Heritage and the Two Rivers Urban Park

Heritage and the Two Rivers Urban Park[1]

 “…the entire TRUP site itself could be regarded as being of outstanding historical, symbolic scenic and amenity value…” (Heritage Baseline Study for the TRUP, 2017)

What is “Heritage”?

Heritage is a deceptively simple idea, with heritage resources being both tangible, and intangible. There are different types of heritage, including natural heritage (geographical areas, or natural resources) and cultural heritage. Cultural heritage is informed by things that are symbolic of the creativity and livelihoods of different people groups (such as cave dwellings, buildings, sculptures and paintings), and practices and traditions (such as oral traditions and indigenous knowledge systems) that are passed on from generation to generation.

Heritage has a key role to play in informing the development of the TRUP.

What is the “National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA)”?

The National Heritage Resources Act has, as its heart, the recognition that heritage has the potential to:

o Affirm diverse cultures;

o Facilitate healing and material and symbolic restitution;

o Promote research into oral traditions and customs and

o Help define our cultural identity.

How is heritage connected to the TRUP?

The heritage studies for the TRUP show, amongst other things, the significant historical legacy of barriers, dispossession, racial and spatial development.

Because the City and the Province are drafting new plans for land use in the TRUP , they need to identify what elements should inform the nature of future land use of the TRUP site. More tangible elements, such as breeding grounds for the endangered Western Leopard Toad for example, can be relatively easily identified, and future land use plans developed with consideration for these creatures. The ecology of the Western Leopard Toad would therefore be a “design informant”.

The NHRA calls for stakeholder engagement for the process of considering heritage design informants (also known as “heritage determinants”).

The TRUP Association encourage meaningful identification and capacity building of parties with responsibility for informing heritage issues, so that genuine “heritage design-informants” are produced. “Heritage design-informants” produced without inclusion of such parties serves to perpetuate the legacy of past injustice. Any parties wishing to engage with developments in the TRUP are encouraged to make contact with the TRUP Association.

What is “provisional protection of the TRUP”?

Presently, City and Provincial authorities are engaged in conversation around Heritage Determinants for the region. The discussion is being led by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Heritage Western Cape (HWC).

On Wednesday 8th November 2017, Heritage Western Cape (HWC) noted that it has identified the Two Rivers Urban Park (TRUP), Cape Town, as having significant heritage value . They have proposed a draft boundary for consideration of heritage value as presented in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Heritage Western Cape Draft TRUP Provisional Protection Map

 Heritage Western Cape have invited the public to comment (within 30 days) on the proposed boundary for heritage protection within the TRUP. Comments to be submitted via email to Ceoheritage@westerncape.gov.za , with deadline for comments: Friday 8th December 2017.

[1] With thanks for extracts and understanding from Attwell, M., 2017, Heritage Baseline Study for the TRUP, and South African History Online (SAHO)