There’s more to SA than its natural heritage

2014-04-21 10:00

April 18 was World Heritage Day and I wondered what collective heritage the world had to celebrate.

On doing some research, I found that World Heritage Day was about historic monuments and sites. This made much more sense.

While sites or natural settings are important, I don’t think it’s fitting to lump them with World Heritage Day.

Rather create an Earth Heritage Day that celebrates the earth’s natural beauty and resources, and the fact that it currently is the only planet in our galaxy that sustains life.

I looked up the world’s most important memorial sites, including the Taj Mahal in India, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Great Sphinx of Giza. The Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain were featured in “the top 50 most important sites in the world”.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) lists recommended sites to visit on World Heritage Day in every nation. The local list includes the Fossil Hominid Sites, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Robben Island, Maloti-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Cape Floral Region, Vredefort Dome and Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape.

Robben Island is the only physically built place to visit that captures human history. The rest are natural landscapes that are part of the earth’s make-up, not the world’s heritage.

By focusing on our natural settings, the impression is created that our history is not good or important enough to feature in the history of the world.

Maybe next year, Unesco should look at South Africa more closely. We have a lot more to offer than pretty flowers and big animals.

Denita is a BPhil student at Stellenbosch University

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.