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The final resting place of Afrikaans anti-apartheid activist Beyers Naudé will be declared a national heritage site, one of about 28 heritage projects for the year.

Beyers Naude's grave to be declared a national heritage siteBeyers Naude's grave to be declared a national heritage site

THE grave of anti-apartheid stalwart Beyers Naudé on Lawler Avenue, in Joburg’s northern suburb of Northcliff, has been earmarked as a national heritage site and will be officially declared in the second quarter of the year.

Paul Mashatile, the minister of arts and culture, made the announcement in parliament while delivering his budget vote on Thursday, 3 May.

The Reverend Dr Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé, who spent his entire life advocating for ecumenism, social reform and multiracialism, was given the Freedom of the City of Johannesburg in 2002. He died in September 2004.

Mashatile said about 28 national heritage projects had been identified for this year, which has been declared the year of heritage.

Many of the graves of anti-apartheid activists that have been declared national heritage sites are at South Africa’s largest cemetery, Avalon Cemetery, on the southern periphery of Soweto.

Among them are the first woman elected to the executive committee of the ANC, Lillian Ngoyi, and the first president of the ANC Women’s League, Charlotte Maxeke, after whom the Johannesburg General Hospital has been renamed.

Beyers Naude's grave to be declared a national heritage siteBeyers Naude's grave to be declared a national heritage site The grave of social worker and political activist Helen Joseph, who lived in Norwood and who also has a Johannesburg hospital named after her, has also been declared a national heritage site.

Another grave of a political activist that will be declared a national heritage site is that of Rahima Moosa, after whom a maternity and paediatric hospital in Coronationville is named.

Mashatile said his department would use heritage infrastructure as catalysts for local economic development, job creation and nation building.

“We will intensify the work we are doing to preserve our country’s cultural heritage, paying particular attention to our liberation heritage,” said Mashatile.

The graves would be declared national heritage sites by the South African Heritage Resources Agency and the Department of Arts and Culture.

“Our ultimate objective is to create better conditions for the production, distribution and consumption of the arts, culture and heritage so that it yields greater economic and social benefits for all,” he explained.