23 April 2018

The special task team met today (23 April 2018) to discuss the feedback received from the Free State Provincial Heritage Resources Authority (FSPHRA) regarding the task team’s submission to obtain a permit for the possible covering of the statue until the formal review process on the position of the statue in front of the Main Building on the Bloemfontein Campus has been concluded.
The special task team submitted a submission to the FSPHRA on 17 April 2018, in which the following three possible options were proposed to make the statue topical in a way that would symbolise the seriousness and urgency of the review process and stimulate engagement on the issue:
1.            fencing in the statue;
2.            creating an exchange of information around it; and
3.            covering the statue.
Options 1 and 2 emanated from the consultation process with the university community on the possible covering of the statue.
The Permit Committee of the FSPHRA approved Option 2 during its meeting on 17 April 2018, as it cultivates opportunity for scholarly engagement. The committee indicated that the statue should still be visible, ‘uncovered’, and accessible and granted the UFS a permit on 20 April 2018 to make the MT Steyn statue topical while the review process is underway.  

Permit document

The special task team welcomes the decision of the Permit Committee and supports the conditions stated in the permit, as it protects the credibility of the review process.
According to the National Heritage Resources Act No 25 of 1999, members of the university community and other stakeholders have 14 days from the date of issue of the permit (i.e. 17 April 2018) to appeal directly to the Permit Committee regarding its decision to grant the permit.
The way forward regarding the review process:
-       While the decision of the Permit Committee is open for appeal, the special task team is refining the detailed feedback and alternative suggestion/view on Option 2 made by the FSPHRA to ensure the practical execution thereof. This conceptional framework of Option 2 (creating an exchange of information around it) will be shared with the university community once completed.
-       The UFS has appointed a heritage consultant to conduct a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA).
-       Once a preliminary report from the HIA has been submitted by the heritage consultant, it will be made public for a minimum period of 30 days for input from the university community and other stakeholders, during which a public participation process will commence in order for the university community and others to deliberate about the preliminary report. During this time, various opportunities for engagement will be created on all three campuses to afford the university community and other stakeholders an opportunity to engage with the report.
-       The heritage consultant will submit a final report to the special task team after the engagement period has been completed.
The specific dates and timelines of the public participation process will be shared when finalised.


Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Corporate Communication and Marketing)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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