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3.2 Section 35

Heritage sites protected under this section of the NHRA can be found in various localities, either in private, communal, or land under the jurisdiction of the government. Considering the political history of South Africa, a number of people were forcibly removed from their previous living areas under the racial segregation legislation. As a result, some of the heritage sites protected under Section 35 might still have direct spiritual value for such communities. Because 'ownership' lies with the relevant heritage authority and may be on private or state land, such communities have to seek permission to gain access to these sites. If access is granted, it is approved as per the directives of the heritage legislation and the relevant regulations. As I mentioned earlier, the current heritage legislation still bears much resemblance to a Western paradigm, whereby it is the physical space that is important to protect and conserve (Ndlovu 2009). In contrast, such communities might be more interested in managing that which nobody can see with the naked eye. It can be extrapolated, therefore, that access to these heritage resources is by financial qualification (fee-paying visitors) rather than by spiritual right (Ndlovu 2009). This is all determined by the form of ownership.


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