Andrew Hall, CEO of Heritage Western Cape, gave a presentation to the executive committee of the Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation on 11 April 2012.
He discussed central questions in the contemporary debate on heritage management, especially:
- Authenticity (Is the state of the heritage resource true to the past or is it conjectural or imagined?);
- Integrity (To what extent does the heritage resource remain intact?);
- Tolerance for change (Which values are key to retaining the character of a sight in the face of development?)
He stressed the value of a knowledge-based approach, rather than reactions based primarily on emotion, and outlined possible approaches to crucial questions, such as whether heritage conservation is relevant in our society, whether heritage conservation should be development-friendly and whether special allowance should be made for heritage conservation. According to him heritage conservation, including intangible values, are both relevant and important and should be acknowledged on local, provincial and national levels. At the same time heritage conservation should be development-friendly in the sense that the rules of the game should be known to all. That implies that heritage conservation should be pro-active, rather than just reactive. Existing heritage sites and also new buildings with heritage potential should be documented, assessed and contextualised. When this is done, the heritage value and the parameters for potential new development in a specific landscape will be clear enough for heritage agencies to protect the landscape. It will also provide a stable environment for investors and developers, as it would be known beforehand what would be allowed and what would not be possible.
Download the key points of his presentation here.