The Government was forging a strategy to further the study of SA’s palaeontological and archaeological past, government spokesman Jimmy Manyi announced yesterday.

Briefing media at Parliament following the cabinet’s fortnightly meeting the day before, he said the strategy was intended to provide a “holistic framework for the development of the palaeosciences”.

The announcement is likely to hearten those managing the country’s cash-strapped museums and heritage agencies.

Manyi said the strategy would see more investment in these institutions.

“Money will be spent to ensure that we continue with the various archaeological and palaeontological researches.”

He could not say what the size of such an investment would be.

Noting that there were various conflicting palaeoscience theories, he said one of the aims of the strategy was to develop “concrete scientific data”.

In what appears to be coincidence, the announcement comes a week after Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder was accused of distorting history with his claim – made in the National Assembly – that “Bantu-speaking” people had in the past not occupied about 40 percent of the country. – Sapa