A National Trust for South Africa ?

In a “Nut Shell”

South Africa is not alone when it comes to the conservation problems of its heritage sites. Development pressures, the negligence of errant owners and the planning problems that arise when a historic site is clearly preventing important potential benefits for a community, constitute an enormous task for any organisation.  All these constraints must be addressed before any restoration or  tourism development is possible.  These are the regulatory aspects of our heritage agencies and is a vital component of modern development planning. Attempting to address all these matters in addition to hosting extensive conservation or restoration projects usually on limited budgets is virtually impossible and many countries have had to face the same dilemma.

A fact of life is that our heritage sites are invariably immovable, however, they are usually in communities who understand the “local lore”.They like to help save their heritage and actively participate within their community to increase their understanding or their history and help to create “Community Pride”.

Hout Bay Heritage Assn is an Associate Member of INTO the International National Trust Organisation. The Organisation consists of more than 60 full member countries (having National Trusts of their own) and a number of  Associate Members who ultimately would like to establish National Trusts in their own countries.

It has been the long term goal of the Trust to establish a National Trust of SA but it cannot be done without the full acquiescence of Government and its Heritage Agencies. The normal format of National Trusts is that of a Registered NGO or Charity who have a broad base of members and sponsors who help finance the Organisation.

The Oldest such Trust is the National Trust of England and Wales and Northern Ireland which was established over 100 years ago by three people who were keen to preserve a wetland. It now has has more than 4 million members and 72,000 volunteers throughout the Country. It makes a huge contribution to the economy through Heritage Tourism of its natural and cultural heritage sites. It is a huge challenge but if it’s the sort of challenge that interests you please contact us at HB.Heritage@zsd.co.za

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