OF SOUTH AFRICA
We see a South Africa that celebrates and protects its interwoven past to the betterment of all our people.
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.
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 Department of Human Settlements and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research have published the latest iteration of the ‘Red Book’ – the Neighbourhood Planning and Design Guide. As with previous versions, the aim of the guidelines is to improve the...read more
The National Council of the Heritage Association of South Africa has for many years rewarded individuals and organisations 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...read more
As heir in title of the Simon van der Stel Foundation, the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) has over the years been disposing of assets of the former foundation as it believes that these should be owned and managed locally. A number of properties of the...read more
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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