ESARBICA BOARD MEETING

South Africa: Extract from the speech of the DDG Heritage Promotion and Preservation of the Dept Sport, Arts & Culture Mr Vusi Ndima, on the Official Launch of the 2022 ESARBICA Executive Board Meeting, 24 August 2022 at the National Archives and Records Service of SA.

South Africa: Extract from the speech of the DDG Heritage Promotion and Preservation of the Dept Sport, Arts & Culture Mr Vusi Ndima, on the Official Launch of the 2022 ESARBICA Executive Board Meeting, 24 August 2022 at the National Archives and Records Service of SA.

The history of the Archives in this country dates as far back as 1876, when his Excellence Sir Henry Barkly, Governor and Commande3r in Chief of Her Majesty’s Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, appointed 6 Commissioners to collect, examine and classify the Archives of the Colony.

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One thing all of these Acts had in common was the collection, preservation and protection of South Africa’s written history. The current Archives Act was the first to make provision for the transformation of the public archives system and its alignment with the imperatives of democratic South Africa. Archives bring meaning to and enrich the lives of so many people in so many ways.

Researchers use the records in Archives to make sense of the past, present, and future. