In the article below, journalist Lucille Davie chats to leading figures from South Africa's heritage community to unpack the meaning of the term heritage. The article was originally published on the Brand South Africa website on 25 September 2013. Click here to view more of Davie's work.
Currently registered heritage bodies which are organised, funded and run by dedicated volunteers are battling against the lack of practical enforcement efforts by both Provincial Heritage bodies such as Heritage Western Cape as well as at Local Government Level in municipalities.
The local controversy over the development of the public space at Maiden's Cove on the Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town has been brought to national attention in an article by the distinguished retired Constitutional Court Judge, Albie Sachs. “The Secret Weapon of Maiden's Cove for All” (Daily Maverick, 4 September 2018), hones in on some of the most complex and persistent challenges in the heritage sector: How to define heritage? Whose heritage is it?
Heritage encompasses all that we experience in everyday life. It is far more fluid in how it is experienced by society than what we perceive it to be. It is where ideas of individual identity and the role of nation states connect. It is who we are as individuals and how we relate to one another in society.