banner_9.jpg
Home » News » Features » SA funds Liberation Heritage Route in Botswana

SA funds Liberation Heritage Route in Botswana

Publishing Date : 26 October, 2015

Author : DONNY DITHATO

The provincial government of the North West in South Africa is funding a multimillion Pula research project in Botswana called the National Liberation Heritage Route (NLHR) in collaboration with North Department of Arts and Culture, Botswana Tourism and the Department of Museums and Art Gallery to trace, track, assess, identify, document and protect and propose for listing to the South African Heritage Resources Agency, sites which represent indigenous Africans Wars of Resistance and the struggle against apartheid.

A source close to the project Kopano Lekoma of Pitsane and ex-Umkhonto We Siswe combatant  says,  the project is an initiative of the African Union and Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, as represented in the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

The research project will on the other known as the Liberation Heritage Route and which may ultimately be made available to UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in order to preserve an important period in the history of South African liberation struggle which may also be made available for packaging as attractive tourism products.

The 2005 UNESCO World Heritage Committee 33rd General General Conference foregrounded the "Roads to Independence - African Liberation Struggles" specifically recommended the collection, documentation, conservation and commemoration of Africa's heritage and experience accumulated during the struggles for independence.

This project is a manifestation of this ideal and represents Botswana leg of the South African Liberation Heritage Route under the auspices of the North West Provincial Government.

The NLHR focuses on the SADC member states generally whose liberation struggles had global, continental and regional dimensions.

This project will result in a series of sites that in combination expresses the key aspects of the South African liberation experience and the Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of global history( World Heritage Council, 2009).

This project complies with the vision of UNESCO and the AU, that the NLHR should first cover South Africa and ultimately encompass the rest of the SADC members states of Angola, Botswana ,Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with a potential of identifying other African states outside the SADC region.



The Roads to Independence African Liberation Heritage Project is therefore, a multi-country programme which acknowledges the importance indigenous Afriican resistance and the role of the liberation movements to the process of decolonization of the African continent as well as the role played by African countries in providing material and moral support to the liberation movements which led to the struggle for independence in Southern Africa, according to fomer First Secretary at the South African High Commission Nthaniel Serache. 

A significant part of this history stands to be lost unless it is collected, documented and made accessible to the public.

The project attempts to document and recognize the contribution of people and institutions to the liberation of the continent (Wadaw, 2013). Many of the personalities who were instrumental in the prosecution of the liberation struggle are no longer alive and those who are still alive have not documented their experiences in any detail.

There is therefore a gap due to the lack of transmission of information and knowledge to the younger generations. The project will therefore bridge the knowledge and information gap, says Dikgang Mopelwa, former South African High Commissioner to Botswana. 



MEC for Arts and Culture Ms Tebogo Modise While recognizing the role of the liberation movements in the struggle for independence in Africa, the role of civil society organizations and ordinary citizens who contributed to the achievement of independence in various countries on the continent in often not recognized and there are still many liberation veterans past and present who have not been adequately recognized.

Consequently, the significance of the project goes beyond the singular acknowledgement of the role of the liberation movements, to a broader recognition of the role of African people and institutions in the attainment of freedom for the continent. It is a broader vision that informs the project and positions. It is a key element in the realization of the African Union vision.



Modise says, the project is viewed in the context of transnational serial nomination and part of the SADC serial nomination. The project is also based on the Decisions of the 32nd World Heritage Committee(Quebec City, Canada, 2 - 10 July 2008, item 10, "Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List (WHC 08/32 COM IOB) as well as the African Position Paper on the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention adopted by the 29th Session of the World Heritage Committee, Durban, 2005, the Sixth Ordinary Session of the AU Summit of the Heads of States held in Khartoum on January 2096.

The project also addresses issues elucidated in paragraph 7 of COHC's Decision 32, COM 10 B especially providing a list of existing serial properties on the WH list and calling on state parties to submit a list of "all known and potential future nominations (whc.unesco.org) 

She says the research project will record and celebrate the neglected history of the African support for the liberation struggle in other African states.

The African liberation movement and the coordination work of Liberation Committee of the OAU is the single most influential factor in modern day Africa. As such it demands urgent attention lest an important part of the African history is lost. 

Much of the history was not documented or records of the clandestine nature of the struggle were destroyed to ensure the secrecy of the activists.

Many of the living figures are now approaching old age and there is an urgent need to record their oral histories - it is a race against time. In particular the role of women in the struggle needs to be documented, including the sacrifices made to support the activists.

Many internally and in the region who also played a critical role in support of the liberation struggle have not been acknowledged and out of the public domain, according to Modise 

Cultural heritage can include tangible and intangible things. The form may include monuments, buildings, sites, works of nature and works of man (UNESCO, 1972; Throsby, 1997).

The intangible includes traditions and customs (Snowball and Courtney). Heritage industry gives rise to cultural capital (Throsby, 2003) based on market and non-market values placed upon it or physical capital value (stock variable) and the cultural value respectively.

The two values are not independent. If the physical assets is not conserved and developed, the flow of services or cultural values will diminish. Cultural value is part of a nation's wealth and should be conserved for future generations.

It is defined by Throsby as "assets that embodies a store of cultural value separate from whatever economic value it might possess.

Thus heritage sites produce economic values in the form of market value of the site itself from the income generated from tourism for example, as well as intangible cultural values setting apart cultural heritage sites from other sites.

Cultural capital is important for sustainable economic development. Just as ecosystems or environmental capital are essential for the maintenance of economic activity, so also can cultural ecosystems and cultural diversity be seen as an important component of infrastructure supporting a dynamic economy (Throsby, 2007:23).

A claim of a link between economic development and the preservation and documentation of heritage motivated the development of LHR in South Africa, however, says Snowball and Courtney, such correlation is often not easily determinable, due to non-market value of many of these benefits which are often quantified using methods like contingency valuation and in some cases, hedonic pricing, which have their own problems and biases (Ruijgrok, 2006; Snowball, 2008). Attracting funding for heritage is also often constrained by equally competing and deserving national priorities of a developing country such as education, health, etc. 



Cartoon

Polls

Do you think the closure of BCL will compel SPEDU to double their efforts in creating job opportunities in the Selibe Phikwe?

banner_14.jpg
banner_12.jpg

POPULER BRANDS