#SAHeritage: ‡Khomani World Heritage Site officially launched with plans for new camp

2017-10-05 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - The Minister of Environment on Wednesday officially marked the listing of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as a World Heritage Site and handed over game to the ‡Khomani community.

Plans for a rest camp was also announced.

The site is South Africa's 9th World Heritage Site, and was inscribed on the UNESCO list in July 2017, which was preceded in 2002 by the historic land settlement agreement between the government, SANParks and the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities.

SEE: #SAHeritage: Exploring Khoisan heritage and the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape

The minister unveiled the plaque and gestured a symbolic handover of game to the community at the Erin Game Ranch near Mier in the Northern Cape.

The ranch is an important source of income for the community and provides training and capacity building to community members so that they can effectively manage the ranch and bring more tourists to the area.

The minister, Dr Edna Molewa, praised the community for their unique culture, as well as honouring Dawid Kruiper, the community leader and activist who was laid to rest in Andriesvale in 2012.

"What makes the ?Khomani unique in that you did not make rock art because there were no suitable rock formations in the territory. Yet, your culture represents a living link to the magnificent artistic legacy in Southern Africa," says Molewa.

"The site includes a landscape embedded with indigenous knowledge of semi-arid desert hunting and gathering, medicine and related technologies; spiritual landscape and spaces of cultural practices of healing dances and women’s ceremonies, musical and artistic tangible and intangible heritage; and landscape transmitting heritage, technical and environmental information."

ALSO SEE: SA's #Khomani Cultural Landscape listed as new UNESCO world heritage site

The minister also announced that SANParks has made R18,1 million available for the development of the Dawid Kruiper Rest Camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which the organisation committed to in 2015. 

The rest camp will be developed in the ‡Khomani community's preferential commercial development zone between Heritage Park and the Auob River, and will consist of ten accommodation units, a reception area, swimming pool and the necessary infrastructure and roads needed.

READ: Living heritage: Inside SA's 9 world heritage sites as ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape added

The selection and concept design of the camp were completed in partnership with the Bushmen Council. Construction is set to start in June 2018 after the Environment Impact Assessment and tender process has concluded, and is expected to open its doors in July 2019. SanParks will run the camp with 50% of the profit going to the ‡Khomani San community.

"I hope that the ‡Khomani San community will never stop respecting and nurturing your culture and will continue to transfer your rich traditional knowledge from one generation to the next in honour of those that went before you, such as Oupa Dawid Kruiper and Ouma Una Rooi."

What to read next on Traveller24:

Daily Skinny: Illegal Airbnb flats in Cape Town, SAA scoops Apex award, #WildlifeWednesday 

New guidance technology for Airbus Helicopters 

SAA scoops award at Apex Awards 2017