The Nelson Mandela Bay metro’s economic development and tourism department is pushing to restore the city’s heritage sites to their former glory after employing 94 new tourism ambassadors to man the sites.
This follows an outcry from tour operators who had resorted to either cancelling or shortening some of their planned tours.
The sites, which were meant to be tourism drawcards for the city, have instead become a deterrent as vagrants and vandals took over.
Other heritage sites had simply fallen into a state of disrepair.
Nelson Mandela Bay is home to a range of heritage sites and museums, which form part of South Africa’s historical landscape.
While some of the sites are located in the city centre, others are spread out around Bay townships, the northern areas, Uitenhage and Despatch.
Economic development tourism and agriculture portfolio head Queenie Pink said the safety of tourists and visitors at the sites had become a great concern.
“It is a concern for us to see and hear of the recent vandalism and destruction of some of our heritage,” Pink said.
“As citizens, we should take pride and look after our heritage as there is huge potential in utilising these assets for economic opportunities.”
Pink said an additional intervention was talking to the Mandela Bay Heritage Trust.
“Safety and cleanliness have always been highlighted as a concern at our heritage sites.
“[And that is why] we have recently appointed some more tourism ambassadors to be placed there.
“The ambassadors will be responsible for looking after the sites in terms of cleanliness, providing information and other aspects such as visitor safety,” Pink said.
The sites include:
- Emlotheni heritage site;
- Zwide Heroes Acre;
- Sheya Kulati memorial;
- SS Mendi memorial;
- Langa massacre memorial site;
- Langa massacre grave;
- Uitenhage city monuments;
- Arms Bell;
- Prince Alfred’s Guard;
- Horse Memorial and Fort Frederick;
- Elizabeth Donkin;
- War Memorial;
- Diaz Monument;
- Cradock Place; and
- Cradock Four memorial.
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Article source: https://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2019-06-13-bay-deploys-ambassadors-to-look-after-revived-heritage-sites/