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3 reasons heritage impacts our future

The idea of heritage is to know what came before and to give a sense of belonging. It is also about building a future that supports trends without disregarding or disrespecting cultural traditions and affiliations.

Here are three things where heritage plays an important role:

  1. Infrastructure: The heritage, or lack thereof, that makes up the physical aspects of our communities such as roads, water, sanitation, electricity and buildings, play a role in the planning of future projects. Knowing and having an understanding of the base-point is important for large-scale development to succeed.
  2. Technology: The heritage of non-digital solutions that have supported service delivery thus far hold valuable information and answers as to how best to incorporate digitalisation into the fabric of our public services and societies.
  3. Climate change: The heritage of using fossil fuels for energy generation and rudimentary fuels for cooking and lighting will need to be addressed in order to reduce future carbon emissions. In contemplation of scenarios supporting renewable or clean power deployment and innovation in battery storage, communities will need to embrace a cultural change as traditional social roles, jobs and skills progress alongside this new heritage.

In South Africa, the country’s draft reviewed Integrated Resource Plan 2018 has clearly not taken heritage into account nor the aggressive trend of the prosumer market taking hold, which is shaping the energy heritage of the future. It is not an easy task to capture both past and future into one plan; however, using a public consultative platform is a good route to plot out the best ‘heritage’.

The three points above are just part of the heritage story and I encourage you to share your ideas with fellow readers around this topic.

Wishing my fellow South Africans an inspirational Heritage Day.

Until next time.


Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.