SAH&T Fest is about South Africans celebrating all their hues, colours, stories, and beauty. Our existence is deeply rooted in the belief that: We all have a responsibility to acknowledge, celebrate, conserve and protect our cultures and heritage for current and future generations.
In this special year of Nelson Mandela’s centenary, nothing can be more fitting than hosting the Festival on two heritage sites: Freedom Park and Voortrekker Monument. These hold the incredible history of our country; where we come from, and where we are today.
After the Jameson Raid in 1896, Pres Paul Kruger of the “Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek” decided to protect Pretoria by constructing forts in strategic places. Eight forts were to be built initially, but due to a shortage of funds, only four were completed.
Fort Schanskop was completed in 1897 and was built in such a way to avert possible attacks on Pretoria from the Johannesburg and Lourenco Marques railway line, as well as from the Johannesburg road. By mounting revolving artillery on the embankment of the fort, attacks from all directions could be warded off.
The site of Freedom Park was carefully chosen, a 52 hectare undeveloped hill overlooking the city of Pretoria. It was here that the nation’s heroes would be honoured and the complex story of South Africa and its people would be told.
Freedom Park is a memorial to honour those who sacrificed their lives to win freedom. It also celebrates and explores the country's diverse peoples, and our common humanity.
Freedom Park was established as the South African government's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It took into account the public's need for a memorial to fittingly honour those who sacrificed their lives to win freedom. It also celebrates and explores the country's diverse peoples, and our common humanity, through compelling stories, performances, exhibits and architecture.
The majestic Voortrekker Monument is situated in the northern part of South Africa in the Pretoria (Tshwane) region in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting.
The Monument was inaugurated in 1949. It was designed by architect Gerard Moerdijk. In the Hall of Heroes is the world’s longest historical marble frieze. A tapestry with more than three million stitches is housed in the Cenotaph Hall.