n Journal for Contemporary History - Om die toekoms van ons verlede te verseker : fasette betreffende die aard en uitdagings vir die geskiedenis-as-wetenskap vandag in Suid-Afrika

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



At the beginning of the third millennium, history as a subject at school level and as an academic discipline at universities is facing several challenges in South Africa. Are we, as a country, suffering from historical amnesia? Do we really know who we are, where we came from, and where we are heading? In this study, a brief review of what history is (or should be) is provided, and it is indicated what value the study of history has, what the task of the professional historian is, and a few comments are made with regard to, for example, people's history and a multiperspective approach to history. Throughout it is indicated what must be done to ensure the future of our past, for example that historians must equip society with a truly historical perspective, so that it will be saved from the detrimental effects of exposure to political and ideological propaganda and historical myths. People must come to terms with their past, so that they can understand themselves (and others) better, and can learn to forgive, without the pressure that all must be forgotten.

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