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.

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.


Hartbeespoort to host 2022 Heritage Symposium

The next HASA Symposium will be held on 13th, 14th and 15th of October; a full programme is being planned by Mike Benn, Vincent Carruthers, Prof. Mariette Lowes, Tsungi Fundira and Stuart Claque on behalf of the Magaliesberg Association for Culture & Heritage. The...

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Recipients of the 2021 Simon van der Stel awards

Dr. Judy Maguire (far left) presenting the Simon van der Stel medal to Dr. Antonia Malan (second from left). Ian Pretorius (second from right) presenting the Simon van der Stel medal to John Rennie (far right).  The Simon van der Stel awards are the country’s premier...

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2 years ago

“Issues of relocation of Parliament, if needs be, issues of either restoration or rebuilding of Parliament, [these] are issues which we can only start discussing... once we have an understanding, a ... See more

2 years ago

“Local community organisations like the SFB are invited to argue against the issuing of a demolition permit on the grounds that the building is of heritage and historical significance and is valued ... See more

2 years ago

"Good afternoon, this is the captain speaking. Brace yourself for some wonderful news. We have finally found the Endurance…”

2 years ago

"It was like walking into a graveyard. Something which had once been gleaming and energised, into something which has collapsed to ruin"

The death of the Johannesburg Art Gallery.

2 years ago

2 years ago

2 years ago

SA needs a memorial to banned and burnt books.


2 years ago

R1000 walking tour of Robben Island?

2 years ago

Plenty of “Spongebuild Squareparts” in our cities as well.

2 years ago

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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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