On 24 September South Africa will be celebrating Heritage Day – a joyous day of pleasant memories.

Listening to people it is clear that “heritage” conjures up different meanings with different persons. Some focus on history, others on culture and religion and others still on food or clothes. Members of NAPTOSA will also each have their own heritage aspects they will be celebrating, and rightly so.

But what about NAPTOSA as an organization? The National Heritage Council of South Africa sees heritage as “…what is preserved from the past as the living collective memory of a people not only to inform the present about the past but also to equip successive generations to fashion their future. It is what creates a sense of identity and assures rootedness and continuity”

Measured against this definition, NAPTOSA has a lot to be proud of. Not only has the union preserved its cornerstone of diversity (which few, if any, similar organisations can emulate), but also its professionalism, total commitment to quality education and the importance of every member.

Just looking at our NAPTOSA emblem, we see the shepherds’ crooks signifying our members as shepherds that lead, guide, advise, counsel and educate those placed in their care. Also the shield, signifying the protection of our members’ rights.

Our sense of identity is locked in by the principles of non-discrimination; independence and autonomy, respect for fundamental human rights and inclusivity that have guided NAPTOSA since its inception as an amalgamated union, but even before that, as the guiding principles of the federation and the constituent unions.

Let us pass this NAPTOSA heritage on to the next NAPTOSA generations on which they can build the future of our organization.

The leadership of NAPTOSA wishes members a wonderful Heritage Day.

B.L. Manuel
Executive Director