Vlei ‘also a cultural venue’

2017-07-11 06:02
Discussions are underway to create a heritage committee to commemorate the heritage of Princess Vlei.

Discussions are underway to create a heritage committee to commemorate the heritage of Princess Vlei.

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The Princess Vlei Forum is looking at forming a heritage committee to drive different projects, most importantly preserving the heritage of the vlei.

Though the establishment of such a committee is still in the future, discussions are happening on what needs to be done and how the committee would work.

A meeting was held at the office of the League of the Friends of the Blind (Lofob) in Grassy Park at the beginning of the month to discuss the importance of the vlei and why it needs to be preserved.

Another meeting to discuss further issues is still going to be held before the committee is set up, but the organisers are excited about the future.

Jill Honey Bush, who is part of the Princess Vlei Forum management committee, says they have been actively engaging with City of Cape Town officials on improving the public amenity value of the vlei.

“The forum envisages that the establishment of a heritage committee, drawing in heritage and creative industries practitioners, cultural as well as spiritual leaders and, importantly, participants from the surrounding communities, will contribute positively to shaping the landscape of projects and events at the vlei by sharpening the focus on cultural heritage preservation,” she says.

“We run different projects and we have schools coming to learn about the environment at the vlei. We want them to know about the heritage and the committee that will be formed soon will look into that. We are really looking forward to it and we have big ideas. At least we have set the ball in ­motion.”

Philip Bam, who also attended the discussions, says: “There is a lot of cultural and environmental heritage that needs to be preserved and it has to be done the right way. The vlei is of great significance and until we know such things we will look at the vlei with a different eye.

“We need to know how we must commemorate the Khoisan connection to the vlei. A lot of people don’t know that there is a Khoisan legend who was abducted at the vlei. We realised the community needs a lot of education on heritage.”

Bam believes the vlei needs to be developed into a centre of memory.

“We hope the committee will drive these projects and bring many more things to life.

“We have to know where we come from and where we are going and this makes the heritage committee very important,” he says.

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