Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 00:00

Vidamemoria and the nominated schools initiated the nomination of schools towards declaration as Provincial Heritage Sites. This initiative involves 9 schools and further sites can be identified in future.

Through training workshops, learners and educators are undertaking the nomination and declaration processes. 

This initiative is not aligned to any government department nor any political party.

School boycotts originated in the Western Cape  in April 1980 and spread to other regions in South Africa. Grievances concerned the standard and  quality of education but quickly grew into wider political protest. Student protests and police actions resulted in widespread violence. In the Cape, police shootings led to over 40 deaths. 

Educational institutions and trade unions became key sites of revolutionary activity. (TRC, School boycotts)

Nominated schools are:

  • Fezeka Senior Secondary, Gugulethu
  • Mount View Secondary, Hanover Park
  • Alexander Sinton High, Athlone
  • Athlone High, Kewtown
  • Cathkin High, Heideveld
  • Livingstone High, Claremont
  • Belgravia High, Athlone
  • Rylands High, Rylands
  • Langa High, Langa

Why declare?

The schools are of heritage significance in terms of its importance in the community, social and historical value and the lives and work of people, groups and organisations important in the history of South Africa. 

Declaration of schools as heritage sites aims to honour the contribution of students and learners during protests and boycotts to the liberation struggle.

Heritage sites reflect the legacy that will be reflected in the formal record and declaration provides an opportunity for communities to take pride in their heritage, their stories and their identity. This project aims to create awareness of the role of many untold heroes of the liberation struggle.

It was often difficult, because there would be a mass of police trucks or caspers, smoke, teargas. There was a lot of panic. The police knew about the student meetings, they came to interrupt these meetings with guns and caspers. They even shot students, students returned their fire with stones, tins.

Sometimes it seems that the police were provoking the students. The role of teachers in the time of the unrest, was very important. In this landscape of unrest, we had to take a stand.
Basil Swart, ex Deputy Principal of Alexander Sinton 
High School (extracted TRC, 1997)


  • Create awareness of nominations
  • Supplement significance
  • Garner support for declaration

All comments received will be included within a participation report to be submitted to the provincial heritage authority, Heritage Western Cape (HWC). The heritage authority will then make a decision regarding declaration as provincial heritage sites.

How to comment 

  • website https://www.vidamemoria.co.za/public-participation/unheardheritage
  • email unheardheritage@vidamemoria.co.za

Comments must be submitted by close of business on 2 November 2022

Public Participation
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 09:18

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Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.