Situated on a hill south of Pretoria, the Voortrekker Monument was designed to honour the Voortrekkers, and is also known as the Hall of Heroes. The monument contains what is thought to be the world’s longest historical marble frieze which reflects the experiences of the Voortrekkers during the Great Trek.
On the lower level is the Cenotaph Hall containing the central cenotaph, historical flags and objects of cultural and historical value. Tapestries with more than three million stitches depict the story of the women and children during the Great Trek.
This Hall of Heroes recently joined the Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) family of responsible and sustainable tourism products and activities.
FTT is an NGO that operates the world’s first and still only Fair Trade Tourism certification programme. The NGO’s certification programme, which was recently outsourced to FLO-Cert, is based on adherence to specific criteria including fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.
FTT encourages and monitors fair and responsible practises in tourism establishments and activities. Its purpose is to create opportunities for business owners and employees of tourism businesses in developing countries to enter and trade in markets governed by fair practice and transparency. Added to this, it aims to afford tourists travelling to developing countries the opportunity to travel responsibly and engage with the communities in which they travel.
The Managing Director of the Voortrekker Monument, Sonja Lombard, said, “We are very pleased to have the Monument declared a Fair Trade Tourism certified monument, as it was declared a Grade 1 National Heritage Site in July 2012. As such, I am sure that visitors to the Monument as well as the friends of Fair Trade Tourism can be assured of service excellence and a remarkable historical experience when visiting the biggest monument in Africa”.
As part of the greening initiatives at the Voortrekker Monument, a recycling project in conjunction with the restaurant on site was recently established. For recycling at the monument, colour coded bins have been placed in strategic areas to make it easy for international tourists to contribute towards recycling project.
The Voortrekker Monument manages their water source, as well as two dams on site. The water in the dams is used to maintain the beautiful gardens. The Monument is also situated on a declared nature reserve. In addition, the Voortrekker Monument works closely with members of Tshwane Nature Conservation to ensure that the site conforms to standards.
FTT General Manager and Acting Executive Director, Kathy Bergs, said “As Fair Trade Tourism is based in Pretoria, it is exciting for us to have this premier tourist attraction become FTT-certified. We hope this will spur further Pretoria tourism businesses to follow their lead!”