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Klein Karoo Heritage Forum

 

The Klein Karoo Heritage Forum is a new structure which was be formally launched in January, 2019. Membership will be available to representatives of registered heritage bodies in the Southern Cape and Klein Karoo including Prince Albert and has been initiated in order to improve communication on heritage related matters at the regional level as well as with Heritage Western Cape.   

Registered Heritage Bodies invited to join, include the Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis, the De Rust Heritage Conservation Association, Prince Albert Heritage and other registered heritage bodies in this region with Heritage Western Cape. In addition, Municipal Officials responsible for related heritage aspects will also be invited to attend as observers.  

It is important to note that the proposed Forum will in no way change the existing relationship between the individual registered heritage bodies involved, their communities and Heritage Western Cape.  The role of the new Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum is to enhance and improve the current level of communication between registered heritage bodies in the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Region and Heritage Western Cape which has not always as effective as it should be in the past.

 

For the latest updates and archived material see below:   

 

Klein Karoo Heritage Forum  

Notes for the Meeting of HWC and Registered Heritage Bodies

Scheduled to be held in George on 18 June, 2019

 

The points below are scheduled to be presented as a constructive way of improving the current effectiveness and roles which exist between Heritage Western Cape and the local municipalities and registered heritage bodies in our region:  

Communication

  • Why is it so difficult for HWC to understand the need for on-going and open communication with registered heritage bodies?  
  • Why was the notice of the meeting not communicated directly to all registered Heritage Bodies in the Southern Cape & Klein Karoo Region? 

Issuing of Heritage Permits by HWC

  • How are HWC Permits issued without adequate communication or approved plans from Local Municipalities and Heritage Bodies?
  • What does it take to get a prompt reply on Grade 2 listed applications such as the new fence at the NG Kerk in De Rust? 

Structure including Regional Resources

  • Does HWC not understand that centralised structures are by their very nature cumbersome and inefficient in the 21st Century environment?
  • Why does HWC not consider developing a “regional structure” for the  Western Cape using the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo as a Pilot Study?
  • There should be no need for additional HWC resources as regular meetings can be set up with HWC Officials from Cape Town as required.  

Building Capability in Local Authorities

  • A number of local authorities and registered heritage bodies in the Southern Cape have the capability of carrying out Level 3 grading.
  • Why is Level 3 Grading even being done in Cape Town and who does it?
  • The way to build capability in local authorities is to allow them to manage the Level 3 grading process just as they do with normal building plan approvals. This also includes the proposed HWC Heritage Inspectors.
  • In addition, the Legal Advisor to HWC admitted at a previous meeting of the Southern Cape & Klein Karoo Forum that Heritage Western Cape do not have the funds to take legal action against offenders to the NHRA.  
  • Many local authorities do not have the available funds to carry out the prescribed heritage surveys and inventories based on current HWC requirements. Heritage resources are currently also being lost due to the excessive delays and the bureaucracy involved with HWC.  

Using Available Resources Most Effectively

  • South Africa is a resource scarce country in terms of the necessary skills required to move the country forward. This is not likely to change in the short to medium term.
  • It is an acknowledged fact that our education system is dysfunctional at all levels including universities. Currently there are no South African universities in the top 200 positions of the Global Universities Ranking.
  • Many HWC registered heritage bodies have retired top executive, professional and managerial skills available in their ranks. In terms of Presidents Rhamaposa’s recent “Thuma Mina” national initiative is it not time to use these available voluntary skills more effectively?  

An Integrated Approach to Heritage

Heritage does not exist in a vacuum and in order to be successful needs to be integrated with other aspects such as the environment and tourism, particularly eco-tourism.  

Global tourism is the growth industry of the 21st Century and brings enormous benefits to the South African economy including the ability to create sustainable communities by providing employment at all levels. 

Without an integrated approach to heritage we will continue to experience the degradation of the environment as a whole, including our heritage. However, in many cases the approach to heritage by professionals in the field is to focus on heritage as a stand-alone, rather than as part of an integrated whole.  

As economies develop and their populations become more demanding the inter-linked issues of heritage and the environment become increasingly important to all involved.  In addition, failing economies are not concerned with heritage in any way – cases in point are Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.   

South Africa is at a critical stage of development where a large percentage of the population are moving from the rural to urban areas. We also have high levels of unemployment and crime which has no regard for heritage or any related issues but solely the issues of survival on a day-to-day basis.    

