Ekurhuleni Heritage must be at forefront of Local Economic Growth and Education

Ekurhuleni Heritage must be at forefront of Local Economic Growth and Education

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the City of Ekurhuleni notes and welcomes the report by the Sport, Heritage, Recreation, Arts and Culture (SHRAC) Oversight Committee on a study tour conducted in Havana, Cuba.

One of the aspects we are particularly pleased with is the possible establishment of the office of the city historian, which along with ward historians, will ensure a more effective and comprehensive heritage preservation of the City.

While the DA welcomes this report, it needs to be clear that under the ANC-led coalition government in the CoE, the recommendations of this report may just as well end up being nothing more than a wish list.

Firstly, the City needs to take better care of the existing facilities such as the OR Tambo Cultural Precinct in Wattville, Chris Hani’s house in Dawn Park and the Thokoza Memorial in Thokoza. Until now, the ANC-led coalition administration has failed to maintain these facilities as centres of education and tourist attraction. We hope that following the report by the SHRAC Oversight Committee, this Metro will awaken from its slumber and start advocating heritage sites, which will also be hubs of education and local economic growth.

The DA believes that the City’s approach to administering heritage conservation has been outdated and needs urgent revamping. However, while we welcome the report, it has to be made clear that, it is only the DA that has the political will to ensure a comprehensive heritage conservation in the City.

Under a DA-led government, the office of the City historian will be given all resources necessary to conduct its duties accordingly. Furthermore, we will ensure that the City has special history lessons for school learners in community centres and various museums throughout the city.

Furthermore, under a DA-led government, the City of Ekurhuleni will be able to market heritage sites as tourism and educational destinations.

Following this report, the DA will be embarking on a heritage tour in order to formulate a heritage turnaround strategy that will allow for a more comprehensive history to be shared, from time to time, with the locals and international visitors.