This study proposes a systematics for South African cultural landscapes. This study further aims to strengthen the analytical potential of the system by identifying a suitable platform for collaboration to supplement biophysical ecologies with the cultural ecologies. Item 4 of the aims of the National Heritage Resources Act No 25 of 1999 specifically states: that it is necessary to introduce an integrated system for the identification, assessment and management of the heritage resources of South Africa. Although all the aims mentioned in the Act are required for a complete management system for South African cultural resources, without a workable identification and assessment process, management will be ineffectual. This study addresses and proposes a systematics to accomplish this fundamental requirement of a complete management system. The research project is a proposal to the South African community of concerned individuals, institutions and agencies dealing with the conservation and protection of the cultural resources of the country. It is presented for consideration and adoption as alternative and supplemental management procedures. This research for cultural landscape management tools and techniques will supplement current programs by the relevant agencies who are considered to be holistic, combining African cultural perspectives on environmental values with the traditional western approach to conservation, thus amalgamating cultural and biophysical issues. The study is both qualitative and quantitative. It identifies and describes current conditions, and through the review of case study field data to test and correlate the documented data. All hypotheses are successfully proven and substantiated with both the critical review of the literature, the key interviews and the case study reviews. The sub-problems investigated each of the aspects to compile such a systematics. This thesis thus successfully proposes a systematic for the cultural landscapes of South Africa. This study recommends that the research into cultural differences and the relationship of various cultures to the biophysical landscape be extended and, furthermore, an alternative to the western way of documentation and mapping culture must be sought.
Thesis (PhD(Landscape Architecture))--University of Pretoria, 2004.