The Rocklands Community Hall is the site of the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF). File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
The Rocklands Community Hall is the site of the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF). File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Mitchells Plain hall where UDF was started now a national heritage site

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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Cape Town - The South African Heritage Resource Authority has announced the Rocklands Community Hall in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town as a national heritage site.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Western Cape MEC of cultural affairs and sports, Anroux Marais said she was proud to announce the community hall being named a national heritage site, after it was unveiled as a provincial heritage site in August 2019.

Marais said her department strived to provide the conservation, promotion and development of heritage resources to facilitate processes for the standardisation or changes where necessary to assist with heritage resource management.

This was done by implementing at provincial level the mandates of the World Heritage Convention Act of 1999 and the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999.

“Together with the expert assistance of Heritage Western Cape and the City of Cape Town’s facilitation, the political and social significance of this site is now officially acknowledged and will rightfully be promoted in the public domain as a National Heritage Site,” Marais said.

In commemoration of the historic meeting of 20 August 1983 which led to the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Minister Anroux Marais officially unveiled the Provincial Heritage Site plaque at the Rocklands Community Hall in Mitchell’s Plain in August 2019. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

The hall was the meeting place for the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) on August 20, 1983, which was the start of the largest socio-political movement that united South Africans to fight against the injustices of apartheid.

UDF initially represented 500 organisations from different sectors of society.

“We look forward to collaboratively sharing the significance of the newly declared National Heritage Site of erf 11553 at the Rocklands Community Hall and thank all who had a hand in the approval of the National Heritage Site status,” said Marais.

“We are indeed grateful to each stakeholder as you have contributed to a community’s sense of place, belonging and purpose and unleashed its potential to yield information contributing to a wider understanding of the history of co-existence in the Western Cape,” she added.

African News Agency (ANA)

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