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|South African world heritage sites
South Africa had been a States Party since 1997 and since 1999 UNESCO has inscribed 8 word heritage sites in South Africa. These could be a natural site such as a forest or a structure such as a city. The international World Heritage Programme selects sites that have either a cultural or physical significance to the international community.
There are certain criteria that sites should adhere to; a site should be of "outstanding universal value" and should comply with at least one criterion. The World Heritage Programme preserves inscribed sites and raises awareness of their value. Another benefit is that countries can access the World Heritage Fund’s US$4 million assistance budget.
Fossil hominid sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and environs - Cultural heritage site
These sites are in the Gauteng, Limpopo and North-west provinces of South Africa and this is where the 1924 Taung Skull discovery had been made. UNESCO inscribed the site in 1999.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park - Natural heritage site
The park, which is South Africa’s 3rd largest protected area, covers about 3 280 kilometers in KwaZulu-Natal – from Mphelani in the South to Kosi Bay in the North.
Robben Island - Cultural heritage site
Robben Island in the Western Cape Province symbolise "the triumph of the human spirit, of freedom, and of democracy over oppression."
UNESCO inscribed the site in 1999 and
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park - Mixed properties heritage site
This park is one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions and UNESCO had inscribed it in 2000 for the value of the rock art and natural beauty. The park is in KwaZulu-Natal and contains nearly 35% of South Africa’s San rock sites.
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape - Cultural heritage site
The Kingdom of Mapungubwe in the Northern Province became the 5th South African heritage site in 2003. UNESCO inscribed it as a world heritage site for the palace sites and two earlier settlement sites from the 14th century.
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas - Natural heritage site
This is the second Western Cape Province site to be made a world heritage site. These 8 regions account for nearly 20% of Africa’s flora. It is for this reason that UNESCO had inscribed the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in 2004.
Vredefort Dome - Natural heritage site
This is the world’s largest impact crater that had been verified and it covers 190 kilometers in the Northwest and Free State provinces. UNESCO had inscribed it as a world heritage site in 2005 for the knowledge that it offers researchers.
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape - Cultural heritage site
UNESCO inscribed this Northern Cape Province site in 2007. The Nama’s cultural heritage as well as the area’s flora contributed to its 2007 inscription.
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