National Heritage Monument Project, Living Heritage Carnival Parade, proposed heritage tourism projects: Dali Tambo briefing; Legacy Report adoption
11 March 2014
Chairperson: Mr D Gumede (ANC)
Mr Dali Tambo. Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Project Company, made three presentations to the Committee. The first was on the National Heritage Monument Project, which he had conceived after realising that despite the fact that his father Oliver Tambo was a struggle hero, there was no statue commemorating him in South Africa. He said that the National Heritage Monument Project would, amongst others, aim to create a monumental parade or exhibition of more than 500 life size bronze sculptures of individuals, across all social spectrums, who had contributed to SA’s struggle for democracy and liberation. The Project would be located at Fountains Valley, Tshwane. Attached to the exhibition was the creation of Africa’s first huge water-park. The main aim of the Project was heritage, and it would be linked to other heritage sites in the area. However, the water-park and also a market where crafts and food would be sold were also planned, to draw crowds as the success of the project ultimately depended on the number of visitors it was able to attract. The City of Tshwane supported the Project, as the business plan had shown that the water park would be an enhancement for the City. Land had been donated by the City of Tshwane for the Project and it would fall under the control of the Department of Arts and Culture. Other positive spin-offs from the Project would be job creation and poverty eradication. The ultimate aim was for increased investment in the area. The Project already enjoyed the support of the Presidency, the Departments of Arts and Culture and National Department of Tourism, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, who had advanced two payments already, the City of Tshwane and many other stakeholders in government and the private sector.
The second presentation was on the Living Heritage Carnival Parade. The idea was conceived as a celebration of local and African identity, with its diverse communities and cultures, and the transformative power of creativity and social cohesion. The aim was to turn the Gauteng Carnival into an annual, internationally-renowned nation building and social cohesion carnival event attracting domestic and foreign audiences. It would create jobs and have economic benefits for the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Province. It was intended that the Carnival would have floats showcasing representatives of various cultures in South Africa – such as Zulu, Portuguese, Chinese, Xhosa, Greek and Indian, amongst others.
The third presentation, which was very brief due to time constraints, outlined the proposal for a Heritage Tourism Project on battle re-enactments and cultural festivals. The idea behind the concept was to bring thousands of people together in order to re-enact key battles in South Africa’s history. He had already approached authorities in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal regarding the concept. The battle re-enactments would be held over weekends.
The Committee generally supported and were appreciative of the ideas behind all three Projects, although some expressed a reservation that they were not quite sure whether the public would take kindly to the battle project, and it would have to be carefully conceived and marketed. They questioned the environmental assessment impacts of the sites, and raised a number of questions as to how the financing of the Projects would happen. Whilst they were appreciative also of the links to Expanded Public Works Programmes, they cautioned that management and control issues could be tricky.
The Committee adopted, with amendments, and including an addendum that would cover today’s presentations, the Committee’s Legacy Report, and a report on its oversight visit to the Western Cape Province. Finally, it also adopted minutes of 5 November 2013, 28 January 2014 and 18 February 2014. As this was the last meeting, the Chairperson expressed his appreciation to Members, Committee staff and support staff for their work with the Committee.
Mr Dali Tambo, Chief Executive Officer, National Heritage Project Company, noted that he would elaborate on three projects of the National Heritage Company. He wanted to note that he represented both Koketso Growth, a private company, and the National Heritage Project Company, a section 21 company of which he was the CEO.
National Heritage Monument Project
Mr Tambo said that the idea for the National Heritage Monument Project (the Project) came to him whilst visiting the gravesite of his father Mr Oliver Tambo. Even though his father had played such a huge role in the South African freedom struggle, nowhere was there a statue in honour of his father erected in South Africa. He said that, having come to that realisation, he had received contact from his ancestors, who suggested that he to broaden the idea, to erect statues for all South African freedom struggle stalwarts. Prior to 1994, 90% of South Africa’s heritage projects were to do with white leaders. From 1994 onwards South Africa (SA) had introduced new heritage.
He explained that the Project would, amongst other things, set out to create a monumental parade or exhibition of more than 500 life size bronze sculptures of individuals, across all social spectrums, who contributed to SA’s struggle for democracy and liberation. The National Department of Tourism had provided R500 000 funding to assist with the completion of a business plan for the Project. The Project was deemed feasible and would be located at Fountains Valley, Tshwane. To date 48 statues had been completed. This was an artistic endeavour and had coined the phrase “Long March to Freedom”. Attached to the exhibition was the creation of Africa’s first huge water-park. The success of the heritage installation depended on the number of visitors it drew and it was hoped that the water-park would be a great draw card. The City of Tshwane supported the Project, as the business plan had shown that the water-park would be an enhancement for the City. Land had been donated by the City of Tshwane for the Project and it would fall under the control of the Department of Arts and Culture.
