SA’s heritage landscape needs transformation – task team

File picture: Khoi San dancers. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

File picture: Khoi San dancers. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, on Friday welcomed the report.

An extensive audit will be conducted of the South African Heritage Landscape to identify all offensive statues, places and names of towns to determine what needs to happen going forward.

This is according to a report that was concluded recently, by the ministerial task team on the transformation of the heritage landscape in South Africa.

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Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, on Friday welcomed the report. The task team recently completed its work and released a report proposing significant changes to the heritage landscape.

Mthethwa convened a national consultative workshop on April 17, 2015 to address the challenges facing the transformation of the heritage sector, with a particular focus on statues, place names and symbols that define public spaces.

“It is time to take these recommendations to the wider community, produce measurables, focus on tangible deliverables, and effect change,” said Mthethwa.

The Task Team convened consultative meetings throughout the nine provinces and the report with findings incorporates the extensive consultations.

The task team’s recommendations and actions include:

  • That the content of the national school’s curriculum must be amended to reflect South African history objectively. The task team calls for a review of the curriculum, with the Department of Arts and Culture working with the Department of Basic Education in this regard, and that there should be appropriate links with higher education institutions as part of the transformation process.
  • That transformation processes need to be more inclusive of rural communities.
  • That it is necessary to develop strategies for the protection and management of rock art sites.
  • That there should be a strengthening of the law to aid the process of transformation and that new regulations be considered if necessary.
  • That an audit be conducted of the heritage landscape to identify offensive statues and place names to determine what must happen to statues deemed offensive as well as names of towns, suburbs and all place names that are deemed offensive.

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