Gold Medal Criteria



The National Council of Heritage South Africa has for many years rewarded individuals who have given unstintingly of their time and expertise to conserve South Africa’s heritage resources and who, in the words of the preamble to the National Heritage Resources Act have by their example “encourage(d) communities to nurture and conserve their legacy so that they may be bequeathed to future generations”.

Until now only the Gold Medal has been awarded to deserving individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of the national estate. “Conservation” as defined for the purpose of this report includes maintenance, preservation, reconstruction and restoration. But now it has been resolved that the list of categories should be enlarged to include Gold Medals, Gold Certificates and Certificates of Merit for outstanding achievements in any of the following fields:

  • The conservation, protection, restoration of heritage buildings, objects and sites in the Republic of South Africa

  • The furthering of knowledge in the field of heritage studies and conservation

  • The education of the public and the creation of public awareness of South African heritage matters, including in written or visual form

  • The furthering of all aspects of the South African cultural heritage, collectively or individually, intangible heritage, archaeology and palaeontology.

  • Depending on the nature of the achievement or contribution and whether a person or a collective warrants recognition, these awards can take the form of:

  1. Gold Medal

Presented to an individual for work on a national level.

2. Gold Certificate

Part printed, hand inscribed framed certificate.

Presented to a collective, defined as companies, corporate bodies, organisations, government / provincial or municipal bodies for outstanding achievement or contribution in the heritage field on a national level with a proven and sustained programme over an extended time period.

3. Certificate of Merit

Part printed, hand inscribed framed certificate.

Presented to individuals, organisations or bodies for exceptional achievement or contribution in the heritage field at regional or local level.

All these awards are to be presented by the National Chairman or in his absence, by another senior office bearer at a National Annual General Meeting or Symposium or at a special function.

In principle, awards can only be awarded to a nominee once, though in very deserving cases it is possible to “upgrade” a certificate to a Gold Medal.


The National Office will issue an annual notice to all branches with a return date and include a nomination form giving brief details and written motivation without contacting the nominees.

The judging/assessment committee may request further details if required.

Except in very exceptional circumstances, not more than two of each of these three categories of awards should be made in any given year.

The selection committee should be obliged to motivate in a report to Council why, in terms of the Guidelines, they motivate for more than one award in any one category in any one year. The awards are intended to recognise the highest level of commitment to heritage conservation, but commitment alone is not enough. What is required is evidence of the commitment resulting in action and achievement.


­­­­­­­­________________________( BRANCH OF HERITAGE S.A.)

Proposes _____________________________________ Name/Title:

_____________________________________ Address:



For the following type of award: Gold Medal: _______________

Gold Certificate: _______________

Certificate of Merit: _______________

Posthumous award: _______________

Details of nominee:

Employment/profession: ______________________

 Approximate age: _______________­­_______

Citizenship: ______________________

Motivation: (provide a separate page of in-depth motivation) (N.B. please do not contact nominee)




Signed by proposer:


Contact details:­­


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