Minister Anroux Marais' speech at Provincial Heritage badge unveiling: Hostel 33
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
PROVINCIAL HERITAGE BADGE UNVEILING: HOSTEL 33
24 SEPTEMBER 2018
Good day, molweni nonke, goeiemôre,
It gives me great pleasure and is an absolute honour to unveil the Provincial Heritage Site plaque for Hostel 33 at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum today.
At the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) we strive to provide for the conservation, promotion and development of heritage resources to facilitate processes for the standardisation or changes, where necessary, to assist with heritage resource management by implementing at provincial level the mandates of the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 and the National Heritage Resources Act, 1999.
Together with the expert assistance of Heritage Western Cape and the City of Cape Town’s facilitation, the historical significance and the representative and symbolic nature of Hostel 33 is now officially acknowledged and will rightfully be promoted in the public domain as a Provincial Heritage Site.
As a result of in-depth research and following the relevant official processes, the historical and social significance of Hostel 33 can now be highlighted. While migrant labour is the defining labour system of apartheid South African’s urban economy, the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum is the only museum dedicated to its memorialization. Initially the intention of the Museum and its chief exhibit Hostel 33, was to preserve, restore and interpret the only remaining migrant labour hostel in Lwandle, Hostel 33. Hostel 33 was restored to be an integral part of the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum and its activities; as a site for visitors; as an educational resource and as memorial to the migrant labour system which underpinned the existence of Lwandle.
The Provincial Heritage Site Status will communicate clearly and definitively that the heritage community and agencies consider this site to be a major and important heritage asset that warrants serious and focussed conservation attention from all parties. Provincial Heritage Site Status immediately provides the full protection to these sites described in the National Heritage Resources Act (1999). This is indeed welcomed by the Western Cape Government as we can all agree that the value of Hostel 33 lies in its representative and symbolic nature. Hostel 33 is of outstanding significance for the memorialisation and acknowledgement of migrant workers, their role and contribution to society.
I look forward to collaboratively sharing the significance of the newly officiated Provincial Heritage Site at Hostel 33, which includes its importance in illustrating how people lived within the migrant labour system. It represents an extraordinary spatial and social expression of resilience and oppression, which dominated the South African settlement morphology as part of an “apartheid” city.
I thank all who had a hand in the approval of the Provincial Heritage Site Status bestowed upon the Hostel 33. I am indeed grateful to each stakeholder as you have contributed to a community’s sense of place and unleashed its potential to yield information contributing to a wider understanding of the history of human occupation in the Western Cape.
I thank you.