An­i­mals to be given to ‡Khomani San

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - PATSY BEANGSTROM NEWS EDI­TOR

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.

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