Pretoria, 29 January 2020. The 81-year-old Voortrekker Monument in Tshwane is a Declared National Heritage Site (Grade I) in accordance with the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999). Possible original design problems and decaying construction materials largely due to water damage over the years, has resulted in the urgency to undertake necessary repairs.

Since its inauguration in 1949 the Voortrekker Monument has been prone to rainwater infiltration resulting in moisture penetrating the concrete dome, walls and walkways resulting in deteriorating steel reinforcing, discolouration of internal paintwork and blistering and subsequent falling of plaster from arches. Numerous previous waterproofing attempts have had but limited effect.

Serious concern about both the effect on the cultural significance of the Monument as well as visitor and staff safety, finally convinced Management of the necessity to intervene in order to safeguard the integrity of the Monument. An application was made and in 2019 the Monument received funding from the Rupert Historical Houses Foundation to investigate long-term, permanent waterproofing measures to address these problems and requested the Heritage Foundation to manage this project.

A company specialising in water-related engineering has subsequently been appointed to conduct the investigation which requires analytical testing of a small section, approximately 2 X 8 m, of the upper walkway on the southern side of the Monument.). The test will inform the final engineer design, which will form the basis of the permit application to the SA Heritage Resources Agency to intervene.

Section where analysis will take place

The area under consideration is contained and not accessible to the Public. The analysis will commence in February 2020 and although it will take place during normal operating hours, little to no inconvenience to visitors is anticipated.

Any queries regarding this process may be directed to Cecilia Kruger (Managing Director) or Johan Nel (Head: Heritage Resources Management).

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