Minister Meyer to Unveil Ratelgat as Provincial Heritage Site
The Western Cape Provincial Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, will on Saturday, 12 May 2012, officially unveil Ratelgat as a Provincial Heritage Site at 09:30. The farm Ratelgat, 35 km north of Vanrhynsdorp on the N7 highway, previously known as Luiperdskop, has a profound connection to the Griqua people of South Africa, more specifically those who fall under the banner of the Griqua National Conference (GNC) of South Africa.
The unveiling of Ratelgat as a Provincial Heritage Site coincides with the celebration of the annual Ratelgat Day, which is set aside by the GNC as a day to give thanks to God for the long life of the late Paramount Chief AAS le Fleur II and for his sacrifices for his people. It is also a day to give thanks for God's promises to bless the Griqua and for the prophesies of Andrew Abraham Stockenström le Fleur I (Die Kneg) that are being fulfilled. Annual pilgrimages are subsequently undertaken by GNC Griqua to Ratelgat during May.
The significance of Ratelgat for the Griqua is further manifested through an ongoing attempt to turn the farm into an income-generating tourist attraction offering insight into Griqua and Khoin-San culture and traditions. This initiative is inspired by a prophecy attributed to Die Kneg that God would turn the Ratelgat desert area into a paradise.
Ratelgat will become the first heritage site in the West Coast to bear the new badge of the Heritage Western Cape, the provincial heritage resources authority. The new badge replaces those of the old National Monuments Council which currently appears on the 3 028 provincial heritage sites (former national monuments) around the province.