Earlier this month the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality launched the book, A Walk Through Our Past. The coffee table book, which features Nelson Mandela on its cover, highlights important events in our country’s history from the year 1800, through to the dawn of democracy in 1994, and was published as part of the municipality’s Liberation Heritage Route.
Like Nelson Mandela Bay, the municipality of Durban forms part of the national Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route (RLHR), administered by the National Heritage Council, which describes the the RLHR as “a national memory project aimed at commemorating, celebrating, educating, promoting, preserving, conserving and providing a durable testament of South African’s road to independence”.
But as important as ensuring that the story of South Africa’s struggle for democracy is told, there is another element to the project as well: the socio-economic potential of the RLHR to uplift communities. It is hoped that through tourism, and the production of content such as A Walk Through Our Past, previously disadvantaged groups will be able to participate in the economy. This is in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), which calls for “Increased Economic Participation and Infrastructure that Supports Economic Activity”. In fact the Resistance and Liberation Heritage Route supports a number of the objectives of the NDP, including ‘social cohesion’, ‘education’, ‘sustainable settlements’ and ‘conservation’.
To find out more about the work of the National Heritage Council and the various projects that it runs as an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, please visit their website.
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