New world heritage for SA

2012-05-26 19:00

Johannesburg - The Vredefort Dome - the world's largest meteoric impact site - is one step closer to being protected in South African law and being a new world heritage site, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Saturday.

Molewa said a memorandum of agreement, signed by land owners in the area, marked four years of negotiations with land owners in the 300km wide area.

It was a step closer to formal proclamation "of this breath-taking landscape as South Africa's eighth world heritage site".

"This will give the area a formal status like other sites such as Robben Island, iSimangaliso, Mapungubwe, Cape Floral Region, Richtersveld, uKhahlamba Drakensberg", she said.

The site has been recognised on the Unesco Heritage list, being described as having "Outstanding universal value to human kind".

Molewa said she was working with land owners towards "final proclamation of this area as a World Heritage Site."

The memorandum will also pave the way for the appointment of a management authority which will serve as a precursor for the development of an integrated management plan, as required by Unesco regulations.

The management authority would be mandated to preserve archaeological sites, manage pollution and waste as well as tourism development.

  • David - 2012-05-26 19:55

    I don't understand this article, according to the UNESCO website the Vredefort Dome is already a World Heritage Site, and I understand it was declared thus in 2005.

      Lacrimose - 2012-05-26 21:36

      It has been recognised, but not accepted, as a World Heritage site. "working with *land owners* towards final proclamation of this area as a World Heritage Site." Like everything else, it's a process needing many signatories because along with the proclamation comes a whole lot of responsibility by the *land owners*

      David - 2012-05-27 19:00

  • aristar.aristary - 2012-05-27 08:12

    I am interested in where the article gets the "300km wide area" as that would include Joburg as that is only about 120 kilometres away from Vredefort. The Vredefort dome is the result of a rather large meteorite hitting the Earth 2 billion (give or take) years ago. The devastation caused would have wiped out life on Earth. We are only left with a 100km inner crater. The outer edge of the crater was probably more than 300km across. There have been many other large hits by many meteorites and NASA are tracking upwards of 1300 meteorites, all of which have the potential of hitting the Earth at some stage of their spacial travels. My point being that most of the observations are of those asteroids which are on approximately the same plane as us in the Milky Way. What if there is a large, dark, rogue asteroid out there which they will not see until it is upon us? When that one hits it won't matter whether we are black, white, pink, purple or even green with bright orange polka dots, we will be destroyed and no amount of intervention on the part of the two legged virus inhabiting this miserable grain of dust will be able to stop it.

      Glenda - 2012-05-27 11:06

      @aristar.aristary. This article is not about politics, doomsday it is about tourism!!! Please go back to the articles on politicking and make fair comments there.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-27 12:12

      Aristar, what if scenarios are mostly a figment of a fearful mind.

      David - 2012-05-27 14:31

      Gee. So it “won't matter whether we are black, white, pink, purple or even green with bright orange polka dots”. It’s amazing how someone can bring race into absolutely everything.

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-27 12:10

    Good news minister Molewa. We are also waiting for good news about the Rhino. I am sure that will come too.

  • Moeketsi - 2012-05-30 06:59

    a step closer to being eighth world heritage site in sa, that's wonderfull.

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