Zanele Hartmann and Rose Boswell

In Undersea, Rachel Carson once said: Who has known the sea, neither you nor I with our earth bound senses ( To sense this world of waters known to the creatures of the sea we must shed our human perceptions of length and breadth and time and place, and enter vicariously into a universe of all-pervading water (Rachel Carson’s undersea, republished in the 1937 September issue of the Atlantic). 

Posted: 25/03/2024 15:24:00 | with 0 comments

Jessica Thornton and Zanele Hartmann

“Healing in African indigenous cultures is a corporate matter involving the totality of the person, family and community” (Olademo, 2013: 53). In many cultures the sea embodies meaning, healing and identity. 

Posted: 25/03/2024 15:22:15 | with 0 comments

Jennalee Goeda

Swakopmund is geographically situated in between the dunes and desert close to the mouth of the Swakop River. Swakopmund was an important harbour during the colonial period even though the conditions were not favourable with the coastal waters being too shallow and its coast having a strong surf (InfoNamibia, 2024). During the colonial period, Swakopmund was referred to as “Germany’s most southern coastal resort“ (InfoNamibia, 2024). The water temperatures hardly reach over 20 °C due to the cold Benguela current of the Atlantic. For this reason, Swakopmund, today,  serves as an important tourist attraction due to its mild climatic conditions during the high seasons of December and January (InfoNamibia, 2024). The tourists that come to visit the town are mainly in-land tourists. Many South-African and Namibian pensioners have taken up permanent residency in Swakopmund due to its costal holiday appeal (InfoNamibia, 2024).

Posted: 20/03/2024 09:08:31 | with 0 comments

Zanele Hartmann

A couple of years ago, I visited Namibia, and part of the visit included the Sossusvlei-dunes and the Dead Vlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. I was met by a spectacular and striking landscape that was extremely contrasting. On the one side, there were these tall, red, beautiful sand dunes, and  on the other side, there was the Dead Vlei. Vlei is the Afrikaans word for “marsh”, simply translating to “Dead Marsh” in English. The Dead Vlei was once an oasis, that is now a white clay pan. The dead acacia trees are estimated to be between 600-700 years old (Bliss, 2018). The Namib desert, containing the Namib-Naukluft National Park, is thought to be the oldest continuous desert in the world (Bliss, 2018). This desert has endured an arid climate for 50-80 million years, and this lengthy dry period has influenced the endemic plants and animals in the area (Bliss, 2018).

Posted: 20/03/2024 09:03:22 | with 0 comments

Jessica Thornton

In the heart of the Outeniqua Mountains in southern Africa lies a tale of cultural resilience, interconnectedness, and where the legacy of a healer diviner transcends borders and spans generations. It was on the way to a scared river that we heard of  the last Khoisan bow, which embodies the spirit of transboundary heritage uniting South Africa and its neighbouring nations. Delving into this captivating narrative, we heard of the significance of preserving transboundary heritage in the region.

Posted: 20/03/2024 09:02:32 | with 0 comments

Zanele Hartmann & Jessica Thornton

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), founded on Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) within the National Environmental Management Act No 107 of 1998 (NEMA) legislation in South Africa, mandates the state to ensure that everyone has a right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being. A crucial aspect of maintaining a sustainable environment involves comprehending how human actions affect both the environment and the health and prosperity of those reliant on it. Environmental Impact Assessments serve as a method for evaluating and documenting the effects of specific activities, aiding decision-makers in determining which activities are suitable, what actions are necessary to alleviate adverse effects, and how to manage the project’s impacts effectively.

Posted: 20/03/2024 09:00:22 | with 0 comments

Sharon Gabie

Since the dawn of democracy many groups of Khoe and San people across the country have been actively involved in the politics of revivalism and advocating for the recognition of their identity. The recognition of one’s identity is layered, and recognition must be holistic, including culture, heritage and land that is inclusive of the ocean for coastal communities. When one considers the concept of cultural manifestation seen among the Khoe and San people, they must think of issues surrounding dispossession, exclusion, and continual ethnocide through the non-recognition of this cultural group. Recognising the identity of this group of people means that you recognise their right to land and their rights in the ocean economy, that includes the different types of rituals Khoe and San people are doing to comply with a concept of cultural manifestation. The act of recognition is not a standalone endeavour. This piece of writing highlights the political dynamics of these groups and its impact on the cultural heritage impact assessment reports.

Posted: 20/03/2024 08:59:15 | with 0 comments