As the country celebrates another Heritage Month – and Heritage Day on Sunday – the United Democratic Movement (UDM) calls for ways to resolve the intolerance and conflict between South Africans, which seems to have become the norm.

We face huge challenges of cultural intolerance and racism; and it is taking a toll on South Africans’ psyche. To compound an already challenging set of circumstances, it still shocks that Bell Pottinger was so recklessly used (and let itself be used) to drive racial wedges deeper into our Rainbow Nation.

We must not forget that South Africans from all walks of life fought hard for our collective freedom. If we harness the same energy we used to eradicate apartheid, we can unify and let our racial diversity be an asset. We cannot afford to lose this battle, because we cannot allow the blood of our heroes and heroines to be have been spilt in vain.

As we are in the celebratory mood, we need to ensure that we bring the spirit of unity amongst South Africa and Africans in general. Let us use our various backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to find solutions to the problem.

It is all our responsibility to build a common set of values that bind our diverse peoples together.

UDM wishes every South African a wonderful Heritage Day.

Statement issued by Mr Bongani Msomi, UDM Secretary General