rorkesdriftvc.com Forum Index


rorkesdriftvc.com
Discussions related to the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879
Reply to topic
Politics around Isandlwana
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
This site and everyone I know in the AZW community, have always stressed that the focus of interest is in the individuals involved in the conflict. The soldiers and naval personnel.
I think most have their views on the reasons for the war and if any responsibility should be allocated. However, we have not covered that aspect and we have no intention of doing so.
It appears that politics in South Africa is now involving itself in the Battle of Isandhlwana. The following pages are from the Sunday Times of South Africa, 7 May 2017.

There is also the possibility that Isandlwana Lodge may be sold, but that isn't confirmed. These developments outlined in the article sound more akin to a theme park and will certainly not do anything for my enthusiasm to visit again.

Of course this is entirely a matter for South Africa but I don't imagine that erecting a statue of Chelmsford at Rorke's Drift would be appreciated.



Last edited by Alan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:21 am; edited 3 times in total
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
Firstly, I'm surprised that no one seems to think the events at Isandlwana and plans for the area,
worthy of comment. No one seems to want to reply to my emails on the subject.

It is after all, the burial place of many British and colonial troops.


Last edited by Alan on Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 923
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
Reply with quote
Alan,

The driving force for this venture is in Wales next month, just fyi.

JY
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
Reply with quote
I have viewed with concern the plans for a new place on/near the battlefield. As far as I can tell the plans have no redeeming features.

Peter
View user's profileSend private message
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
Peter,

which plans did you view? It all seems to be covered in fog to me.

_________________
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
Reply with quote
Alan

Sent you an email.

Peter
View user's profileSend private message
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
I am receiving various reports of possible routes that changes to Isandlwana might take.

Since we have seen no official plans, some of the unattributed information sounds so bad
that I think they are worth repeating.

"What they are proposing is horrendous - a shopping mall on the plateau near to Nqutu.
A triumphant arch on the road from Rorke's Drift. The basic plan for the memorial centre is
on kwaCulture's website.”


For a glimpse into the proposals. Best if you’re seated.
http://kwaculture.org.za/index.php/Isandlwana/

Isandlwana Lodge is for sale.

"The National Dept of Arts and Culture is involved in the erection of a statue to King Cetshwayo
and a development around that along with accommodation for the regiments when they gather
for the re-enactment ceremony. The development is off the declared battlefield."


In all of this, I see no representation or input from the 'losers' at Isandlwana. I think
I fully understand why.


Last edited by Alan on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
Sally Fox is Rob Gerrard's sister and is obviously taking a keen interest in the prospects for Isandlwana.

She wrote to Prince Buthelezi via Lyndith Waller, HRH's assistant hoping to find more information and delay any irreversible changes taking place. The following was written by Ros Devereux to the Prince:

Dear Honourable Buthelezi,

1. Are you aware of the proposed "Theme Park" to be built at Isandlwana?

I have been asked about this by a number of people - all in absolute horror at the idea of further deterioration to this beautiful area. I subsequently contacted Ros Deveraux at Amafa and her reply is shown below for your information :

Quote :
I know the National Dept of Arts and Culture is involved in the erection of a statue to King Cetshwayo and a development around that along with accommodation for the regiments when they gather for the re-enactment ceremony. The development is off the declared battlefield. It ran into trouble with the service provider appointed to oversee it so nothing has happened to date as far as I know. Annie might know more so I will check with her when she comes out of her meeting.

Regards,

Ros Devereux
Head: Built Environment Section
Amafa/Heritage KZN
End Quote

2. I have also heard from various Tour Guides, directing me to the kwaculture web site, where you'll see the most horrendous designs and plans :

The more I hear the worse it gets. John Young just sent a few details:-

Quote from a AZW expert and author.:

"What they are proposing is horrendous - a shopping mall on the plateau near to Nqutu.
A triumphant arch on the road from Rorke's Drift. The basic plan for the memorial centre is on kwaCulture's website.”

