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DateOriginal Topic
3rd June 2004KZN battlefields
By Robert Jones
Amafa/Heritage KZN has just reminded individual tour operators and guides who take parties to KwaZulu-Natal battlefields that each person in the group, including the guide, are charged R10 entrance fee/levy.
There have reportedly been incidents when some tour operators and guides have tried to argue that the fee does not apply to them as tour group leaders.According to Barry Marshall, director of Amafa/Heritage, it involves only a few individuals but there have been some unpleasant incidents, rude comments written in the visitors book and so on.
It would be interesting to hear the pundits views on this on this forum.
Personally, I think these guides should stop moaning---after all, what is R10?
If you live in mainland Europe you can,t get in anywhere for less than 15 Euros!
3rd June 2004Grant Best
The important issue being faced by Amafa Heritage KZN is the need to support the costs of operating and conserving the major sites. Some infrequently visited sites are already apparently being 'let go' there being little prospect of them ever earning revenue. Even the frequently visited Isandlwana site (with its Interpretation Centre) is currently operating at a significant annual loss. Inpection of the visitor's book day sheets (a complementary form of validating the receipts) indicates that most regular higher profile tour guides going to Isandlwana are fully compliant with the fee charging regime. However, I've been at other sites (Spion Kop is a good example) where an evidently frequently visiting guide simply faced down the Zulu man seeking to obtain the entry fee and refused to pay. It was the act of a dishonest coward and a bully, and my own attempt to remonstrate with this individual simply generated abusive language. Local (black) attendants are for ever at a disadvantage given the evasive and confrontational stance that many unscrupulous white visitors are willing to resort to. It would be helpful to all were action to be taken against individuals, especially where these might be SATSA registered, with a view to imposing some form of sanction against.
Meanwhile, individual visitors can obviously help matters by willingly paying these small fees, patronising the nearby small businesses, and demonstrating courtesy and good humour to those running the sites. As an example of local businesses, there is a good traditional small craft shop near the Isandlwana Interpretation centre (whose quality and prices are hard to beat in other easily accessible KZN outlets) and there is a small but efficiently run tea room next to the Rorke's Drift Visitor's Centre that dispenses tasty and cheap beverages and snacks. The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) Craft Centre at Rorke's Drift also deserves strong support. Whilst some of its larger rugs are not cheap, they sell other more modestly priced fabric and stoneware items that provide excellent souvenirs of this culturally and historically interesting site.
All hands to the pump will help preserve these sites for posterity, and help to persuade the locals of the acceptability of maintaining them.
4th June 2004Clive Dickens
I cannot see why anyone should complain at this ,it is much better to pay a small amount which is much less than a pound sterling at the present exchange rates and it is going towards keeping these sites intact for not only our generation but future generations , Yes I would willingly pay this amount and more if necessary.
8th June 2004Phil Pearce
I recently was charged over 2 pounds to enter Canterbury Cathederal. I paid for I Knew the cash went to its upkeep.I presume the same applies here?