PRESS RELEASE
10/04/2015
For Immediate Release
PUBLIC URGED TO PROTECT HISTORICAL MONUMENTS

Over the past 20 years, eThekwini Municipality has built an entirely new collection of 22 monuments and memorials that reflect both the diversity and unity of our democratic society.

These statues include those of the late African National Congress stalwarts, Dr John Langalibalele Dube and Dr Nelson Mandela , both erected at Inanda.

This process has included the renaming of streets and public buildings in honour of struggle heroes, renovation and upgrading of sites linked to our liberation from apartheid and the creation of statues of distinguished South Africans from many walks of life. These include figures such as Dr Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr John Langalibalele Dube, Moses Mabhida, as well as Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge.
In addition to these steps, since 2013 the Heritage Department of eThekwini Municipality has been engaged with stakeholders to collect information on sites within the City that are related to the liberation struggle.

As part of a national initiative to honour the fact that our freedom was not free, these sites will be included in the National Liberation Heritage Route of eThekwini Municipality. Each site will be commemorated with a prominent official marker and map, with a website for further information on this project. The eThekwini Municipality Liberation Heritage Route will be unveiled to the public later this year.

Existing policy regarding the removal or relocation of statues and memorials has been emphasised by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa. Consistent with the law set out in the South African National Heritage Resources Act, as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act, if any group or community wished to nominate a statue for removal, it would be necessary to undertake a 30-day public consultation process. This process would be guided by the relevant statutory body, namely Amafa / Heritage KwaZulu-Natal, including notifications of presentations to the authorities and invitations of comments from affected and interested parties.

Although no submissions of this nature have yet been received by the Heritage Department of eThekwini Municipality, dialogue on this and other related matters is encouraged. To this end a public discussion on the role of colonial and apartheid era monuments in a democratic dispensation has been planned for a date before the end of April 2015. The event will be held at KwaMuhle Museum and calls for participation will be issued shortly.

The King Shaka Statue is a programme of the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and not eThekwini Municipality.

In terms of representing people of our province we have several projects underway. The summary of the projects is as follows:
  1. UMkhumbane Heritage Centre: This project is under construction and is nearing completion. It will look into the history of forced removals as well as the History of the Zulu Nation.
  2. We have the crypt of the Queen Mother, Queen Thomozile kaNdwandwe Zulu at the same premises at the uMkhumbane heritage centre. This follows her reburial at this site in 2011.
  3. We have the Mpumalanga Heritage Centre in Hammersdale. Construction work on this project has been complete and we are now working on the exhibition component. The museum, driven by the community, represents a place of healing and reconciliation and focuses on history of the area focusing in the main on the tragic legacy of violence followed by a one of a kind community driven peace and reconciliation process. It tells the stories of lived experiences of ordinary people who lived through this period, those who lost their lives as well as those who survived.
  4. We have the National Liberation Heritage Route project which began in 2013 and we about to unveil the first phase which focuses on the CBD. We will have all the design and first markers in place before the end of June 2015 and have funds in the new financial year to continue the rollout. The feasibility of sites in the north, west and the south are at the preparation phases.
  5. In November 2014 we unveiled the Moses Mabhida Exhibition at the Stadium.
  6. Over and above monuments which are immovable inanimate objects, we also have our Living Legends who are living monuments of the strides we have made as a country. We honour these every year in September and their legacies form part of the city’s collective memory and heritage. We this programme we as a city are highlighting the need to acknowledge intangible Heritage.
  7. The Mxenge House Museum: This is a new Museum being developed in uMlazi at the home of anti apartheid activists, Vitoria and Griffiths Mxenge. Feasibility studies are complete and in the new year we have budgets to rehabilitate the house, landscaping and commence to install exhibitions.
  8. JL Dube Museum: A new amphitheatre which forms part of the master plan for this Heritage site is currently under construction in iNanda and is due for completion June 2015. The next phase for this project will begin in the new year. The existing house at the school was refurbished complete with new exhibitions in 2010 and the family home not far from this site has been fenced and refurbished as part of the master plan.
  9. Gandhi House Museum: this Museum was refurbished complete with new exhibitions in 2010
  10. Seme – Champion – Gumede: We are currently conducting a pre-feasibility and scoping exercise intended to inform the development of four additional sites on Inanda Heritage Route aimed at preserving and celebrating the legacies of four eminent local leaders - Seme, Champion and two Gumedes.
  11. Loram House Museum: This project is being undertaken in partnership with the provincial Department of Arts and Culture. It is a multi-phased undertaking which will culminate in the establishment of a Museum of Education to be housed at Loram House on Masabalala Yengwa Avenue. All studies are complete and we begin installing exhibitions inside as from July 2015. These will be focusing on the History of Loram as a school as well as the system of education that led to its development.
  12. KwaMuhle Museum: As of January 2015 KwaMuhle Museum has been officially gazetted as a provincial Heritage site. The official handover of the plaque by Amafa to the City will be conducted in the first week of May. The date is yet to be confirmed.
  13. Indentured Indian Labourers Monument launched in uThongathi two years ago and another to be installed this year at a site to be determined along the beachfront.

People caught defacing the statues may be prosecuted for malicious damage to Municipal property.

Acts of vandalism taking place in our communities cannot be addressed by the Municipality and police alone. They require vigilance from us as community members and we must not look away when we know that our relatives, neighbours and friends are involved in damaging Council property.

Residents are urged to report vandalism of statues to Senior Manager: Architectural Maintenance Mr. José V. Gomes on 031 311 7124/2510 or email: jose.gomes@durban.gov.za
ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 0313114855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za