Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The DA yesterday requested permission form Mpumalanga culture, sport and recreation MEC, MsSibongile Manana to grant the DA the necessary permission to have historic antiques and artefacts catalogued and removed to safe keeping from the Botshabelo heritage site near Middelburg.
In a letter to the MEC, I expressed my grave concerns over the absolute decay of the entire site, as well as the complete lack of management in any way shape or form. Of great concern is that a number of antiques and artefacts of exceptional historical value (many of which are on loan from the National Museum) are scattered about without any supervision or security.
Our request stems from premier David Mabuza’s seeming unwillingness to visit the site, despite a commitment made to the DA during a meeting in his office more than two months ago. His lack of commitment to the preservation of Mpumalanga’s heritage has now compelled us to request the custodian of all provincial heritage sites, MEC Manana to accompany us on a visit to Botshabelo, and view first-hand the disastrous state of the site.
While we wait for MEC Manana to confirm a date to accompany us to Botshabelo, the risk still remains of artefacts being removed or damaged, which justifies my request to have all these items catalogued by a suitably qualified heritage practitioner, and place in proper safe-keeping until ownership of these can be established.
We hope MEC Manana understands the urgency of the matter and considers our requests favourably, and by doing so, contributes significantly to the preservation of Mpumalanga’s heritage.