Summit on challenges to access heritage land

THE challenges faced by communities living in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park heritage site on the outskirts of Zululand will be put in the spotlight this week.

This as communities from Dukuduku, Bhangazi, Western Shores, Sokhulu, Tembe and Ndumo meet this week to reflect on their experiences and challenges in accessing land and tenure rights on land set aside for nature conservation.

Thabo Manyathi, spokesperson for Association For Rural Advancement, said they were trying to create a dialogue among affected communities.

"The purpose of the summit will be to create conversation among communities affected by the declaration of certain areas as protected areas, in particular the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site.

"The workshop will also develop a plan on how to engage the government and other stakeholders," he said.

The summit kicks off in Hluhluwe this week and officials from KZN Wildlife and the Land Claims Commission are expected to attend.