Geoheritage

The Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) is pleased to announce that the historical town of Barberton, Mpumalanga, will host this year’s heritage symposium taking place from 18 to 20 October. With its rich natural and cultural heritage, combined with breathtaking scenery, Barberton has much to offer.

The choice of venue for the symposium could not be more appropriate. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains have just been declared a World Heritage Site – the first in Mpumalanga.

 

To the north of Johannesburg lies a hill of great historical, archaeological and geological importance. In the article below Lilith Wynne explores the archaeological aspects of the Lone Hill site. The article first appeared in the 1988 Journal of the Sandton Historical Association, two years after Professor Revil Mason made his 'discovery'.

The topography of Johannesburg is distinctive with the rocky mountainous ridges and the line of koppies that runs from east to west. These are the quartzite ridges of the famous Witwatersrand. The geology is unique. Viljoen and Reimold (An Introduction to South Africa’s Geology and Mining Heritage) make the point that this is one of the few localities where the evolution of the granitic crust of Southern Africa has been preserved and can be viewed.

We are very pleased to publish Tony Ferrar's report on a recent journey along the Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail organised by the Mpumalanga Historical Interest Group. MHIG Chairman, Duncan Ballantyne confirmed that eighty eight people attended, a new record for the young organisation. Attendees gave the recently finished Geotrail a big thumbs up. We expect it to become a major tourist attraction and inspire similar projects around the country in the coming years.

Over the last few weeks there has been considerable discussion about the shocking state of George Harrison Park in Langlaagte (the site commemorating the discovery of the largest goldfield on earth). In the following thought-provoking piece Gavin Whitfield, geological consultant and author, argues that we should 'not waste further effort on maintaining this important heritage site as it is...'

History

A few weeks ago (late September 2013) we paid a depressing visit to George Harrison Park in Langlaagte, the site of the discovery of the largest gold field on earth. The Geological Society's Blue Plaque has been removed, building rubble is scattered around the main entrance, the panels revealing the significance of the site have been damaged by fire and the main memorial looks battered to say the least. It is incredibly sad to see one of the most important heritage sites in South Africa looking so neglected.

 

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