Premier’s ‘ambitious plan’ for Heroes Acre

2012-05-11 00:00

THE Heroes Acre heritage site comprising the graves of former South African Communist Party president Moses Mabhida and ANC stalwart John Makhathini is finally getting an upgrade.

It emerged in a portfolio meeting in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature yesterday that the province, through the office of the Premier, is to embark on an “ambitious plan” to develop the Heroes Acre site with the construction of a museum.

The museum will showcase the history of the Zulu nation.

The site is in Imbali township.

Speaking to The Witness, Premier Zweli Mkhize’s spokesperson, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said the aim was to ensure that residents in the province preserved their heritage.

Other heritage sites around KwaZulu-Natal are also to be upgraded.

This would be done to create a sense of pride among the residents of the province, said Sibiya.

As part of the province’s infrastructure development plan, Sibiya said, the monument at Imbali was one of many heritage sites across the province that would get a facelift.

Among other sites was the Dube Tradeport, where Indian people first settled when they arrived in South Africa.

“We are doing this to attract tourists and historians to KwaZulu-Natal”.

Sibiya said King Shaka International Airport would also attract visitors, especially since a new statue of King Shaka was to be erected at the airport.

The premier is still consulting his cabinet about the appointment of Karkloof-based sculptor Peter Hall, who is likely to be tasked with creating the statue.

The previous statue was removed two years ago after complaints from the Royal Household that the artwork depicted the warrior king as a “herdboy”.

Sibiya said the cost of the project to erect the statue would only be known once Hall was appointed.

Another plan was in place to map the lineage of the province’s inhabitants, this being to strengthen the unity in diversity of the people of KZN.

“We wish for people to take pride in where they are coming from,” he stressed.

“We want to document our history for future generations.”

Sibiya said the provincial government was not able to fund this alone, and would therefore approach NGOs and the private sector among others.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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