We cherish the cultural heritage of all the people of South Africa
Our heritage is unique and precious and it cannot be renewed. It helps us to define our
cultural identity and therefore lies at the heart of our spiritual well-being and has the power
to build our nation. It has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures, and in so doing shape
our national character.
Our heritage celebrates our achievements and contributes to redressing past inequities. It educates, it deepens our understanding of society and encourages us to empathise with the experience of others. It facilitates healing and material and symbolic restitution and it promotes new and previously neglected research into our rich oral traditions and customs.
From the preamble to the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999
Who are we?
The Simon van der Stel Foundation, known today as Heritage South Africa, was established in 1959 and is currently the largest and oldest non-governmental (NGO) organisation involved in heritage conservation. Heritage SA is a non-profit section 21 company with many affiliated branches.
Responsibilities of Heritage South Africa
To liase with and inform individuals, decision makers, authorities both national and local, and relevant organisations with respect to the protection of conservation-worthy structures and places, our rich cultural heritage, shipwrecks, archaeological sites and objects relating to our collective past in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act.
To provide heritage conservation guidelines and advice on restoration activities in conjunction with specialists, professionals and academics.
To stimulate and promote a collective awareness and appreciation of the value of heritage in all communities.
At local level the branches offer members
- Talks on relevant subjects
- Excursions to heritage and conservation-worthy structures and sites
- School competitions to make our learners more aware of their heritage
- The opportunity to become involved in heritage conservation
Management and Administration
Heritage South Africa is managed by a national chairperson, national secretary and a council made up of representatives of the affiliated branches. Council meetings are held three times per annum. All the posts are voluntary.
Affiliated branches are managed at local or regional level by their own elected committees.
An Annual Symposium is held and hosted on a rotating basis by an affiliated branch with the assistance of and input from the National Council. This gives members and the public an opportunity to attend lectures by experts and professionals, to network, to consult with the professionals, to share ideas and problem-solve. Members of the public are actively encouraged to attend this annual event.
As a non-profit section 21 company Heritage South Africa is dependent on donations, sponsorships, affiliation fees and income from projects and outings. It has a registered fundraising number and both the current account and the trust account are audited annually in accordance with the Company’s Act. We invite you to become part of Heritage South Africa’s unique partnership between business and culture.
Sponsored in the interest of heritage by :- DALJOSAPHAT RESTORATIONS (PTY) LTD