People can submit historic items for evaluation at Constitution Hill before they can be displayed at the new museum.

CONSTITUTION HILL will build a new museum called the Museum and Archive of Constitution Hill (March), aimed at telling the story of how the South African Constitution was created.
Construction for March will start in mid-April and the museum will be opened to the public in a year. It will also consist of a conference centre and restaurants.

Reuben Phasha, heritage, education and tourism manager at Constitution Hill, said the museum is going to be the first in South Africa to tell stories of the events that led to the current constitution.
“The new museum is going to look into how the law was used during apartheid to oppress people and how it was used to liberate them. It is also going to look into what the new constitution promised and is yet to deliver, while examining the present function of the constitution,” Phasha said.

He added that most people only remember the constitutional assembly that happened after the 1994 national elections which gave birth to the South African democracy.
“What we are saying is that the story is bigger than that. Most people don’t know that the current constitution is the fifth one. We need to tell stories about the other wfour including the interim one, because they made provisions to the current Constitution,” he added.

Phasha told Wits Vuvuzela that the new museum will also tell stories of the price, the pain that was overcome, and the goals that the country is still striving towards. He added that it would also bring to life the happy moments in the country’s history, such as the first democratic elections and Nelson Mandela’s inauguration.

Lwando Xaso, head of Content Curation and Stakeholder for the Museum, said the museum will give a voice to ordinary people who are part of history but whose stories are unknown.
“We are calling on all South Africans to submit materials of significance in the history of this country such as clothes, telegraphs, letters, journals and poetry. We want journalists to tell us how it was being a journalist during apartheid,” Xaso said.

Nelson Mandela Foundation Director of Communications and Outreach Luzuko Koti said as partner to this project they hope that it will encourage people to start conversations and discussions about the constitution.
“We want this museum to be an educational centre where people can come in and get real education and facts so that we can have richer and informed discussions around the constitution,” he said.

The South African History Archive and City Press are the other partners to the museum. Xaso added that people are encouraged to submit their historic items to Constitutional Hill for review before being displayed at the new museum.

FEATURED PHOTO: Artist’s impression of the Museum and Archive of Constitution Hill (March). Photo: Provided