Animals to be given to ‡Khomani San
WITH the recent inscription of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape on the Unesco Word Heritage List, the Department of Environmental Affairs has announced that more than 722 animals will be donated to the ‡Khomani community through a symbolic release.
The launch of the world heritage site, the ninth in South Africa, together with the donation of game, will take place on Wednesday next week.
The ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee during its 41st Session held in Krakow, Poland, in July this year.
The listing of ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as a world heritage site is a significant achievement for the country’s development and is expected to boost tourism and encourage SYMBOLIC: 722 Animals will be donated to the ‡Khomani community through a symbolic release. File image sustainable development.
Earlier in 2002 an agreement was signed between ‡Khomani San, Mier communities and the South African National Parks (SANParks) on land settlement. Part of this agreement was that the Department of Environmental Affairs, together with SANParks, would translocate wildlife to one of the ‡Khomani San properties in order to establish a game ranch.
More than 722 animals, including blue wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok and gemsbok, were originally translocated to the Erin Game Ranch.
According to Thumeka Ntloko, director of World Heritage Management at the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Khomani are unique in that they did not make rock art because there were no suitable rock formations in their territory, yet their culture represents a living link to the artistic legacy in southern Africa.
“The site includes a landscape embedded with indigenous knowledge of semi-arid desert hunting and gathering, medicine and related technologies; spiritual landscape and spaces of cultural practices of healing dances and women’s ceremonies, musical and artistic tangible and intangible heritage; and a landscape transmitting heritage, technical and environmental information.”
The landscape, which covers an area of 959 100 hectares in the Dawid Kruiper District Municipality, covers the entire Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP) and forms part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is bordered by Botswana and Namibia.
“The boundary is large enough to accommodate a reasonably complete representation of the landscape values, features and processes which convey the special way in which the Khomani people were linked with the land.”
In May 2002 the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities reached a historic land settlement agreement with the government of South Africa and SANParks. The agreement saw land restored to the communities that had once roamed or farmed the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP).
Ntloko pointed out that the settlement was in line with government’s programme to ensure equitable redress for communities that launched land claims on national and provincial parks.
“Part of the 2002 agreement was that the Department of Environmental Affairs, together with SANParks, would translocate wildlife to one of the ‡Khomani San properties in order to establish a game ranch. The aim of the game ranch was to create a sustainable income that would create employment and support economic growth within the community.”
More than 722 animals were originally translocated to the Erin Game Ranch and this was supplemented with a delivery of 13 ostrich, 14 eland and five giraffe in late 2015.
“These donations have assisted the local community in participating in the wildlife economy and are part of government’s commitment to supporting socio-economic development through conservation.”
Erin Game Ranch is located 72km outside the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.
The aim of Wednesday’s launch is to nationally mark the listing of the ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as well as mark the donation of game to the ‡Khomani community through a symbolic release.
The event will include an unveiling of a plaque to officially mark the listing of ‡Khomani Cultural Landscape as a world heritage site, as well as the symbolic hand over of the game and release of the game to the ‡Khomani community.
It will be attended by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, as well as the premier of the Province, the MEC for Environmental Affairs, Tiny Chotelo, and representatives of the ‡Khomani community.