Princess Vlei Heritage Site the result of work and commitment from stakeholders
The cultural, spiritual, recreational, and environmental significance of Princess Vlei Eco Park will now be protected for future generations after it was unveiled as a Provincial Heritage Site (PHS) on Tuesday 12 October 2021.
The PHS status means that the Vlei is now protected by the regulations of the National Heritage Resources Act (1999), meaning that the site cannot be altered in any way without official approval.
Tuesday’s unveiling was the culmination of years of work and consultation between Heritage Western Cape (HWC), an entity of the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), and the City of Cape Town, the Princess Vlei Forum and the Western Cape Khoi leadership.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, unveiled the plaque at Princess Vlei on Tuesday and delivered the keynote address.
“To emphasize the importance of protecting sites that hold cultural and historical significance, we must highlight that these sites have a rich history to the province but also to the communities where they are situated. In many instances, the sites hold narratives detailing the resilient spirit of the people of the greater City of Cape Town, our province and country at large,” Minister Marais said.
“I look forward to collaboratively sharing the significance of the newly officiated Provincial Heritage Site that is Princess Vlei. I thank all who had a hand in the approval of this very significant Provincial Heritage Site status as we are indeed grateful to each stakeholder as you have contributed to a community’s sense of place and purpose and unleashed its potential to yield information contributing to a wider understanding of the history of co-existence in the Western Cape. The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport will continue in our proactive efforts to consultatively transform the heritage landscape of the province so that it is more inclusive of all who call it home.”
Colette Scheermeyer, Deputy Director of HWC, delivered the vote of thanks at the unveiling. “(Heritage Western Cape’s) vision is to see inclusive, transformed, people-centric, sustainable management of heritage resources in the Western Cape,” she said.
“We are working towards a vision, which means having objectives and a mission in mind which allows us to reach milestones and this takes work and commitment, and not just from HWC in terms of our legal mandate, but also from our external stakeholders. There are a myriad of interested and affected parties who have played a role over the years, who we may not mention here today by name, but I think it would be appropriate to acknowledge. There are communities who have their own narratives and histories and memories of this space, which we need to honour and acknowledge.”
Princess Vlei Eco Park is the fourth Provincial Heritage Site unveiled in 2021, following the Langa Pass office in February, Freedom Square in Bonteheuwel in March and the Blouberg Nature Reserve in August.
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