It is in this often unstable environment that heritage is unlikely to survive in any meaningful way in its present form. I wish to refer here to the article “Historical Conservation in South Africa – An Unmitigated Disaster” by Professor Franco Frescura  originally published in December, 2015 which can be found on our website www.derustheritage.org.za under Heritage Western Cape – Articles and Comments and recently re-published on the Heritage Portal.      

  

Key Proposals for Consideration by the Council of HWC.

  • Based on the above issues we believe it is critical to relook at how the issue of heritage should be fully integrated into the national mix in order to preserve our valuable and often irreplaceable historical resources.
  • We believe the proposed changes can lead to greater innovation and effectiveness in the implementation and protection of our shared heritage resources in the Western Cape and in the broader South Africa. In addition, it will also enhance and develop skills at the local level.
  • We would therefore, appreciate the above points being urgently considered by the Council of Heritage Western Cape.

Note: Following the meeting these notes will be expanded to report on the results of the meeting. 

De Rust Heritage Conservation Association

15 June, 2019 

 

_______________________________

 

Proposed Agenda for Meeting of July, 2019 - a date still to be finalised 

Venue: New Council Chamber – Oudtshoorn Municipality  

 

This meeting will follow up on the recently scheduled Heritage Western Cape meeting to be held in George on Tuesday 18 June, 2019:

 

Items for Discussion: 

Improving Communication between Regional Heritage Bodies and HWC 

Communication levels between Heritage Western Cape and registered heritage bodies is often non-existent.  Also there are examples of heritage bodies being dysfunctional and no action on de-registration having taken place.  

 

Issues of Enforcement of the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 

Why are infringements of the Act being disregarded by Heritage Western Cape and Local Municipalities.  Why is legal action not being taken to rectify this? 

 

The Role of Local Municipalities, Registered Heritage Bodies & HWC 

In many cases Heritage Western Cape are not enforcing the provisions of the Act with Local Municipalities.  Why is it not possible for Local Municipalities to grade at the local level with HWC conducting regular audits?    

 

Heritage Surveys & Inventories:  

Empowering Local Municipalities: Why not empower Local Municipalities to assume more responsibility for heritage issues? This may require redeployment of existing HWC staff resources.   

Effective Use of Skills in Registered Heritage Bodies: Often registered heritage bodies possess skills which are just not available in the Public Sector. We are skills deficient in South Africa and need to use all available resources to maximum advantage. 

 

Future Structure of HWC in Order to Improve Effectiveness on the Ground 

Why is Heritage Western Cape still employing an outdated centralised organisation structure and not moving to 21st Century decentralised structures?

 

The Co-ordinating & Management Role of HWC: 

Heritage Western Cape needs to assume a leadership role in re-organising the Western Cape by instituting a regional structure throughout the province. This could ultimately lead to a maximum of five or six major regions in the Western Cape each co-ordinating heritage issues in a far more effective way.   

At the same time the major role of Heritage Western Cape should be to ensure effective policy implementation through the regions. Day to day operational heritage issues should be managed at the regional and local level between the registered heritage bodies and the local municipalities. Functional accountability and monitoring needs to be managed at the various levels of management with clearly defined levels of responsibility and resources. 

 

Role of Registered Heritage Bodies with HWC  

The current role of registered heritage bodies with Heritage Western Cape will remain unchanged during the interim period with the proposed Southern Cape & Klein Karoo Heritage Forum and local municipalities assisting with resolving local issues.  However, in the medium to longer term it is possible that HWC Head Office officials should be re-assigned to regional positions in order to facilitate the bedding-in of a regional heritage structure in the Western Cape.   

It should be possible to re-assign existing HWC staff currently employed within the organisation in order to achieve the above objectives.  There is absolutely no reason why additional expertise required in the future should not be utilised at the regional level while at the same time spreading the skills base over a wider regional and geographic area.   

We believe that the above approach will result in better co-ordination, communication and management of available on the ground heritage resources.  We would like to propose that Heritage Western Cape use the Southern Cape & Klein Karoo Heritage Forum as a practical “Case Study” in order to trial this approach at the practical level on the ground.    

