We see a South Africa that celebrates and protects its interwoven past to the betterment of all our people.


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Who we are

The Heritage Association of South Africa is the voice of conservation bodies from around the country dedicated to conserving the national estate. With our roots in the Simon van der Stel Foundation, we are the largest and oldest conservation lobby group in South Africa. While the Simon van der Stel Foundation originally focused on the conservation of historic, colonial architecture, we’ve grown our focus over the past three decades to include cultural heritage in all its diverse forms and from across the country’s diverse communities.

An endangered heritage

South Africa has a rich and diverse cultural heritage spanning millennia. However, two decades after the enactment of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999), heritage conservation is languishing in a deeply compromised state. The South African Heritage Resources Agency has faced consecutive leadership crises, with only KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape having a semblance of coherent provincial policy and institutional capacities in place, as envisaged in the Act, while not a single municipality has the mandated competency to manage local heritage. Various other provisions of the Act have similarly not been fulfilled. These are some of the challenges that the Heritage Association of South Africa seeks to overcome.

Our mission

To be a respected and independent voice advocating for the research, promotion and conservation of the national estate.

What we do

The Heritage Association of South Africa carries out a number of roles and functions:

It provides forums and other means of communication to share information and knowledge.

It represents and advocates on behalf of our associates at a national level.


The student’s guide to studying heritage in South Africa

By Jacques Stoltz & Tammy Stewart Thinking about pursuing further studies in the heritage sector? We’ve got you covered. Below are some of the programmes on offer at the country’s major institutions. If we’ve missed something, let us know and we will update the...

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1 day ago
McGregor Museum Kimberley

METAL THEFT at the CENOTAPH - SAPS have been alerted and promise to be patrolling tonight. This is the most audacious destruction of heritage occurring in Kimberley right now.

5 days ago
Obituary for Clive Michael Chipkin | The Heritage Portal

"His books Johannesburg Style: Architecture and Society 1880s to 1960s (David Philip, Cape Town, 1993) and Johannesburg Transition: Architecture and Society from 1950 (STE Publishers, 2009) are ... See more

Clive Chipkin passed away peacefully on January 10th 2021 in Johannesburg, aged 91. Clive was born on 21st March 1929 in Johannesburg, the city he made his own. He was an extraordinary person who ... See more

6 days ago
The future of architecture? The buildings we already have

"The future of architecture? The buildings we already have." We couldn't agree more. #adapt ... See more

A new book by photographer Michel Arnaud shows some of the best examples of adaptive reuse, from a Masonic temple that became a nonprofit to an auto shop that was converted into an arts center.

6 days ago
Timeline Photos

Join this virtual tour led by Prof Kathy Munro with contributions from Dr Shimon Lev in Israel and Eric Itzkin in Johannesburg as they introduce the story of Hermann Kallenbach and his houses. Not to ... See more

1 week ago
Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

A blue plaque was awarded to House Marks in 17th Avenue, Houghton Estate, today. The house is a fine example of the modern movement by one of its masters, Harold Le Roith. The house is now included ... See more

1 week ago
Rust-en-Vrede Rescue

Help save Rust-en-Vrede.


Rust-en-Vrede Gallery and Clay Museum was established 37 years ago and since then, many well-established artists had their first solo exhibitions here.

1 week ago
Lottery boss misled Parliament

"Asked if there was a museum on the premises, she said: “Definitely not. There’s a restaurant and a few businesses, but no ... See more

Commissioner Thabang Mampane told MPs last year that the minstrel museum officially opened in 2016. It’s still not open

1 week ago
African World Heritage Fund

📢 𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗖𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 – Our World Heritage 𝗦𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗲 ... See more

1 week ago
Timeline Photos

The World Monuments Watch is World Monument Fund’s global programme that seeks to discover, spotlight, and take action on behalf of heritage places facing challenges. Nominations are due March 1, ... See more

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Why Heritage?


The Constitution enshrines the right to a healthy and protected environment. Everyone has the right to have the environment protected through, among others, the promotion of heritage conservation. 

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