World Heritage Convention Bill: discussion


07 September 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

7 September 1999

Subcommittees set up to look at various submission on the World Heritage Convention Bill made their presentations on the submissions they were asked to consider by the Committee during its last meeting. Mr V Tereblanche and Ms I Coetzee from the Department commented on the presentations by the two subcommittees.


Ms J Chalmers (ANC) made the presentation on behalf of subcommittee 1. On the submissions made by the Local Government, Ms Chalmers reported as follows:

Chapter 1 The recommendations were not entertained.

Chapter 2 An amendment has to be made.

Chapter 2 13 (f) The recommendation was rejected.

Chapter 4 The recommendation was rejected.

Chapter 6 The Department felt that the recommendation did not reflect the purpose of the World Heritage Convention.

On the recommendations by the City of Cape Town Ms Chalmers reported as


Chapter I (2) (a) No amendment was made.

Chapter 1 (4) (c) The recommendation was not entertained as it was unnecessary.

Chapter 2-(8) (1) The recommendation has been included.

Section 13 The recommendation had been noted but not included

Section 28 (1) (Dealing with Buffer Zones, comments not recorded)

Section 30 This Section has been noted.


Ms Chalmers said that in the submissions of the other NGO's there was

nothing substantial.

Mr Tereblanche commented on the presentation made by Ms Chalmers. He

mentioned that most of the Heritage Sites will consist of the State owned and private owned land. He said the way the Bill is drafted does not make it possible that a deserving private owned land could be forced to be a World Heritage Site. He expressed hope in private owners agreeing to their lands being used as World Heritage Sites.

Mr D Maluleke (DP) asked whether the owners of the land in Sterkfontein have been consulted about the planned World Heritage status of the land. Ms I Coetzee from the Department said the Gauteng Province has been in protracted consultation with the stakeholders in Sterkfontein. Mr M Mokgolo from the Department concurred.

Mr E Moorcroft (DP) made the presentation on behalf of subcommittee 2. He mentioned that his subcommittee categorised its work not in terms of chapters but in terms of submissions as follows:

Submission 1 (Department of Arts Culture Science and Technology)

Mr Moorcroft said the Department was satisfied with the Bill.

Submission 2- (comments not recorded)

Submission 3 (Chief Registrar of Deeds)

He said the Chief Registrar raised questions on Tribal Land and those appear to have been met.

Submission 4

He said that the suggestions contained in the submission had not been attended to by the Deparmtnet, and the Portfolio Committee needed to know why.

Submission 5

He said the Auditor General is satisfied

In his response Mr Tereblanche said that the concern of the Chief Registrar of Deeds was that since the coming into being of the Deeds Registries Act Parliament has passed more than 300 statutes creating exceptions to the Act, (was) .The Chief Registrar was therefore opposed to any Act which would further interfere with the Deeds Registries Act. Mr Tereblanche said they had, some months ago, settled by correspondence the concerns of the Chief Registrar of Deeds.

On the issue of defining Tribal Land, Mr Tereblanche informed the Committee that no matter how they tried to define it, the definition in one way or the other excluded some land or included some not initially desired to be included.

On the issue of the Operational Guidelines used by UNESCO, Mr Tereblanche announced that if they were made part of the law, it would complicate the matter. He suggested that the practical approach would be to include some of the guidelines, and exclude others through a regulatory or ad hoc approach.

Mr Tereblanche informed the Committee that the comments of the Auditor General were incorporated without comment.

On the question of land claims Mr Tereblanche said the Bill has a provision that the authority can negotiate a second claim.

Ms M Olckers (NNP) complained that if it is a problem with the person of the caliber of the Chief Registrar to define "land", the rest of the people would surely struggle to do so. She suggested it be put on the Definition's Section for clarity. She further said that concerning the International guidelines, she believes they are giving a blank cheque if they regulate UNESCO guidelines into South African law.

Mr Tereblanche said the rest of the UNESCO guidelines deal with the bureaucratics of the International organisation, which are not needed in South Africa He went on and said that they were never intended to serve as legislation in our country. He suggested that it would be safe to incorporate the 12 or 15 guidelines that make sense for the South African perspective.

On the definition of Tribal Land Mr Tereblanche repeated his previous statement that it is difficult to be accurate with the definition. He suggested that if the definition is the cause of problems it should be left out rather than to have an inaccurate definition.

Mr B Holomisa (UDM) said in going through the Bill he noted that there are a lot of technical points. He suggested the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism must first iron out those problems and thereafter the submissions be considered. Chairperson Ms G Mahlangu (ANC) said the Department would look into the technical points but she was convinced they are not as many.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the next meeting would be on Friday 10 September and she adjourned the meeting.


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