Spin-offs from the Project would be job creation and poverty eradication. The ultimate aim was for increased investment in the area. The main aim of the Project was heritage, but the water-park, as also a market where crafts and food would be sold, was also planned. He pointed out that in 2012 the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) had dedicated R20m towards the Project but the DAC would now be approached to release the funds. The Project was being seen as part of the heritage tourism impetus. The idea was to create a hub which could also boost domestic tourism. SA needed something which was “big and audacious”. As the Master Planning Phase of the Project was being completed, the celebration of SA’s 20 years of democracy in 2014 should ideally be used as the breaking of ground for the Project and to start construction, as well as the four-year development of the National Heritage Monument. The Project already enjoyed the support of the Presidency, the DAC, the National Department of Tourism (NDT), the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the City of Tshwane and many other stakeholders in government and the private sector.
Living Heritage Carnival Parade
Mr Tambo said that the Living Heritage Carnival Parade was conceived as a joyous celebration of local and African identity, diverse communities and cultures, and the transformative power of creativity. The idea was to turn the Gauteng Carnival into an annual, internationally-renowned nation building and social cohesion carnival event, attracting domestic and foreign audiences. It would create jobs and have economic benefits for the City of Tshwane and the Gauteng Province. The Carnival would have floats representative of various cultures in SA; for instance Zulus, Portuguese, Chinese, Xhosas, Greeks and Indians. The event should be an annual carnival, with effect from September 2014, coinciding with SA’s 20 years of democracy celebrations. The Carnival should attract both domestic and international tourists. The idea was to showcase SA’s social cohesion. The carnivals currently happening in SA had no continuity. International carnivals had shown that they brought in huge amounts of tourism dollars.
Proposal for a heritage tourism project on Battle Re-enactments and Cultural Festivals
Mr Tambo said that, given time constraints, he would briefly outline these proposals. He noted that it was difficult to promote tourism in rural areas. SA had a colourful history and many battles had been fought. The idea behind the Project was to bring thousands of people together in order to re-enact battles in SA’s history. He had already approached authorities in the Eastern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal regarding the concept. The battle re-enactments would be held over weekends. The re-enactments were cultural experiences which the actor-soldiers could share with tourists. It was about remembering the history of SA and the experiences of its people. He pointed out that the 100 years war was the longest anti-colonial war in history.
Mr R Shah (DA) said that he was quite excited by the three projects presented. The job opportunities created and the showcasing of various cultures for social cohesion were positive. He wanted clarity regarding the heritage component tying in with the entertainment component, especially if the DAC, Tshwane City and the NDT needed to make financial contributions. He was interested to know who would manage the day to day operations of the projects and to whom each entity would be reporting.
Mr Shah asked where the source of water for the water-park would be. He asked what the current status of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was. He also wanted clarity on the role of the National Heritage Monument Company, on post development involvement.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) was interested to hear more about budgets and funding. This was especially relevant given that the budget of NDT was generally small, due to the nature of the tourism industry. She asked if the NDT would be in a position to assist financially.
Ms Njobe wondered whether SA was ready for the re-enactments of battles. Some people were still sensitive about the history and battles that were fought in the past. The reaction of persons needed to be considered. People needed to be prepared and educated about the educational value of such a project.
Mr Tambo said that funding would be most likely sourced from both the DAC and the NDT. The Department of Communications would also be approached, since there was a large communications component to these projects. Each department would deal with its own aspects. For example, the Department of Public Works and the City of Tshwane would have to consider issues like traffic management and the provision of bulk infrastructure. The exercise was seen as a multi-departmental initiative, and the same applied to the funding side. There were also other funding options, but it was felt that heritage, as a principle, should be state funded.
Mr S Farrow (DA) said that the presentations reflected commendable work that had been done. He was, however, a little concerned about the multi-faceted type of the project. He was also concerned about the issue of finances. He also asked about the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies that needed to be done and how far they had progressed.
Mr Farrow asked what role was anticipated for the Committee. It had to be remembered that there were multifaceted components related to financing. He asked whether Mr Tambo had liaised with other tourism projects in the area, like the Voortrekker Monument, as it would be useful to work hand in hand with them. He also asked how these projects might tie in with Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP). The Committee had encountered both positive and negative issues with the management and controlling mechanisms of EPWP projects. He noted that the “Coon Carnival” model needed to be copied. He said that these were merely suggestions that Mr Tambo could think about – he did not need a specific response.
Mr Tambo responded that the budget question envisaged a multi-departmental approach. There would also be foreign investment and private sector investment. A phased approach would be taken. He repeated that the idea was to break ground in 2014 and to open in two years time. Looking at the proximity of other heritage sites like the Voortrekker Monument and Freedom Park, he agreed that the area was seen as a heritage hub and should be linked somehow.
Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) was hugely impressed by the enormity of the projects. She shared other Member’s concerns about budgeting. She also wanted to know if the projects were sustainable, and pointed out that income generation was key. She wondered if the Carnival could not be rotated between the provinces. She shared concerns about the sensitivity of the battle re-enactments. People needed to be prepared for such re-enactments. The re-enactments should not become contentious.
Mr Tambo responded that there were roughly 13 000 visitors per day at water-parks. Heritage sites could have thousands per day; it all had to do with how they were marketed. He noted that Freedom Park had cost R150 million, but visitor numbers were dismal. It was expected that within two years time the Project at Tshwane would be the most visited.
