Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has announced the appointment of the Steering Committee to drive and implement the development of the National Khoi and San Heritage Route.
The National Khoi and San Heritage Route identifies, conserves, maps and promotes the heritage of the Khoi, Nama, Griekwa, Khorana and San through the identification and promotion of significant Khoi and San heritage sites.
The Minister announced the appointment of the nine Committee members in a statement on Monday.
Cabinet approved the National Khoi and San Heritage Route on 3 June 2020.
The Steering Committee of the National Khoi and San Heritage Route comprises:
- Chief Cecil le Fleur, Chairperson of the National KhoiSan Council, from the Western Cape
- Mr Richard Hoogstander, from the Northern Cape
- Mr Toetie Dow, from the Eastern Cape
- Mr Anthony Peterson, Deputy Chairperson of the National KhoiSan Council, Freestate
- Mr F Kraalshoek, from the Free State
- Mr Anthony le Fleur, from the Western Cape
- Mr Cornelius Links, from the Northern Cape
- Ms Chantelle Ravelle, from the Western Cape
- Mrs Elsie Springbok, from the Northern Cape
The sites, anchored by a nodal site, will traverse the length and breadth of the South African landscape.
The Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture said the heritage and history of the indigenous people of South Africa has been neglected and marginalised for many decades and therefore, little investment has been made to ensure that these sites are appropriately maintained and promoted.
“Therefore the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, with the guidance of the Steering Committee, is investing in the development of the national route,” said the ministry.
The Steering Committee includes representation from the Department of Traditional Affairs, the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the Provincial Heritage Resources Agencies, the Department of Environmental Affairs, Fisheries and Forestry and the Department of Tourism.
Broad and inclusive consultation with the Khoi, Nama, Griekwa, Khorana and San organisations will be engaged through the provincial structures of the National KhoiSan Council and provincial government.
The ministry said the project plan for the development of the National Khoi and San Heritage Route is based on research/baseline study undertaken by Eco Africa.
A wide range of relevant heritage sites were identified throughout the country and assessed for potential as the basis of a National Khoi and San Heritage Route.
“It is envisaged that the route will, besides the heritage sites, include various other project elements pertaining to Khoisan heritage (tangible and intangible), indigenous knowledge systems, language and culture.”
The baseline study identifies sites of historical, archaeological, paleontological sites spanning across South Africa.
This list is not exhaustive and it is the plan of the Steering Committee to expand on this list.
The base-line recommendations are that the Steering Committee:
- Conduct Node level Heritage Survey and Cultural Landscape Mapping
- Design Overarching Route and Node Level Route
- Develop online profile of the National Khoi and San Heritage Route
- Establish National Khoi and San Heritage Route institutionally
- Solicitation and assessment of heritage development proposals
- Conduct Tourism and Heritage Training
- Develop Khoi and San Heritage in selected National Parks
- Develop Khoi and San ethnobotanical trails and train guides
- Anchor the route academically
The development of the National Khoi and San Heritage Route is one of the three projects that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture is implementing which focuses on Khoi and San heritage and history:
- Construction of the Sarah Bartmann Centre of Remembrance in Hankey in the Eastern Cape. The Sarah Bartmann Centre of Remembrance is a heritage precinct being constructed in Hankey, Gamtoos Valley in the Eastern Cape. The centre is a heritage precinct which communicates the history of Sarah Bartmann, and the socio-economic history and heritage of the KhoiKhoi (KhoeKhoe, San (Khomani, !Xun, !Kwe) Griekwa, Nama and Koranna people of Southern Africa.
- Policy on the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Objects; the policy to set guidelines on the Repatriation and Restitution of Human Remains and Heritage Objects. The draft policy was workshopped with Khoi-San communities, and Government departments in all nine provinces. The inputs received from the workshops were then being incorporated into the final policy.
- Development of the interactive national Khoi and San heritage route online map; based on the list of sites identified in the baseline study, the DSAC commissioned the development of an interactive online map that plots each of the sites on a map of South Africa. Then each site on the map is plotted according to its exact coordinates. Information on the significance of the site, access to the site, and linkages to other sites, which contain further information on the site are all imbedded on the map.