Rhodes Building in the Eastern Cape
I have been trying to confirm what this might be and, after many searches, have failed to find anything specifically called "Rhodes Building" in the Eastern Cape. This Web site
describes the process adopted by RSA to update its T List - but I can't find a list of submissions actually made.
a. There is a "Mandela Rhodes Building
" - once called "St Georges Hall" - in Capetown - wrong place and wrong name
b. There is a "Rhodes University
" in Grahamstown - in the Eastern Cape. It is so named becuase it was funded by the Rhodes Trust. It dates from 1904 but is only the 6th oldest university in RSA and its buildings neither contain a single building titled "Rhodes Building" nor, as a whole seem particularly significant.
c. There is a village called "Rhodes"
in the Eastern Cape. This village has been designated a "Heritage Area" and I have discovered this Web Site
which discusses the village's OUV as a potential WHS - it has clearly taken part in the 2021/2 RSA T List update exercise. . However it also states "In August 2022, the South African World Heritage Convention Committee (SAWHCC) indicated that Rhodes Village did not meet the Unesco criteria for world heritage sites of global importance, and would not be considered for inscription on future Tentative Lists, South Africa. These pages remain on the blog as evidence of the application, and for general information.
Re-reading the widely (and exactly!) copied press release about the update conclusions, it states that "three new proposals and five existing sites were considered.
" followed by "only two of the seven were accepted for inclusion on the tentative list.
". Well 3 + 5 = 8 in my arithmetic. But it does seem that RSA is going forward until its next review with a T List of only 2 sites and that the "Rhodes Building" proposal refers to the "Rhodes Village Conservation area".
RSA is being remarkably "abstemious" in having a T List of only 2 sites!!! Certain countries seem to pack their Lists as full as possible and even less "expansive" ones than e.g China, Iran and Turkey, aim to maintain a list of around 10 candidates replenished every 10 years One might have thought that the country would have had more "potential" - I wonder why all the others were rejected??? But this approach does at least permit a concentration on actually getting them inscribed.
I am particularly surprised (and disappointed) with the removal of the "Succulant Karoo" entry. This is one of the "priority" natural sites for inscription in Africa identified by IUCN in its report of April 2020. (see Site Q on page 51 of the report
). Coincidentally I have just been digitizing my photos of the Namaqualand Flowers from a visit in Aug 1998 - a magnificent and worthy natural site. See here
. But RSA seems to want to present just 2 aspects of itself - "Anti-Apartheid Struggle" and "Early Humans" - both of which categories are already represented on its inscribed list. One can understand that, perhaps, the very name of "Rhodes" - the arch coloniser - is too much for RSA to have on its inscribed list. But surely a "colonial" rural village/town somewhere in the country justifies inscription? Pilgrims Rest has already been discarded. And then why isn't RSA active with the transnational Moravian nomination - see this
?? Among others I can't remember off hand, we have visited both Elim
- either or both seem to tick plenty of boxes. African countries complain about under representation but even when they have an open goal in the form of the Succulant Karoo, for which IUCN would be likely to do everything it could to assist nomination and inscription - they fail to "score"!