MOOSA OFFICIALLY OPENS THE HECTOR PETERSON MUSEUM
The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, today celebrated Youth Day with the community of Orlando West in Soweto where he officially opened a museum built in memory of a victim of the 1976 Soweto uprising, Hector Zolile Peterson.
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism contributed R16 million towards the building of the museum, and Minister Moosa celebrated its opening with Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa, Executive Mayor of the City of Jo'burg Amos Masondo and other government officials. The ceremony was hosted by the City of Jo'burg.
Delivering his keynote address at the event, Minister Moosa said South Africa would forever remember the bravery of the 14-year-old Peterson, Mbuyiswa Makhubu, who carried the slain body of Peterson among the sound of machine-guns, and all the young people who fought against the country's apartheid system.
"The opening of the Hector Peterson Museum to the public is our acknowledgement of those young lions who stood, roared and fought for a better South Africa", he said.
The Minister said the department funded the project to promote the conservation of the culture and history of Soweto, and to contribute to the development of small enterprises and the tourism infrastructure in the area. He said the museum should be seen as a national facility because it represented the nation's history and heritage.
"I hope and believe that the opening of this museum will continue to enhance the spirit of tourism growth and that, as the community of Soweto, we shall welcome and give the best service to tourists visiting our museum."
More and more international tourists are choosing South Africa as a destination since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, voting South Africa a safe holiday destination. The museum stood to benefit from this growth in visitors to our country, said Minister Moosa, and would in turn contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Soweto also stands to benefit from the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be hosted by the City of Jo'burg in August and September -- tourist tours arranged for delegates will include visits to the museum.
The Minister urged members of the community to be involved in promoting their country during the Summit.
"Welcoming our visitors with the spirit of Ubuntu will go a very long way in boosting South Africa's image to the rest of the world, and in ensuring that tourists come back to our country for more and market South Africa in their countries."
"We all have a responsibility to make this beautiful country one of the most exciting tourist destinations of the world."
He also encouraged the South African youth to celebrate Youth Day with a renewed passion and commitment to uplift themselves and their fellow South Africans, for the development of the nation.
Issued by the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, 16 June 2002