 

Southern Cape & Klein Karoo Heritage Forum  

31 May, 2019 

 

____________________________

 

 

Inaugural Meeting of Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum 

Venue: O’Flinn’s at Le Roux Dorpshuis Museum, High Street, Oudtshoorn  

Date & Time: Thursday 17 January, 2019 @ 10h30 for 11h00  

 

Minutes

  

Present:           Natie de Swardt – Simon van der Stel Foundation 

                         Penelope Meyer – Heritage Western Cape 

                        Hazel Jonker – Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis 

                        Johan Smit – Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis 

                        Ian Canning – Prince Albert Cultural Foundation 

                        Philda Benkenstein – George Heritage Trust 

                        Marnus Barnard – De Rust Heritage Conservation Association 

                        Alan Tonkin – De Rust Heritage Conservation Association                        

 

Apologies:       Maryth Meise – Simon van der Stel Foundation & Calitzdorp 

                       Judy Macguire – Prince Albert Cultural Foundation  

                        Jonathan Spence – Prince Albert Cultural Foundation 

                        Carina Wiggill – Heritage Mossel Bay 

                        Pieter Schoeman – De Rust Heritage Conservation Association  

 

Welcome by Dr Natie de Swardt, Council Member: Heritage Western Cape & Chair of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (Southern Cape): Natie de Swardt provided an introduction to the what heritage actually is as well as the role of heritage in a multi-cultural country such as South Africa. This particularly applies to the variety of our various language and cultural groupings as well as the values and pride of identity each cherish and possess.   

He also provided an overview of how the various pieces of legislation from the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 through to provincial and local government and how heritage bodies in our communities had an important role and part to play. 

 

Introduction: The need for the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum  

Alan Tonkin provided an overview of why the meeting had been arranged including the perceived need for a more decentralised structure for Heritage Western Cape as well as the need for better co-ordination between regional heritage bodies in the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo including Prince Albert. 

 

The major benefits among others were seen as follows: 

  • Better Communication with HWC and other registered regional heritage bodies including possible use of De Rust Heritage and other websites.
  • Proposed HWC restructuring initiatives including persuading Heritage Western Cape that a decentralised model would produce better efficiencies in both management time and effectiveness.
  • Better Co-ordination of Heritage Efforts in the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Region and with other heritage bodies nationally. This would be a direct benefit of having a Regional Heritage Forum.
  • Improved Communication with Local Municipalities particularly on the better understanding of the National Heritage Resources Act.
  • Emphasis on Co-ordination of Heritage Education & Training Efforts as offered by Professor Matilda Burden and others with emphasis on the overlapping and interdependent roles of local heritage bodies and municipalities as laid out in the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 

There was a broad discussion around the points raised and the type of role a  “regional heritage body” should play.  It was generally agreed that better local and regional co-ordination was seen as a direct benefit of this type of initiative.   

It was also agreed that that the role of a regional heritage forum was not to create more bureaucracy but to improve the aspects of communication and effectiveness. In addition, individual heritage bodies would retain their current status and independence at the local level. However, where websites existed Links would be created for easy access and communication.

 

Decisions:

In the key areas of better communication, improved co-ordination and heritage training for both local government officials and members of registered heritage bodies there was definitely space for a structure of this type.  This would facilitate a better understanding of the role of heritage on the ground in our communities while at the same time boosting tourism, job creation and sustainable communities as a positive aspect of this.

 

Joint meetings and visits on a rotational basis would also be arranged as required in order to facilitate this process. This approach could also be used in the future as a model by HWC  for other regions in the province.    

 

Following further discussions it was agreed that the formation of a Regional Heritage Forum the “Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum” would benefit all participating bodies with regular quarterly or at least bi-annual meetings as required in order to discuss issues of common interest.   

 

The first regional visit for the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum is scheduled for the village of De Rust on Saturday 6 April, 2019.  Further details will follow shortly in terms of timing and cost.   

 

It was also agreed that the CEO of Heritage Western Cape would be invited to attend at least one of the regular scheduled meetings of the Regional Heritage Forum each year in order to share information with members on an interactive basis as well as exploring new approaches to heritage management.    

 

General:  As the meeting discussion had covered a wide range of topics and views no additional issues were raised by delegates for discussion.   

