Amafa surveys old buildingsand sites forrecognition

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

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

"Some of these, such as the Dube family's house at Inanda and the spot on the road near Howick where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, are already protected under our legislation," said Mandlakhe Ntuli, heritage officer in Amafa's Built Environment section.

He says there are many other sites they want to give official recognition and protection.

"There's an old house in Boom Street in Pietermaritzburg. It was owned by the late Chota Motala and though it's not of any architectural merit it was a meeting place for anti-apartheid activists.

"This will certainly be included on our proposed new list."

He said it was important to preserve these places 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," he said. "Now they are in the Umzinyati district. So people in Dundee, Glencoe, Nqutu, Greytown and smaller towns can expect to see them."

He said built structures older than 60 years were already protected under provincial or national heritage legislation and may therefore not be altered or demolished without Amafa's written permission.

But legislation excluded every old building and this is why the survey is aimed at listing those worthy of protection for various reasons.

"Special review panels will deal with the survey's recommendations," Ntuli said. "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 panelists."

Owners of properties identified will have a chance to object.

They will have an input into the proposed and final lists to be widely publicised for public review and comment before submission to the Amafa council for inclusion on the heritage register.