Concerning heritage: lessons from rock art management in the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. In Makuvaza, S., (ed) forthcoming 'Aspects of Management Planning for Cultural World Heritage Sites: Principles, Approaches and Practices'. Springer.
At the time of writing, sixteen years have passed since the inscription of the World Heritage Site (WHS) in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park (uDP), South Africa. How has its cultural heritage been managed, and what lessons can be learned in order to inform its extension into the Kingdom of Lesotho? In 2013 UNESCO approved the inclusion of Lesotho’s Sehlabathebe National Park (SNP) to create a trans-boundary World Heritage Site known as the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, Lesotho/South Africa (MDP). This contribution is a critique for those planning and implementing site management strategies at rock art World Heritage sites. It draws specifically from experiences and outcomes on both sides of the international border (uDP and SNP). In this short essay we touch on the underlying management frameworks and how these are affected by the relationships between cultural heritage practitioners, cultural heritage agencies, and site managers. We outline the concerns of sustainability, tourism and marketing and whether these have hampered the park’s integrity. We further indicate how, perhaps, some of the pitfalls hitherto encountered, may be overcome. This is especially relevant to those heritage practitioners currently engaged in the planning of the new visitor centre at the SNP.