HASA letter to Minister Arts & Culture

11 May 2015

Mr. Nkosinathi Mthethwa

Minister of Arts & Culture

10th Floor, Kingsley Centre
481Stanza Bopape, Cnr Steve Biko & Pretorius Streets 

Arcadia, City of Tshwane

By email: minister@dac.gov.za

Dear Honourable Minister Mthethwa,

TRANSFORMATION OF THE HERITAGE SECTOR

The Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) has taken note of the recent resolution adopted by stakeholders at a meeting hosted by the Ministry on the transformation of public statues, symbols and place names, and the subsequent appointment of a Heritage Transformation Task Team to look further into these matters.

As the largest heritage association of its kind, it is unfortunate that HASA could not participate in these fora. We trust however that we will be afforded the opportunity to do so in future as we believe that HASA and the fifteen affiliate conservation bodies we represent across South Africa, can play an important role in ensuring that the national estate is responsibly managed and transformed to reflect our shared heritage.

In lieu of the debacle facing colonial era monuments, we are heartened by the resolutions adopted by the forum, in particular that changes to public memorials need to take place within the ambit of existing legislation and that proper and meaningful stakeholder consultation will be undertaken by the Department. We express our wholehearted support to the Department in realising these objectives. While we are concerned about certain resolutions adopted by the forum, we hope that we will be able to raise these objections at future stakeholder consultations.

We wish to congratulate the Minister and department for taking measures to address the vandalism of public monuments and to establish proper national consultation on what has become an important issue facing the sector. We also wish to offer our support and assistance to the Transformation Task Team and will gladly nominate a member from our affiliate organisations to participate should you feel that this would be of benefit.

We look forward to further positive engagement with the Department on these and other matters.

Yours sincerely,

Len Raymond

Chairperson

Heritage Association of South Africa

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