HWC Meeting

Report Back on Regulations

Heritage Western Cape

I refer to the document issued for comment re Registered Conservation Bodies, and although associates have commented on the detail we feel the need to make a wider comment:

HWC’s principle activity recorded on your annual report is: “to regulate and motivate the promotion of conservation of the heritage environment in the Western Cape.”

When this is read in conjunction with the proposals and the working of HWC it is our opinion that the conditions and regulations are designed to regulate but neither to promote or motivate the conservation of the heritage environment in fact the regulations proposed will do much to discourage /demotivate heritage participation of interested parties

To this end instead of attempting to enforce onerous regulations upon the bodies that have applied for registration or are active in their the local areas and the establishment of conditions enabling HWC to deregister interested parties which is in stark contrast with HWC’s task, in accordance with your principle business and vision “of maintain and nurture … by promoting pride”, you should be to assisting the heritage bodies by attending their meeting, organising meetings in areas not represented, promoting and subsidising heritage concerned groups, promoting co-operation and unity between heritage bodies and assisting in heritage education throughout the province. None of which is undertaken

To this end to the best my knowledge, as a representative of a National Association, HWC have never attended any HASA event, never offered to organize and finance such meetings or requested assistance from organized conservation groups in an attempt to promote conservation in areas where there are no conservation bodies.

As a representative conservation association with contacts in the heritage field throughout the country our experience is that in many of the outlying areas conservation interest parties consist of a few individuals’. HWC should be encouraging, supporting, promoting and educating these individuals in an attempt to contribute and comment not attempting to roll rocks in the way of concerned by insisting upon a “number of representatives “ heritage after all is based upon principles not upon majority rule. Especially in previously marginalised communities it takes people with special character to stand up to protect their heritage when the community is concerned only with surviving, the same applies in small outlaying communities but the contribution of any interested party/ informal group should be encouraged no matter how small the organisation or how formally or informally they are organised and financed. If and when the comments are misdirected, you should be assisting, educating and promoting their contribution to heritage not attempting to restrict and threaten them with suspension if they do not have accounts etc.

In short, the regulation proposals are in direct conflict with your principle business and vision, will discourage the involvement of individuals (which is how every existing heritage body started off ) and serves as a dis incentive to participate in the preservation of heritage.

L.E. RAYMOND (Chairman Heritage Association of South Africa)

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I went to the meeting yesterday discussed with the exec council,   relatively positive, some small adjustments to the regulations . I pressed them on the benefits that we supposedly enjoy and which may be suspended if we do not reregister? There are always stories why this and that is not necessary to put into the regulations but it boils down to the fact that there are protocols (published ) for their meetings   which state that without comment from the registered parties we are entitled to insist that the matter be deferred or removed from the agenda  .

HWC are working on  HIMS an information management system  which they expect to be up and running by June 2015?? Which would allow conservation bodies to track applications and decisions   until then they publish  agendas which we must inspect and  decisions ??(which they believe we receive? And which we have never seen) and the responsibility as  to who must send out permits (subject to appeal )  was not answered other than they should  be sent by the consultant. It stated that the motivations for the decision are often not available until the appeal dates have passed.

What appears to be  necessary is that  the HWC  website must be regularly consulted for agendas , decisions etc. as we will not necessarily receive anything (so much for benefits) and that HWC will not automatically suspend or remove an application from the decision making process if we have not commented .

Really it is more of the same . As regards the bigger picture they are short staffed  believe that they have good working relations with most heritage bodies have held 3 workshops this year  and do not see their way clear to get somebody to attend  Heritage bodies AGM ‘s .I believe that we should all send them an invitation to send a representative .

Not much gained or learnt but possibly good to attend

Len Raymond

Chairman HASA

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