- South Africa officially has another World Heritage Site, the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains
- The World Heritage Committee officially confirmed that South Africa now has 10 World Heritage Sites
- The Makhonjwa Mountain range met all four criteria to qualify as a natural site
South Africa has been blessed with yet another World Heritage Site. The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains joined nine other sites throughout the country on Monday when the World Heritage council ratified the decision.
The Makhonjwa Mountains, which are known as the Barberton Greenstone belt met all four criteria to qualify as a natural heritage site.
The site which is located near the town of Barberton in Mpumalanga is the first World Heritage Site in the province and South Africa’s tenth in total.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the news was welcomed by the Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development and Tourism and by Parliament’s portfolio committee on Tourism.
UNESCO has already updated its website to include the Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains.
Sapeople.com reported that the UNESCO website describes the site in the following manner:
“Situated in north-eastern South Africa, the site comprises 40% of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, one of the world’s oldest geological structures.
“The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains represents the best-preserved succession of volcanic and sedimentary rock dating back 3.6 to 3.25 billion years, when the first continents were starting to form on the primitive Earth.
“It features meteor-impact fallback breccia’s resulting from the impact of meteorites formed just after the Great Bombardment (4.6 to 3.8 billion years ago).”
Importantly for the site, the province of Mpumalanga and South Africa as a whole its inclusion in the list of World Heritage Sites will grant the iconic site access to funds to use for conservation efforts and is likely to dramatically increase tourism to the area.
South Africa’s other World Heritage Sites are:
• Robben Island
• Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
• Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs
• Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape
• Khomani Cultural Landscape
• UKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park
• Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
• Vredefort Dome
• Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park
The chairperson of Parliament’s standing committee on tourism Lusizo Sharon Makhubele-Mashele called on South African Tourism to use South Africa’s ten World Heritage Sites as a cornerstone of its marketing campaign to draw both local and international tourists.
Makhubele-Mashele said the announcement was a positive development for the local community and was sure to boost job opportunities in the region.
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