Wednesday, June 12, 2024

P30 million Molepolole cultural hub begins construction

The abandoned Ntsweng Heritage Sight (also known as Ga Mmakgosi) in Molepolole is set to become a hive of activity thanks to the planned P30 million cultural hub. The organizers, Kgosi Sechele I Museum Board have so far raised P22 million that will be used to complete Phase One of the project.

The Kgosi Sechele I Museum in partnership with Department of National Museum and Monuments have embarked on the “commercially viable” project to develop Ntsweng Heritage Site into a cultural hub that they hope will create employment for the youth of Kweneng District while at the same time providing sustainable income for the conservation and management of the Site.

The project has been funded partly by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism represented the National Environmental Fund Board (NEF) with P5 million, and the Department of National Museum and Monuments with a further P17 million. The Sight, which has over the past few years been used to host the annual Dithubaruba Cultural Festival, has otherwise remained unutilized save for serving as the Bakwena Royal Cemetery, with only remnants of the old Mmakgosi (The Queen Mother)’s House visible. The House is however set to be rebuilt as part of the cultural hub project.  

Some of the other project activities that shall be carried out include a new and bigger Kgosi Sechele I Museum, a gate house, craft center, two camp sites, art studios, amphitheater, restaurant, and Garden Park among others. 

Addressing Bakwena at the Main Kgotla on Wednesday Kgosi Sechele I Museum Curator Power Kawina said they were at least P8 million short of the estimated budget. He said as a result they would carry out the developments in phases, using the P22 million they already have in the bag. He said the first phase of developments would include the new museum, amphitheater, restaurant, Mmakgosi House, and campsites. He said there shall be a call for tendering within the following two months. “Let us not forget Ntsweng is a very sensitive sight and as such there shall be some archaeological excavations to insure no historical remains are buried under the new constructions.”

Kawina warned of possible historical burial sites within the area. As a result of fencing and other developments already taking place the annual Dithubaruba Cultural Festival has been relocated to Molepolole Sports Complex. “We do not want anyone to interfere with developments in the area,” Kawina said.

Liaison Officer for Kgosi Sechele I Museum and former Bakwena Deputy Chief Keineetse Sebele said there was more than P8 million required to finish the project. He called on Bakwena to pledge beasts that would be sold on auction in 2019 to raise funds for the construction of the cultural hub. “Any other form of gift besides a beast is also welcome,” Sebele said. The Management Plan for Ntsweng Site Museum and Related Infrastructural Developments is complete. The management plan was done by Geoflux (Pty) Ltd. The project is expected to be completed around June 2020.


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