I've been thinking this week about whether there are any South African cultural sites I should support or propose for consideration before we close nominations for Africa. There are two cultural sites that came to mind: Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation: Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites
, which is currently on the Tentative List for South Africa, and Kimberley Mines and Associated Early Industries
, which was removed from South Africa's Tentative List in 2015.
I personally find the focus of the Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation: Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites
TWHS to be inaptly placed on Nelson Mandela. The World Heritage Site list already includes Robben Island
, which is an implicit recognition of the role Mandela played in the fall of apartheid. I'd recommend ditching the reference to Mandela and just call it Human Rights, Liberation Struggle and Reconciliation Sites
, since the nomination seems to be a reworked version of the Liberation Heritage Route
, which focused on sites related to a number of leaders who sought freedom from colonialism. In particular, I appreciate the inclusion of Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, where the Freedom Charter, which sought equal rights for all races, was adopted. I like the idea of this TWHS, but I think it would be best served as an extension to Robben Island, and since we are only proposing new sites, and not extensions, I'm not going to propose this site.Kimberley Mines and Associated Early Industries
has already been proposed. The World Heritage Site list does have a diamond town already inscribed, with the Historic Centre of the Town of Diamantina
in Brazil, and diamonds can be found in World Heritage Sites like the Tower of London
, the Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow
, and other sites associated with the Crown Jewels connection
. Still, as far as I can tell, there are no diamond mines on the list, and given the importance humans have placed on diamonds throughout history, I think a mine warrants consideration for the list. I'll give a second to Kimberley's Big Hole.