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27 February 2012

Voortrekker Monument confirmed as heritage site

The Voortrekker Monument has been confirmed as a National Heritage Site, in a move designed to further evoke a spirit of nation-building and reconciliation in South Africa.

We are extremely proud to be the first Afrikaans monument to received this grading since 1994. -  Sonja Lombard, managing director of the Voortrekker Monument.

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week officially announced that the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria is to become a National Heritage Site.
This corroborates the decision that was gazetted on 8 July 2011, after a declaration by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), under the National Heritage Resources Act (no 25 of 1999).
The minister, speaking at a governance and administration cluster briefing in Cape Town, confirmed that the Pretoria monument is one of several memorials that will be constructed or unveiled to 'celebrate our heroes and heroines who led the liberation struggle'.
These include the homes of Oliver Tambo (in Nkantolo) and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (in Brandfort). The graves of a number of struggle heroes will also be restored and declared National Heritage Sites.
She stated that the inclusion of the Voortrekker monument will 'further evoke a spirit of nation-building and reconciliation,' in South Africa.
'We are extremely proud to be the first Afrikaans monument to received this grading since 1994,' said Sonja Lombard, managing director of the Voortrekker Monument. She added that the monument is the second-most visited site of its kind in the country, after Robben Island. 'It showcases the city and its surroundings, as well as our heritage,' she explained.
The Voortrekker Monument, which was constructed between 1937 and 1949, was designed by South African architect, Gerhard Moerdyk. It is architecturally renowned for its art deco style. It commemorates the mass movement north from the Cape Colony by people of Afrikaner descent, between 1834 and 1838. This is known as the Great Trek. 
The monument also commemorates Afrikaner nationalism and therefore forms an important part of the South African historical landscape.