For a glimpse into the proposals. Best if you’re seated.
http://kwaculture.org.za/index.php/Isandlwana/ "



Sally Fox received a response from Prince Buthelezi's assistant, Lyndith Waller, regarding her concerns on proposals.

"Dear Sally,

Thank you for your email. I will ensure that Prince Buthelezi receives it.

Out of interest I went online to investigate this, and found the Heritage Impact Assessment from 2009 –

http://www.sahra.org.za/sahris/sites/default/files/heritagereports/HIA_Isandlwana_Cultural_Village_Van_Jaarsveld_A_Feb09_0.pdf

The assessment says that “the Isandlwana Battlefield will be altered permanently…” and “the impact on heritage resources will be high and permanent”. Moreover, “Whether the project is economically viable is unsure at this stage – it will probably always remain dependent on government subsidies…”

Despite this, the assessment recommends that the development go ahead!

I can’t imagine how they would proceed though, because legislation requires that “should any heritage resources be accidently unearthed during the construction process, all construction activities should be immediately halted…” Surely it would be difficult to move an inch without uncovering a heritage resource?

The assessment talks about a monument, helipad, parking lot, statues, a picnic and playground area, auditorium, theatre, museums, an open-air theatre and lecture space, a swimming pool with deck, cattle kraal, viewing platform, restaurant and shop. I must say, from the pictures on the KwaCulture website, I can’t imagine how on earth that ‘shopping mall’ type structure would help visitors “create a solid emotional and psychological connection with the 1879 warriors”. It won’t even look like a battlefield anymore."



I'm hoping that common sense and a degree of respect will prevail. Alan.


Last edited by Alan on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Isandlwana plans
Rosemary


Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 9
Location: Durban Natal South Africa
Reply with quote
There has been almost nothing in our (SA) media on the topic of Isandlwana's
future - certainly nothing I have seen - which is alarming as one wonders what
is steaming silently away in the background.

If plans for the 'theme park' go ahead, the visual impact of the battlefield
will be destroyed forever.

In any case nothing should be built over the unmarked graves of over a
thousand men (British) or those of the Zulu warriors who fell in the dongas
and whose graves are also unmarked.

South Africa has a constitution which protects ancestral burial grounds and
historical sites of conflict. There are protocols which have to be followed.
Surely these cannot be over-ridden by the Zulu King in a possible desire to
have a new palace which will cast Zuma into the shade (competition for
Nkandhla) - or by the current powers-that-be who want to edge out the
colonial ghosts in favour of an American-style theme park - but a theme park
which will not accommodate tourists? Anomalous in the extreme. How will
funds be raised if no tourists come?

Why aren't we hearing more about these plans and where is everyone who
cares about those who died at the mountain?

Shocked and appalled in Durban.

_________________
Rosemary
View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's website
Isandlwana "Theme Park"
Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 34
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
Reply with quote
Sitting at my desk writing this post with the view of Isandlwana in the distance made me smile. True this story has been bouncing around for more than 8 years. The smile comes from interesting times in South Africa at present and nothing surprises me anymore. Question is will it happen? In forming a new democracy this kind of sentiment does not come as a surprise and can be considered as being normal. However, we also have very specific legislation in place that sets compliance in any venture this one being no different. From points raised I would agree that it is very doubtful that such a project will be allowed to be constructed at the site mentioned reason being human remains were found...who's is still to determined but that will not entertain exemption at least for now. But as mentioned we are going through funny times and anything can happen. Then there is the money. When first announced..."we have funds" to the masses (local community) they got excited by the promises. Four years on and not a sod has been turned...what happened to the 30 million that supposed to have been allocated for this grandiose scheme...it vanished into thin air. In my opinion they never had the funds in the first place...and who wants to invest in a "Disney World" in the middle of nowhere.
That said I will put out a feeler to my local network regarding the matter.
Some trivia. In the past the local chief of the community concerned stated to the king..."that will not happen on my turf". This year in January the same said chief had to apologise to the king in public by slaughtering his prize bull.
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
Isandlhwana plan
Gareth Rees


Joined: 21 Jul 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Leighton Buzzard
Reply with quote
After reading the above regarding the plans at Isandhlwana, I am extremely saddened by the news.

