Use indigenous skills to make money - Ramaphosa

2015-09-24 20:22
With his vast trade union experience, Cyril Ramaphosa may be able to persuade Cosatu to handle its former general secretary’s case more diplomatically. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

With his vast trade union experience, Cyril Ramaphosa may be able to persuade Cosatu to handle its former general secretary’s case more diplomatically. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

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'Heritage Day is more than just a braai'

2015-09-24 17:14

Melody Kleinsmith from Iziko Museums of South Africa joins us in studio and talks us through some parts of SA's history we should be remembering on Heritage Day. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - South Africans should use their indigenous skills to generate income, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

The country had many skilled crafters, potters, weavers and sculptors and there was a big market for their products if they were given basic marketing and financial management skills, he said at a Heritage Day celebration in Mokomene, Limpopo. 

There were villagers skilled in building thatched roofs, a skill used in the construction of lapas, upmarket houses, and guest lodges. Yet those with such skills were not registered as artisans or master builders by home builders' associations and engineering bodies. 

The industry should register indigenous building methods as an officially recognised trade, Ramaphosa said.

Many Africans grew up eating indigenous foods such as amasi and marula. Producing and selling these products could help alleviate poverty and hunger.  

Ramaphosa said initiation schools could be used to teach young people about acceptable sexual behaviour and the prevention of HIV transmission.

"They have a role to play in discouraging young people from following a life of crime, violence and alcohol and drug abuse. These must be cultural schools that reaffirm positive social values," he said. 

Senior citizens were living human treasures and the country had to ensure their knowledge was collected and preserved for future generations. They should educate young people in community centres and schools, he said.

As technology developed, African knowledge should not be sidelined. "Indigenous knowledge is not a relic of the past. It is a vital part of our present and our future," said Ramaphosa. 

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