 

Closure: The meeting concluded promptly at12h30  

 

 Alan Tonkin 

Convenor: Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum 

18 January, 2019

 

Note: These minutes are also available onwww.derustheritage.org.za 

 

 

 

Inaugural Meeting of Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum 

Venue: O’Flinn’s at Le Roux Dorpshuis Museum, High Street, Oudtshoorn  

Date & Time: Thursday 17 January, 2019 @ 10h30 for 11h00  

 

Agenda 

 

Welcome by Dr Natie de Swardt, Council Member Heritage Western Cape & Chair of the Simon van der Stel Foundation (Southern Cape) 

 

Introduction: The need for the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Heritage Forum  

  • Better Communication with HWC and other registered regional heritage bodies including possible use of De Rust Heritage and other websites
  • Better Co-ordination of Heritage Efforts in the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Region and with other heritage bodies nationally
  • Improved Communication with Local Municipalities particularly on the better understanding of the National Heritage Resources Act
  • Emphasis on Co-ordination of Heritage Education & Training Efforts as offered by Professor Matilda Burden and others with emphasis on the overlapping and interdependent roles of local heritage bodies and municipalities as laid out in the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 

General: Any other business  

Closure: Planned for 12h30 

 

De Rust 

17 December, 2018

 

 

Added below are details of the recent Meeting held in Oudtshoorn between Heritage Western Cape and a number of Registered Heritage Bodies in the Southern Cape/Klein Karoo Region:  

 

Notes on the Meeting held between Heritage Western Cape  

& Registered Heritage Organisations on 6 December, 2018 @ 13h00 

 

Present:            Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka – CEO Heritage Western Cape;  

                        Ms Julia le Roux – Speaker of the Oudtshoorn Council;  

                        Ms Hazel Jonker – Chair - Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis;  

                        Alan Tonkin – De Rust Heritage Conservation Association

 

Apologies:       Mr Johan Smit – Chair Joint Heritage Permit Committee 

                        Dr Natie de Swart – Chair Simon van der Stel Foundation 

                        Dr  Judy Maguire – Prince Albert Heritage 

                        Mr Ian Canning – Chair - Prince Albert Heritage 

                        Mr Garth King – Kango Caves Heritage Trust

                         Mr Ambrose Carelse - Heritage Officer at the Oudtshoorn Municipality     

 

Introduction: Dr Dlamuka welcomed all who were in attendance and the point was made by the other delegates that those who presented their apologies would also have been present had there been more advance notice provided.  Mr Dlamuka made the point that his trip was made at short notice and in future meetings would be scheduled giving more time to plan for a more representative attendance.   

 Dr Dlamuka also explained that HWC was planning to hold Council Meetings in the various regions during 2019 with one having been held recently in the Overberg. This allowed for attendance by local interested parties in order to better understand the process of heritage conservation and protection. It also wished to have other opportunities to more fully explain the important role of heritage to all communities in the Western Cape.   

  

General Discussion: Dr Dlamuka then opened the meeting up for further discussion and Alan Tonkin (AT) then explained the document sent to HWC by De Rust Heritage regarding a possible future structure in more detail. 

The document referred to is attached as an Annexure and lays out the reasons put forward for decentralisation of a number of the roles of Heritage Western Cape to the Regions in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999. It was also pointed out that the original document was produced on 16 May, 2018 as a result of the HWC Workshop held in Mossel Bay to discuss the DRAFT Western Cape legislation which is still to be finalised.   

The delegates at the meeting explained that early in 2019 all registered heritage bodies in the Southern Cape would be invited to participate in a Southern Cape Region Heritage Forum with two to three delegates from each body. It was felt that this would facilitate better co-ordination of heritage related issues in the region as well as providing improved communication with Heritage Western Cape.   

Dr Dlamuka agreed that this would be a positive step and was in line with the objectives of HWC in moving responsibility of Grade 3 level assessments to the local level. However, most municipalities still did not possess the skills or capability to undertake grading at this time and skills needed to be developed.   

There was discussion on the structures within Greater Oudtshoorn including the Joint Permit Committee comprising Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis, De Rust Heritage and the Oudtshoorn Municipality. This body considers all applications for properties older than 60 years as well as properties falling within designated “heritage sensitive areas”. This also applies to the completion of “Heritage Inventories” in all heritage areas. Ms Jonker made the point that Professor Matilda Burden from the University of Stellenbosch has run an initial Heritage Program in Oudtshoorn in November, 2017 and was planning to return a run a program on architectural styles in 2019.   

The point was made that in Greater Oudtshoorn there was already a formal structure in place in order to manage the issuing of Permits in conjunction with Heritage Western Cape. However, it would be appreciated if HWC would provide timely feedback on all applications to registered heritage bodies in the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipal area as this hardly ever happened.   

There was also discussion relating to the roles of both Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis and De Rust Heritage and how the Oudtshoorn Municipality had made a sum of R 120 000 available for a Heritage Survey in the 2018/19 Budget Year. It had been agreed that De Rust would be used as a Pilot Study and it was anticipated the survey would commence early in 2019. AT produced a map of the village of De Rust in order to demonstrate how the designation of the area could easily be nominated a “Heritage Sensitive Area”. 

