Heritage Day: MEC must form a solid relationship with ECPHRA for the conservation of heritage sites

The Eastern Cape MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Pemmy Majodina, must focus on building a solid relationship with the Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Resources Authority (ECPHRA) in order to conserve the numerous heritage sites in the Eastern Cape as well as provide viable training opportunities for the unemployed.

Miscommunication and infighting between the ECPHRA and the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) has led to a serious backlog in the processing of permit allocations for the renovation of heritage buildings and as a result the conservation of our heritage sites is under threat.

The Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Resources Authority falls under the Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture and it is vital that the Department adheres to the National Heritage Resources Act (No. 25 of 1999) which aims to, “…introduce an integrated and interactive system for the management of the national heritage resources…and empower civil society to nurture and conserve their heritage resources so that they may be bequeathed to future generations…”

National and international recognition of these sites will be determined by how well they are managed and marketed; the MEC should focus on providing training to unemployed members of local communities on how to preserve and promote these sites – this will assist in providing them with a basic skill set within this area and it will have positive implications on job creation in the Eastern Cape.

Community members must be educated on the importance of properly maintaining our heritage buildings and locations as this is vital for boosting the tourism industry in our province.

The DA calls on the MEC to focus on building a solid relationship with the ECPHRA for the overall development of our heritage sites and the creation of job opportunities for all.