can maintain good eye health by getting your family medical history, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Heritage Month – Heritage Day: 24 September
Heritage Month falls in September each year, with Heritage Day taking place on 24 September. This period is acknowledged annually to celebrate South Africa’s diverse culture and heritage. The SA Government encourages all South Africans to use Heritage Month to positively contribute to social cohesion, our shared national identity, and nation building. The celebration of Heritage Month has created a conducive environment for all people to embrace and celebrate what was passed on to us by our forefathers. More importantly, ‘living heritage’ is the basis of all communities – a critical source of continuity and identity. Living heritage plays an important role in promoting cultural diversity, social cohesion, reconciliation, peace and economic development.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – a time to honour all the children and families who have been and are affected by childhood cancers. During this time, the importance of supporting research on these devastating conditions is emphasised. Even though childhood cancer is relatively rare, the incidence rate has been on an upward trajectory – statistics show that currently less than half of children with cancer in the country are diagnosed, and many of those who are diagnosed are in an advanced stage of illness. The key, here, is early detection. Thus, the Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa (CHOC) initiated an Awareness Programme which ensures that the early warning signs of childhood cancer are noted at all levels of our health system.
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