Dr Dmaluka made the point that it was essential that Council approve a resolution to formalise the Heritage Overlay Zone Advisory Committee structure as a matter of URGENCY as well as a by-law covering this aspect in greater detail. Ms Julia le Roux confirmed that this was already in hand. 

 

Winding Up Discussions: It was confirmed by all present that the meeting had been very useful and informative and that future meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis as part of the HWC calendar for 2019. Those present thanked Dr Dmaluka for arranging the meeting which was very productive and looked forward to similar meetings in the future. There being no further items for discussion the meeting concluded at 14h10. 

 

Annexure A:  Managing Heritage Resources More Effectively.  Comments on the Proposed Western Cape Heritage Resources Management Bill as well as local Heritage Developments in Greater Oudtshoorn and the Southern Cape  - see below

 

 

  Managing Heritage Resources More Effectively  

Comments on Proposed Western Cape Heritage Resources Management Bill 

 

Introduction

In considering the “Proposed Western Cape Heritage Resources Management Bill” it is necessary to consider how the process can be more effectively managed at both the provincial and local levels.   

Currently all applications for buildings old than 60 years which fall under the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 are processed by Heritage Western Cape at their offices in Cape Town. Not only is this administratively unwieldy but also practically inefficient, as in many cases properties throughout the Western Cape on a daily basis are being renovated, extended and demolished without any permission being requested from Heritage Western Cape.  

It is practically impossible for the Province to manage this process centrally, any more than if all town planning and building plan decisions for the Western Cape were processed centrally in Cape Town rather than by the Municipalities. In addition, regions such as the Southern Cape with major urban centres like George and Oudtshoorn are often neglected due to the pressure on new and existing developments from within the Cape Town Metro and its surrounds.  

 Bearing the above in mind it is absolutely essential that decentralization takes place on a managed basis to allow registered Heritage organizations and the local Municipalities to take operating decisions on Grade 3 buildings.  In the case of Greater Oudtshoorn there is already a Heritage Officer in place in the Municipality as well as Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis and the De Rust Heritage Conservation Association,  both of which are registered heritage bodies with Heritage Western Cape.   

Another key advantage would be to free up Heritage Western Cape to carry out its oversight role without getting tied up in basic daily administration. The role of Heritage Western Cape would then evolve into a strategic monitoring and evaluation role of selected activities at the local level of Municipal Government.  

 

A Decentralised Heritage Structure for Greater Oudtshoorn 

In considering how a structure of the type described above could operate it is necessary to utilize existing skills in each local area including volunteer organizations such as Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis and the De Rust Heritage Conservation Association (for additional full details see  www.derustheritage.org.za ) as a part of the overall heritage structure in Oudtshoorn.   

Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis have already conducted a number of Heritage Workshops with Professor Matilda Burden from the University of Stellenbosch. Delegates who attended were from Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis, De Rust Heritage and the Oudtshoorn Municipality.   

  • This already provides a solid local skills base. In addition, it includes the significant background skills and knowledge of many professional volunteers who have extensive experience in the management of large and complex organizations, both locally and internationally.  
  • Allowing the Oudtshoorn Municipality as the third tier of government to manage Grade 3 Level Permit Applications in conjunction with Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis and De Rust Heritage would ensure that as far as possible the process is more effectively managed than at present.  
  • There are a number of cases where remedial action has been taken by the Joint Permit Committee in Oudtshoorn in conjunction with Heritage Western Cape where a Stop Order has been issued with no effect and with absolutely no follow-up legal action. The chances of this taking place at the local level are far better as there are officials on the ground who would be in a position to ensure compliance.   

In order to maintain standards it is suggested that a designated official/s from Heritage Western Cape should be designated to visit Oudtshoorn on a regular basis (we suggest quarterly) in order to audit the Permits issued by the Municipality as well as to check other matters of compliance with the Act.  

The above proposals would go a long way to ensure better use of the current resources of Heritage Western Cape as well as a more effective on the ground application and monitoring of Heritage related issues in the Greater Oudtshoorn area.   

 

Formation of Joint Heritage Overlay Zone Advisory Committee (HOZAC)   

The Oudtshoorn Municipality have already allocated an amount of R 120 000 in the current budget for 2018/19 to commence with a formal process of providing a Heritage Inventory for the Greater Oudtshoorn area.   

