Community-involved heritage management: the case of Matatiele

Mokoena, Nthabiseng
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What happens when a rural community expresses the need for a heritage centre? Located in the former Transkei homeland of the apartheid era, now in the Eastern Cape Province, Matatiele is one of many disadvantaged, though culturally rich, communities in South Africa. The region has received insufficient attention to its heritage concerns and has been neglected by government and by academics for decades. Motivated by the Mehloding Community Trust, a project run by the Matatiele community, this research addresses the local community’s perception of heritage. This includes, amongst other things, their views on heritage management strategies and in particular the significance of rock art. One hundred and forty individuals from fifteen selected villages were interviewed to ascertain their interest in a heritage centre by way of representing and managing their own heritage. This research, therefore, addresses the nature of community involvement in heritage management and archaeology in the south-eastern part South Africa.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, In fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science. Johannesburg 2015