Mr Tambo said that research had shown that carnivals held consistently in the same location were most successful, and it was cheaper and commercially more viable. The Carnival was the first attempt at a multicultural celebration. The provinces would be brought on board. Manufacturing hubs could evolve from the event in the provinces. Issues like traffic management and security had to be taken into consideration.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) asked how the DAC and the NDT intended to provide the funding that had been spoken about. She asked how the Carnival celebrations were going to take place and whether, for instance, it was hoped to showcase all the cultures on the same day. She was glad to hear that there was going to be job creation attached to the Projects.
Mr Tambo said that the Carnival anticipated having individual floats, with persons in traditional dress. It was a multi-cultural celebration.
Ms Bam-Mugwanya noted that there were so many people who had contributed towards SA’s freedom struggle, and asked what criteria would be used in determining which were going to be immortalised in a bronze life-size statue.
Mr Tambo stated that there were certain struggle stalwarts from each era who particularly stood out. Discussions with historians and academics had taken place, and lists of persons from various parts of SA, from different eras, disciplines and credes had been covered. A balance was needed, as there were only 500 statues at present. The numbers would increase in the future.
The Chairperson said that the NDT had made mention that a feasibility study had been done at Nasrec, and not at Fountains Valley. He asked what sort of stakeholder engagement had taken place.
Mr Tambo responded that a feasibility plan had been done, as a result of which the Project had moved from Nasrec to Fountains Valley. There was an updated business plan that now contained specifics about the Tshwane location. All the information and statistics related to the location in Tshwane.
Mr Tambo further spoke to stakeholder engagement and said that the Presidency had made one of its advisers available for the Project. The DAC had, in 2012, endorsed the Project and to date had provided funding to the value of R28 million. The National Lottery had also provided seed funding for the Project, to the value of R14 million, and had later provided an additional R14 million. Mr Tambo said that talks with the DAC and the Province were taking place regarding Carnival funding.The Mayoral Committee of Tshwane had agreed to the transfer of land to the DAC. Engagement with the Department of Public Works over the provision of bulk infrastructure had also taken place. Discussions with Investec and Tsogo Sun had also taken place, as there was a role for the private sector to play. The Committee had been briefed about the Projects because of the specific tourism component, and the opportunity for tourism enhancement. He noted that the Voortrekker Monument was very popular and so he believed that there had to be linking transport between the various heritage sites in the area. He noted the Committee’s concerns on the EPWP, and said that the Projects would tread carefully. He emphasised again the value of the Projects to South Africa’s social cohesion.
The Chairperson said that there was no doubt that the Committee supported the project. He did point out that Environmental Impact Assessments could become an issue.
Ms Haynes responded that full Master Planning was taking place to inform the EIA. The project was receiving blocks of funding, some of which was still awaited.
The Chairperson stated that bold initiatives like these were needed by South Africa.
Mr Tambo thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present.
Committee Minute Adoption
The Committee adopted minutes dated 5 November 2013, 28 January 2014 and 18 February 2014 without amendments.
Committee’s draft Legacy Report May 2009 - March 2014
The Committee effected some substantive, grammatical and spelling changes to the Report.
Members agreed that the Report should in particular flag the issue that crime was affecting tourism.
Mr Shah asked how the presentation by Mr Tambo and the recommendations to be made by the Committee were going to be included in the Committee’s Legacy Report.
Mr Khorai responded that the minutes of the present meeting should be adopted first, before inclusion in the Committee Legacy Report.
Mr Farrow suggested that anything else to be added to the Report could be treated as addenda.
The Chairperson said that the Committee could make a recommendation in support of the Projects presented upon. Agreeing with Mr Farrow, he suggested that a one page addendum could be added to the Legacy Report, in which the Committee recorded its support for the Projects and the reasons.
The Committee adopted the Report, with the additional portions as just suggested.
Committee Oversight Report on visit to Western Cape Province, February 2014
The Committee effected grammatical and spelling changes to the Report. There was also agreement that certain issues like branding needed to be flagged in the Report.
The Report was adopted, as amended.
The Committee then agreed to the suggestion of the Chairperson that the Oversight Report also be attached to the Committee’s Legacy Report, as an addendum.
As this was the final meeting of the Committee for the current Parliament, Ms Njobe, Mr Farrow and Mr Shah said their farewells to the Committee, as they were not returning to serve as members in the Fifth Parliament after the May 2013 elections.
The Chairperson, in closing the meeting, thanked Members of the Committee for their co-operation over the Committee’s tenure. Committee staff and support staff were also thanked for their hard work. Special mention was even made of the Parliamentary Monitoring Group for its support function in providing reports of meetings to Members when certain issues needed clarification.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Committee Legacy Report
- Proposal for a heritage tourism project on Battle Re-enactments and Cultural Festivals
- Living Heritage Carnival Parade
- National Heritage Monument Project briefing
- Koketso Growth (Pty) Ltd presentation
- National Heritage Monument Concept Layouts – Fountains Valley
- Koketso Growth Cultural Heritage & Tourism Consultation and Planning
- Proposal for a Heritage Tourism Project on Battle Re-enactments & Cultural Festivals in Rural Areas
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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