In order to ensure that the initial heritage survey process is clearly managed and understood by all involved it has been agreed that a Pilot Survey will be undertaken in De Rust as the village has a clearly defined structure in terms of heritage properties over 60 years old.  To facilitate the survey process is managed effectively a Joint Heritage Overlay Zone Advisory Committee is to be formed with members from Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis, De Rust Heritage and the Oudtshoorn Municipality.   

 

A Decentralised Heritage Management System for the Western Cape 

In considering the above proposal it is considered possible to extend this approach on a wider basis across the Western Cape in areas where the required skills and registered volunteer “Heritage Organisations” currently exist.  This would free up Heritage Western Cape to concentrate on the areas where only limited resources currently exist as well as carrying out its main function of its oversight role and mandate.   

In adopting an approach such as that described above this would allow the following:   

  • Heritage Western Cape to monitor and evaluate Provincial Grade 2 Heritage sites as well as carrying out its oversight and monitoring role at the local level in terms of Grade 3 level approvals.
  • Local Municipalities and Heritage Organizations to manage and monitor compliance with the regulations at the local level under the guidance of Heritage Western Cape.
  • Formal Heritage Overlay Zone Advisory Committees be set up where registered heritage organisations already exist, in order to assist local municipalities in managing their existing heritage resources.
  • Local areas without the required level of infrastructure and skills should remain under the control of Heritage Western Cape until the required skills base can be established.   

Consideration should also be given to the Western Cape being split into a number of “heritage regions” with responsible officials from Heritage Western Cape being nominated to sit on the regional boards.  As an example the Southern Cape could be seen as a semi-autonomous region with quarterly board meetings to report on progress and areas of concern. Audits would also be conducted at this level by Heritage Western Cape to check on compliance and to rectify errors and omissions where they occurred.  

In addition to the above, it is suggested that the various Heritage Western Cape Committees should alternate their meetings across the proposed new regions in order to allow “registered heritage organisations” to observe the type of issue raised and the way of handling these topics at both the local and provincial level.  This will also help build capacity at all levels of the structure.   

Modern organization theory and practice supports the above proposals at both the local and international level.  The outdated 20th Century approach with all power being concentrated at the centre does not work in the 21st Century interconnected digital world.  The above approach could easily be incorporated into the proposed approach to Heritage Resources in the Western Cape.    

 

A Southern Cape Heritage Co-ordination Body 

In order to facilitate an initiative of the type mentioned above it is suggested that a informal co-ordinating body of registered heritage organisations in the Southern Cape will be formed early in 2019.  

Bodies to be invited are amongst others the Simon van der Stel Foundation, Heritage Oudtshoorn Erfenis, De Rust Heritage and Prince Albert Heritage. Other registered heritage associations in the region but not included above will also be invited to participate in order to obtain maximum effectiveness.   

The Southern Cape Heritage Co-ordination Body will meet twice or three times a year but will share relevant heritage developments on a regular basis. This will also be shared with Heritage Western Cape in order to facilitate better co-ordination between the Southern Cape Region and HWC Head Office.  

 

Some Conclusions 

On the ground we are seeing many Heritage properties being defaced and destroyed on a daily basis without adequate controls being in place at the local level. If this continues we will not have many of these heritage resources available to us within the next 20 years.  These are a valuable resource and need a level of adequate protection at the local level in order to conserve the existing heritage resources more effectively.

The centralized approach currently in place at the Western Cape Provincial level discourages local innovation and skills development. In addition, it will not require additional government funding as much of the necessary work currently is carried out by dedicated and committed volunteers. Funding is also available from the private sector and individual donors for selected heritage projects in order to maintain and grow local capacity and skills as per the latest Southern Cape initiative above.   

In terms of extensive hands-on experience we believe that it is impossible for Heritage Western Cape to manage the various levels effectively from the centre. In addition, funding from government at all levels is going to become increasingly difficult to source in the foreseeable future. We therefore, support the view that the above proposals would go a long way towards resolving a number of the key issues and problem areas raised above.   

In addition to the above we believe that the type of organisation and management structure proposed for the Western Cape will allow Heritage Western Cape to become a clear leader in terms of a new and innovative approach to heritage resources, not only in the Western Cape Province but also at the regional and global level.   

 

Alan Tonkin  

De Rust Heritage Conservation Association

 

Original document published 16 May, 2018 - Updated 5 December, 2018