The meeting commenced on the morning of 2 December, with the acting divisional head of the arts, culture and heritage department, Hannelie Swart, providing more information about heritage as well as answering questions from attendees, Benoni City Times reports.
“We held this workshop to educate the public about the background and future of heritage in the Ekurhuleni area,” Swart said.
“We need to bring new exhibitions to the Benoni Museum, and for that we need to conduct a feasibility study.”
The feasibility study will be conducted after a heritage forum is established, which Swart believes will better the communication between the public and the museum.
“We want to create a heritage forum so that this team will ensure public participation where it concerns heritage preservation,” she explained.
Swart said the EMM was also in the process of naming and renaming geographical areas on the East Rand, and requires the public’s input in doing so.
“The Chris Hani House Museum will also be opened in April in Boksburg,” Swart said.
Farrarmere resident Glynis Millett-Clay suggested that a glass showcase be placed in the museum, with photographs and a short description of the historical events in Benoni.
“The artefacts of early Benoni should be changed every three months,” she said.
Millett-Clay said the archives need to be correctly recorded so that the public knew what news would be available to view and read about during the year.
Lemmy Mashinini, museum curator of Ditsong Museums of South Africa, also spoke at the gathering.
“Museums are important, because we are custodians of our heritage,” he said.
“Museums are institutions that collect information.”
Mashinini said the reason for public participation is that people feel like their heritage is being misrepresented by academics, therefore they have the opportunity to write what they feel has been wrongly recorded.
Swart said if any member of the public would like to share their ideas regarding the future of heritage preservation or be part of the heritage forum, they can email Mpume Gamede on Mpume.Gamede@ekurhuleni.gov.za