Go Ghaap! Route
In 2016, the Karoo Development Foundation (a non-profit Trust) and Habitat Landscape Architects submitted a proposal to the National Lotteries Commission, for funding to create a Heritage Route in the area south of Kuruman. The project has been strongly motivated by the Northern Cape Department of Tourism.
In 2017, we received a sum of R1.8 million from Lotto, and the project began in August 2017.
The Route now includes the following towns:
- In Ga-Segonyana LM: Kuruman and Mothibistad
- In Gamagara LM: Kathu, Deben and Olifantshoek
- In Tsantsabane LM: Postmasburg and Jenn-haven
- In Kgatelopele LM: Danielskuil and Lime Acres
- In Siyancuma LM: Griquatown and Campbell.
There are also important “gateway” sites, for travellers moving towards this region, viz Douglas, Prieska, Groblershoop, and Wildebeestkuil near Barkly West.
The sheer richness of heritage resources in the area is astonishing. This includes:
- Early geological history (from 3 billion years ago) –
- of the mining richness of the area, as well as the caves and “eyes” (fountains)
- Early mankind – the stone age artefacts at Kathu
- Khoisan history
- Tswana (Thlaping and Rolong) history, at least since 1700
- Griqua history since 1800
- Explorers, travellers, missionaries – and the Moffat Mission in Kuruman was the main stop on the “highway to the north”, to areas in today’s Botswana, Zambia and Malawi
- The brigands, outlaws and renegades of the 1800s
- The wars in the Langberg – 1870s and 1890s
- The Anglo-Boer War, and the 1914 rebellion, and
- Recent “struggle history” of the 1980s and 1990s.
It is almost inconceivable that any other area in South Africa has as much heritage to offer!
Since 2017, the project team has focused on:
- Identifying key historical themes (there are at least 10 major heritage themes in this notable area!)
- Assembling historical information on these themes, in preparation for building a website and creating travellers’ maps
- Identifying possible sites for signage (including information kiosks, route signs and information signs at specific sites)
- Engaging with companied providing Cell Phone Apps for travellers, to list site information on their apps
- Building a strong and inclusive regional team of people, including public officials, councillors, private sector, and community people – all committed to the idea of building a Ghaap Heritage Route
- Identifying crafters in the region, to create a Crafters Catalogue – and thereby to stimulate market access for their products
- Creating a Route logo
- Securing agreement on a suitable “institutional vehicle” (NGO) to take the project forward in the long-term
- Planning a Ghaap Heritage Conference, on 30 October 2018, 2018, as a launch event for the project.
Prof Doreen Atkinson (project leader)
Cell 083 274 5461
The Go Ghaap map shows how the numerous points of heritage interest in the Ghaap area.
Together, we can build the Ghaap Region!