Debate on Heritage Day: Celebrating our cultural diversity in a democratic South Africa
Speech by ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

South Africans are all interconnected in a profound way

Sep 21, 2023

“Honourable House Chairperson,

The ACDP acknowledges that South Africa is rich in diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. By celebrating and promoting this diversity we can preserve and promote how South Africans are all interconnected in a profound way.

Our long history of racial and ethnic divisions has its roots, not only in the former apartheid system, but also by the prejudices and stereotypes of individuals and groups. These divisions created deep-seated prejudices and tensions that sadly, continue to affect society today.

We are a diverse nation, rich in our different languages, tribes, cultures, religions, and world views. We may be different but must understand that we are one – one as South Africans.

Our differences should not be eroded by political correctness. Our heritage represents life, joy, and hope; the diversity of thoughts, ideas, and personalities that make our country a beautiful one to live in. It signals openness to ideas, willingness to listen to others, and acceptance of those who are different from us. It is for this reason that we should all fight the cancel culture, which subscribes that if you do not agree with their view, they will cancel you, de-platform you and make you persona non grata.

The ACDP commits to creating an inclusive society where all individuals are valued and respected for their unique backgrounds, beliefs, and traditions. This naturally means that those who hold to a Biblical or religious world view should not be prejudiced by legislation which infringes on their freedom of religion, expression, and conscience, as enshrined within our constitution. Where this infringement happens, the voice of the ACDP will never be silent.

Celebrating our cultural diversity does not diminish our collective identity as South Africans. Instead, it strengthens the fabric of our nation. It allows us to confront and challenge discrimination and inequality, faced by marginalized cultural groups, and provides a platform to address issues of social justice.

The ACDP will not cower to political correctness, which sacrifices freedom of religion, speech and conscience, on the altar of political expediency, but will work tirelessly at uniting our nation, understanding the Biblical injunction which states: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand”, but “Where there is unity, God commands a blessing.”

The ACDP commits to building a united South Africa, one sovereign nation under God.

I thank you.”

-ENDS-

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