South Africa’s Endangered Heritage – 2017 Call for Submissions

 
 Is mining activity threatening ancestral graves? Is your local town hall standing empty and abandoned? Is gentrification irreparably altering the character of your community? Is a museum threatened with closure? Tell us about these sites and the local efforts to save them. We’d like to share your story with the rest of South Africa – and hopefully inspire action.

For the month of August, the Heritage Monitoring Project (HMP), in association with The Heritage Portal and the Heritage Association of South Africa, is calling on South Africa to identify our most endangered heritage sites.  

This is the second year that the campaign will be running. In 2016, the sites that made it onto the list included a pre-colonial archaeological site, living cultural landscapes, historic colonial forts, a mine workers’ hostel and a 19th century bridge (click here to view)

The purpose of the campaign is to identify and raise awareness of cultural heritage sites that are at significant risk through natural or manmade forces. 

“We believe that cultural conservation management cannot be left to the state or lobbyists on their own but is firstly, about communities actively being encouraged and empowered to take action as primary custodians and a first line of defense of our national estate. This can only be achieved if we highlight stories that can inspire other communities, gain media exposure for specific causes, raise awareness among potential funders and heritage authorities and encourage the general public to take action by supporting advocacy campaigns or donating time, money or providing other forms of support. We also realise that heritage conservation is often about David and Goliath battles where communities are pitched against powerful developers, mining interests, industrial lobby groups or even the state. Here too, it’s important that these cases receive all the publicity and awareness they can get”, says Jacques Stoltz, co-founder of the HMP.   

Sites of cultural significance that are within the territorial borders of the Republic of South Africa may be submitted for consideration. Sites may range from cultural landscapes to individual buildings or structures, to groups of structures, public monuments or memorials, open spaces, archaeological sites, palaeontological sites, significant or rare geological sites or similar. 

Submissions will have to reach us by midnight on the 28th of August 2017Click here to view the nomination form.

For media enquiries or information contact: Jacques Stoltz | The Heritage Monitoring Project | 083 455 9688 | jacques@placematters.co.za

For help with the nomination form or to submit your nomination form via email contact James Ball | Heritage Monitoring Project | jamesball01@gmail.com

 

About the campaign

This is an annual campaign to identify and raise awareness of cultural heritage sites that are at significant risk through natural or manmade forces (click here to view full list of endangered sites)

The process is simple. Each year the Heritage Monitoring Project, and its partners the Heritage Portal and the Heritage Association of South Africa, will be calling on the heritage community – as well as the general public – to submit sites that are endangered and at risk either through natural or manmade forces or a general lack of protection. 

Sites of cultural significance that are within the territorial borders of the Republic of South Africa may be submitted for consideration. Sites may range from cultural landscapes to individual buildings or structures, to groups of structures, public monuments or memorials, open spaces, archaeological sites, palaeontological sites, significant or rare geological sites or similar. 

A panel of specialists will be tasked with reviewing all submissions and compiling the final short list. Where necessary the panel will also consult with external conservation bodies or subject specialists. 

Each year the top ten sites as selected by the panel will be announced.

The panel will assess each site against a set of criteria:

  • The significance or importance of the site (most importantly to local communities)
  • The urgency and extent of risks or threats
  • Feasibility of finding a solution or the feasibility of a proposed solution
  • Existence of a local organisation that could help save the site with the necessary support
  • A clear mechanism through which the general public can provide support

 

In short, the HMP is not only looking for threatened sites but also sites that may be saved with the necessary support. Furthermore, it must be emphasised that sites of national significance will not necessarily take precedence over sites of local significance.   

About the Heritage Monitoring Project

The Heritage Monitoring Project (HMP) is a civil society initiative to monitor and report on heritage law reform and enforcement, monitoring and evaluation. The HMP provides an independent voice for tracking progress of the realisation of heritage and cultural rights in South Africa.  Our mission is to strengthen transparency, accountability and responsible custodianship across the heritage sector. We do so in collaboration with heritage bodies working across a wide range of disciplines.

About the Heritage Portal

The Heritage Portal is a news and information platform for the South African Heritage Sector. It is a volunteer driven initiative that relies on content contributions from members of the heritage community.

www.theheritageportal.co.za

About the Heritage Association of South Africa

The Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) is an umbrella organisation dedicated to conserving the national Estate (as defined in the National Heritage Resources Act).

www.heritagesa.org

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