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Several heritage sites across the country, documenting African history and the country’s struggle history, have been allowed to fall apart and be destroyed, despite millions supposedly being budgeted and spent on their upkeep and maintenance.

PREMIUM!

While SA dances and celebrates heritage day, our heritage sites fall apart

Madiba's Alexandra House is pictured, 24 September 2020. The former international icon, Nelson Mandela’s house in Alexandra, a heritage site which the Gauteng Provincial Government promised to convert into a museum has been left to deteriorate. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Once testament to a rich history and heritage, the 1940s thatched Mamelodi Rondavels, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu studied, and the oldest known buildings in the Pretoria township, is now a monument of neglect, pillaging, and vandalism. The significance of the heritage site, defined by a small cluster of rondavel-styled buildings, is described in a paper published by the SA Journal of Cultural History in 2003 as a “visual local remnant of the history” of Bantu Education and struggle for a non-racial society. There is now, however, little left, “except for a small brick wall,” local historian, Aubrey Mohase, laments. “It...

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