The management of heritage resources in the Maloti-Drakensberg Park, Lesotho-South Africa : reflecting on the benefits of world heritage status

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Peer-Reviewed Research


The boundary of uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park (uDP), first inscribed on the list of World Heritage Sites on 29 November 2000, was extended in 2013 to include the Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho. The new transboundary World Heritage Site was named the Maloti-Drakensberg Park. This paper offers a critique of the management of heritage resources in the South African portion of the World Heritage Site, the uDP, and the involvement of and benefits for communities living on the borders of the site. I note that the management authority for the South African side of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park does not have cultural heritage management expertise. I further show that the concept of indigeneity is problematic, that neighbouring communities have been historically and in some quarters continually disregarded in the management of protected areas and heritage, and that there are still a number of challenges when it comes to the structures established to improve their involvement in the uDP. However, there have been positive benefits accruing as the result of this inscription.