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


Learn more about the COVID-19 pandemic and get daily updates at:



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.


HASA councillor Twin Mosia continues to make waves

Twin Mosia, a heritage activist from Mamafubedu, Petrus Steyn in the Free State (pictured here with former HASA chair, Len Raymond), continues to make waves having been selected as nominee for the 2018 Africa Youth Awards Male of the Year and as one of the Young...

read 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

1 week ago

Condolences to the colleagues, family and friends of Beverly Young.

2 weeks ago
Why preserving cultural landmarks in a warming climate may mean transforming them

"Saving cultural and historic sites from climate change will require a new approach to heritage preservation that includes ... See more

Some sites could be protected in ways that visibly alter them – for example, elevating or moving buildings, or allowing them to be damaged or removed from the landscape.

2 weeks ago
CHIPKIN, Clive Michael

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Clive Chipkin - a leading authority on the history and heritage of Johannesburg. Our thoughts and condolences are with his colleagues, friends and family. ... See more

Was born in Yeoville, Johannesburg, his mother being Sarah and his father Morris Chipkin. He received his schooling at King Edward VII School.

2 weeks ago
Our Burning Planet: Oom Rudi and the bulldozers: Huge blow to restoration as SA’s largest estuarine lake mouth is smashed open

"By bowing to pressure for a short-term solution the authority was disregarding advice from science experts and the breaching meant that scarce freshwater inflows over the past four years would now ... See more

The mouth of South Africa’s largest estuarine lake has been bulldozed open with heavy earth-moving equipment – in apparent open disregard of a high court ruling and the scientific advice of ... See more

2 weeks ago
An Africa-wide survey of the economic impact of COVID-19 on cultural industries

Study confirms severity of Covid-19 on heritage industry.


Data on the impact of COVID-19 on African cultural and creative industries is patchy, and this survey hopes to shed light on it.

2 weeks ago
GOING UP: Cape Town’s high-rise future: Age of prosperity, or a blot on the skyline?

"The policy indicates that tall buildings should protect the key views of Table Mountain and the sea from public spaces, that tall buildings should be located in appropriate locations, and sun and ... See more

There are more than 30 tall building developments in the pipeline for Cape Town’s CBD, one being a skyscraper that will become the city’s tallest building at about 192m – 47 storeys. But not ... See more

3 weeks ago
Gwala family cemetery declared national heritage site

“... the Gwala graves were of historic value due [to] Harry Gwala’s work in the ANC and SACP and the family’s association with South African ... See more

The family cemetery where liberation struggle activist Harry Gwala was buried in KwaSwayimane, Wartburg, KwaZulu-Natal, has been declared a national heritage site by the South African Heritage ... See more

3 weeks ago
Seeking justice for Lion Sleeps Tonight composer

"It is arguably the world's most famous song about a lion - and for more than eight decades it has made a lot of money for many people around the ... See more

A music producer remixes an old classic to correct some injustices of the past.

3 weeks ago
The black soldiers who risked their lives for South Africa and only got a bicycle in return

"The Commonwealth War Graves Commission... has decided to tackle the issue of unrecognised and non-commemorated military personnel by forming a special committee which will make recommendations in ... See more

Some 80,000 black South Africans volunteered for the Native Military Corps but they could not serve as equals with white soldiers.

« 2 of 7 »

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. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Submit your information below to subscribe to our monthly newsletter


Postnet Suite #63, Private Bag X7, Parkview, 2122

Email Us