As someone who is not lucky enough to have visited the sites at both Rorke's Drift and Isandhlwana, it is concerning that when I do visit it could now be completely tainted by a 'theme park'.

I as much as anyone on this forum want the Zulu Wars to be remembered and these plans threaten its legacy.

Hopefully these plans will fall through the sites will be preserved for those who love this period of history.

Gareth

_________________
Dwarfing the mightiest! Towering over the greatest!
View user's profileSend private message
building at Isandhlwana
Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 435
Reply with quote
It seems to me that the current plans will kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Tourism will be destroyed with the consequent loss of income to local people from it. Discussions about atmosphere and heritage will not sway a determined politico BUT economics might. If local people aren't happy, lose their jobs, livelihoods, etc., then King Goodwill / Chief Buthelezi might think again.
View user's profileSend private message
Ron L


Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 23
Location: South Africa
Reply with quote
The authorities state that the battlefield is fenced and will not be disturbed. This is incorrect
as the battleground extends far beyond the fenced area now termed the “declared battlefield”.
The Battle of Isandlwana commenced early in the morning of 22nd January when half of
No. 3 Column encountered Chief Matshana at Mangeni, ten miles S.E. of the declared battlefield.
Battle commenced and men fought and died. At 11.30 a.m., the Natal Native Horse confronted
the Zulu army at iThusi, three miles N.E and 300 feet above the declared battlefield.
Many died. At 12 noon, two and a half miles east of the declared battlefield, the Rocket Battery
was destroyed and many killed. At 12.30 p.m., half a mile from and 300 feet above the declared
battlefield, two companies of the 24th Regiment were destroyed and an unrecorded number
of warriors killed. The rout of the British along the trail down to Fugitives Drift, extending
six miles from the declared battlefield, was littered all the way with dead men who, though in
flight, died in the battle of Isandlwana.

In deference to brave men and in order to avert a replication of the Durban Beach Front on
hallowed ground, move the boundary of the declared battlefield to a realistic position.

Ron Lock.

_________________
Battlefields Africa Tours
View user's profileSend private message
The Theme Park
Paul Lamberth


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 34
Location: Rorke's Drift KZN South Africa
Reply with quote
You want to do what?…build a theme park…where?…Isandlwana. Sounds like a good idea, who is going to build it and how? The king but he does not have any money. Besides the sentiment attached to this historical site there is also opportunity to uplift the people. Thats interesting because I was under the impression that the area was doing well in comparison with others.It appears that the site has Global status thanks to individuals who have made significant sacrifice and investment in the area. Do you think the king can do better? I know we must support Radical Economic Transformation but don't you think this is taking it bit to far?
Although I do not have official numbers talking to TKZN, Amafa, Tourism Dundee, some lodges and guides in the area the following appears to reflect the current market. Based over a period of 15 years approximately 20,000 tourist visit the sites each year. The best year was 2010 thanks to a Lions rugby tour and football World cup. The annual growth rate is 4-5% which is below the national average of 8-9%. However, this area is considered as a specialised attraction…not your normal cup of tea…average age 55-65. Of the 20,000, 60% are foreign…the rest are local including school children. The bulk are from the province (KZN), next the Cape and a few from Gauteng…the rest have no interest at all…I want to put my toes in the sand along with my kids.
The “big spenders” (foreign) 60% UK, 10% Americas, 10% Europe, 10% from “down under” and 10% the rest. Approx 10,000 make use of the +/- 100 beds in the area with cost ranging from R1000-R3000 ppn. Occupancy ranges from 30 -70% with avg 50%. This generates a GDP of approx R36 million(pa) and employs 150 - 250 directly and 100 plus indirectly. Estimated cost per bed (investment) is R550,000. Community investment (pa) R360,000. Retail contribution +/- R12 million pa…Dundee smiles. This excludes marketing, promotion events, hunting, birding, hiking, biking etc. which all require effort and money. How will a theme park add to this? and will it be sustainable? Nice idea but I don't think it will work. You should ask the king to set up a casino at his palace like a “Zulu Sun City”…that would make more sense…but I could be wrong.
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail
Alan
Site Admin

Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
Reply with quote
Someone close to the matter has posted this to me:

It's certainly true that there is a problem with the definition of the battlefield. When the current battlefield reserve was delineated in the early '90s the boundary was deliberately chosen to exclude the settlements along the upper reaches of the dongas that drain along the foot of the heights. It was these dongas where the Zulu 'chest' sheltered during the attack on Pulleine's line, and it was in this area where Mkhosana Biyela - the great Zulu hero of the battlefield, who urged the uKhandempemvu to attack - was killed, so they are very much part of the battlefield. However, the negotiations to take the battlefield land away from the local community had been sensitive, and there was no will to include the dongas within the reserve as it would have meant moving people out of their homes, and forced removals are a very touchy issue in South Africa. So the boundary included as much land as possible, but could not include it all - and indeed, as Ron Lock has said, the true battlefield area extends from the Ngwebeni valley to Phindo, east of the Mangeni falls, to Fugitives' Drift and all the way to the foot of the Helpmekaar escarpment beyond Rorke's Drift. The problem is, of course, that as soon as you mark out a protected area you create an unprotected area on the other side - and the feeling spreads that if it's outside the reserve it is not on the battlefield. In fact the proposed development is very much on the battlefield, lying just outside the perimeter fence, and in between the British firing line and the uKhandempemvu's dongas. Whilst marking out the area for the development a number of human remains were discovered - it's not clear if they are British or Zulu, but since they are generally forward of the British line, and since the uKhandempemvu charged across this area, the chances are they are Zulu.
The current plans have more to do with the ideology of the battle than with developing it as a tourist attraction. Indeed, there is a feeling in some circles locally that too much has been done for wealthy overseas tourists, and there is some support for this plan on the basis that it will 'take back' Isandlwana for the Zulus. Traditionally the Zulu kings have build royal homesteads to stake their claim to a contested area - in a sense this follows the same tradition, in that the King wants to associate the history of the Zulu Royal House with Isandlwana because of its symbolic significance as an act of resistance to white colonialism. There are of course contemporary political overtones to this in that it will help to raise the standing of the Zulu Kings historically within the prevailing ANC mythology of 'the struggle' - and it won't hurt when it comes to lobbying in the future for possible funding for heritage projects.
One hope is that the King is not aware quite how significant the selected spot is - because it lies outside the perimeter fence. Unfortunately any accommodation within the proposed palace is not likely to be open to outsiders - but rather to the King's guests - and so the tourism issue is a red herring. The support for this exists on a rather different level, and indeed looked at from that perspective the feelings of wealthy white overseas tourists is largely irrelevant. Of course if the project goes ahead it will mean jobs and contracts for someone locally, and that is always seen as a positive.
In some respects it is very difficult for anyone from overseas to object to the project, because any implied disrespect for the King is going to be counter-productive, and indeed any official pressure, particularly from UK sources, is only likely to fuel the idea that the Zulus should not be 'pushed around in their own country, and of all places at Isandlwana'. A more successful line might be to make the sensitivity of the current chosen spot clearer, in the hope that the King's advisers will recommend moving to a less damaging one. There are some voices of opposition within South Africa, and these may have more impact than those of outsiders. It is also possible that the recent changes in the Nquthu district council, from ANC (who were broadly supportive of the project) to IFP might lead to some reconsideration.

_________________
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailVisit poster's website
Politics around Isandlwana
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
All times are GMT  
Page 1 of 3  

  
  
 Reply to topic