Liberation Heritage Route: Reminiscent of the Painful Past or a Road to the Future?

"In 2009, a series of thirteen sites within South Africa was submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) for World Heritage status. Linked together by a common narrative of the liberation struggle, the sites form the so-called Liberation Heritage Route, which aims to preserve the legacy of South Africa’s long walk to freedom. It represents the South African national chapter of a much broader programme entitled “Roads to Independence in Africa: The African Liberation Heritage”,coordinated by Unesco and supported by the African Union (AU). This brief analyses the long-term benefits of the initiative, both sociocultural and economic, while emphasising sustainable development principles as best practice to balance the need for the conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage that constitutes the substance of the Route with the prospect of using it as a product for tourism development."