Struggles sites under the spotlight

on .

Sites and buildings in KwaZulu-Natal associated with the struggle against apartheid will come under the spotlight of a new survey by Amafa, the provincial heritage body.

“Some of these, like the Dube family’s house at Inanda and the roadside spot near Howick where Nelson Mandela was arrested on August 5, 1962 are already protected under our legislation,” says Mandlakhe Ntuli, heritage officer in Amafa’s Built Environment section.

“But there are many more we would like to give official recognition and protection. 

“There’s an old house in Boom Street in Pietermaritzburg owned by the late Dr Chota Motala which though not of any architectural merit was a meeting place for anti-apartheid activists. This will certainly be included on our new proposed list. 

“It’s important these places are preserved to help present and future generations understand what happened there. 

“Our staff wearing yellow T-shirts with the Amafa logo have already been working in the Amajuba District. Now they are in the Umzinyati District so people in Dundee, Glencoe, Nqutu, Greytown and smaller towns can expect to see them.

“All built structures older than 60 years are already protected under provincial or national heritage legislation so may not be altered or demolished without Amafa’s written permission. But the legislation did not intend to include every old building so the aim of this survey is to list those worthy of protection for various reasons - like architectural merit or historic significance - enabling general protection to be lifted.

“Special review panels will deal with the survey’s recommendations. These will include experienced people nominated by local historical organisations, museum boards and local authorities. Members of the architectural professions are also invited to nominate panellists.”

Owners of properties thus identified will have the chance to object and provide input with the proposed and final lists widely publicised for public review and comment before being submitted to the Amafa Council for inclusion on the Heritage Register.

Any member of the public aware of buildings and places not yet protected is asked to contact Amafa.