Monday, March 08, 2021

Freedom Square in Bonteheuwel declared a provincial heritage site

The Freedom Square in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, has been declared a provincial heritage site.

Bonteheuwel has a rich history of political activism in response to the abhorrent Apartheid system. Freedom Square, in particular, was a space used at the centre of this political activism and it is therefore significant in our province’s history.

In the keynote address delivered by Western Cape’s Cultural Affairs and Sport MEC, Anroux Marais said Freedom Square embodies the spirit and legacy of Bonteheuwel’s heroes and heroines.

‘’The Bonteheuwel Civic, the library, the staircases and platforms surrounding the library would act as assembly and meeting points, which provided a platform for activist to address crowds. The significance of Freedom Square lies in the cumulative significance of its series of spaces. Meetings were held in the library in the 1980s away from the scrutiny of the apartheid police. The staircase at the square provided a platform from which activists could address crowds, when not done so at the Bonteheuwel Civic.’’

‘’Evidently, Freedom Square possesses high social and historical significance as it comprises of places and buildings of cultural significance to which oral traditions are attached which are associated with living heritage. Freedom Square indeed embodies the spirit and legacy of Bonteheuwel’s heroes and heroines.’’

Marais said the heritage site represents defiance against the unjustice of Apartheid.

‘’The site also holds importance in the community, in the pattern of South Africa's history and has strong and special association with the life or work of a person, group or organisation of importance in the history of South Africa. Therefore, its spaces, buildings and memories bear significance for social and cultural reasons in representing defiance against the unjust Apartheid state.”

 

PICTURE: WCG - (From left) Chairperson of the Standing Committee on cultural Affairs and Sport: Mr. Reagan Allen; ; Chairperson of the Interpretation, Grading and Inventories Committee: Mr. Ron Martin; Bonteheuwel Ratepayers and Tenants Association: Mr. Yusuf Cassiem, Member of Parliament: Mr. Faiez Jacobs; Minister Anroux Marais; Bonteheuwel Ward Councillor: Mr. Angus Mckenzie; Institute for Justice and Reconciliation: Ms. Felicity Harrison; Alderman Theresa Thompson; Acting CEO of Heritage Western Cape and Ms. Irma Titus



Done By: Mitchum George

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