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The Maritime Heritage Institute is hosting a groundbreaking inaugural Maritime Heritage Conference in celebration of the national Heritage, World Maritime and national Tourism Months on  the 25th–27th September 2019 at the Vaal University of Technology’s Quest Conference Estate, VanderbijlPark, Gauteng Province, under the theme, Maritime Heritage: Reclaiming our Future, Advancing our Past

The event is supported by the Sedibeng District Municipality, Lesedi Local Municipality, Midvaal Local Municipality, Emfuleni Local Municipality, Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)  and National Heritage Council.

“We decided to host this Maritime Heritage Conference, with the aim the aim to broaden the understanding to sustainable use of the inland waterways to transform and grow the economies of the non-coastal municipalities and provinces. The area of Vaal, which boasts the Vaal River, fits and working towards tapping on the green economy. Secondly, looking at demystifying the prevalent notion that maritime refers only to the coast, as in seas or oceans: hence the Conference location is in the immediate vicinity of our iconic Vaal River”, said Mr Morakabe Seakhoa, Chief Executive Officer of the Maritime Heritage Institute.

In this regard, continued Seakhoa, “the Conference will also serve as a launching pad for the much-needed maritime community awareness – through the Maritime Careers and Jobs Expo, which, together with the Maritime Heritage Lecture - will lay bare to our youth the fascinating wealth and knowledge embedded in our abundant maritime heritage space and assets, the economic opportunities and environmental risks presented by, our marine resources”.

The Conference boasts a number of speakers to address a variety of maritime heritage issues and topics that aim to excavate our maritime heritage and history as a platform or scaffolding to build on and benefit from our future in the maritime and heritage industries, including:

- Maritime heritage history in Africa - ancient, colonial/anti-colonial and democratic

- Women’s centrality in maritime heritage

- Youth as custodians of maritime heritage

- Maritime heritage and economic development/benefits

- Maritime heritage as an essential part of our education curriculum

- Establishing maritime heritage routes and marine tourism

- “The time to establish, maintain and continually improve a maritime heritage transformative and empowering programme that is all-encompassing, is long overdue and a bold step towards preserving, advancing and celebrating our maritime heritage.

Needless to say, the process of evolving our maritime heritage project is a profound statement to the nation at large and our pride of place in the maritime heritage world community of nations”, concluded Seakhoa.

For media enquiries, please contact:

The Maritime Heritage Institute +27 11 791 9141 or Ms Ashley Santos (+27 74 919 2911) or Mr Mohale Molotsi (+27 81 504 9758)