United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conducted consultations on Tuesday, August 08, 2023 with community members of Mqhekezweni village on the proposal to declare Mqhekezweni Great Place as World Heritage Site. The evaluator was part of the meeting in order to evaluate the proposal.
In 2018, the South African Heritage Resources Agency designated Mqhekezweni Great Place as a national heritage site, identifying it as a location where the values of active democracy and participatory citizenship were practiced and exhibited, profoundly influencing young Nelson Mandela’s ideas and style of leadership as a prominent figure in the Liberation Struggle and South Africa’s first democratic president.
KSD Executive Mayor, Cllr. Nyaniso Nelani cited in the meeting the importance of preserving sites that have historical significance for future generations.
He applauded UNESCO for recognizing Mqhekezweni Great Place as a World Heritage Site as it holds a special significance as a place where the world icon, Dr Nelson Mandela grew up.
According to UNESCO the safeguarding of Heritage is a collective responsibility as well as a powerful means of promoting peace. Heritage can be an enabler of inclusive economic growth, attracting investment and create decent jobs as well as boost tourism.
Part of the UNESCO’s vision is the use of education, science, culture, communication and information to foster mutual understanding and respect for our planet.
UNESCO chooses World Heritage Sites based on their importance in terms of culture, history, science, or other fields.
A site must be distinctive, geographically and historically identifiable, have outstanding cultural or physical significance, and be all of these things in order to be designated as a World Heritage Site.