World War I memorial is in a terrible state

The current state of the name plaque of the Bezuidenhout Valley World War I Memorial.

By Busi Vilakazi

Ward 66 committee member for infrastructure and services Joseph Dube is calling on residents of the ward to help in preserving heritage sites.

“Our ward is full of beautiful history and as residents, we need to preserve them,” said Dube.

This request comes after a number of concerns were raised by residents about the deterioration of the Bezuidenhout Valley World War I Memorial, which is situated at the corner of Kitchener Road and 9th Avenue in Kensington, opposite Darras Centre.

“The memorial is in a very poor condition. The fountain is not working and the area is dirty and has become a drinking hot spot,” said Dube.

He said the memorial is part of the area’s heritage and it needs to be protected and preserved.

The Bezuidenhout Valley World War I Memorial opposite Darras Centre is in terrible condition.

“I would like to invite community members to form a forum that will look at all heritage sites in Ward 66.

“I am hoping such a forum will be able to come up with a plan of action to educate the community to promote tourism in our ward. We must develop a strategy to preserve these sites,” said Dube.

He said forming such a forum will ensure that the heritage of the area is protected.

“I would also like to challenge the businesses in the area to adopt the memorial and help in restoring it,” said Dube.

“It’s sad how people can be ignorant about history.

The fountain is not working any more and the plaque has been burned on the side.

“We need to educate the community about the memorial sites and their importance. I am hoping if we as the community can embrace the heritage sites, we can go a long way to protect and stop abusing the sites,” said Dube.

The EXPRESS reported on November 21 about the online heritage register the City of Joburg has developed.

The register will assist in alerting property owners up front whether or not they need to get heritage approvals before carrying out any work.

MMC for development planning Clr Funzela Ngobeni said the purpose of developing the heritage register is to ensure that sufficient information is easily available to potential investors and developers.

The development of the heritage register is the result of a partnership between the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership (JICP), local heritage groups and the city.

To access the heritage register, go to www.heritageregister.org.za

Residents who are interested in restoring historical sites can contact Dube on 076 860 7940.

  AUTHOR
Busi Vilakazi

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