A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed on May 26 between the South Africa Government and landowners of the Vredefort Dome has the world’s largest meteorite site closer to being recognised as a new World Heritage Site. This will make it the 8th such site in South Africa.

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, said the signing of the MOA marked four years of negotiations with land owners in the 300-kilometre-wide area.

The signing of the MOA marked the outcome of four years of engagement and negotiations between the Department of Environmental Affairs, relevant provincial and local government institutions and the landowners towards the formal proclamation of this breath-taking landscape as South Africa‘s eighth World Heritage Site,” she said.

The agreement is the crucial step in giving the area formal status which has been provided to Robben Island, iSimangaliso, Mapungubwe, Cape Floral Region, Richtersveld and uKhahlamba Drakensberg.

The minister said the signing of the MOA would also pave the way for the proclamation of the area and appointment of a Management Authority that would serve as a precursor for the development of an Integrated Management Plan which would ensure compliance with UNESCO World Heritage prescripts and South Africa World Heritage Convention Act of 1999.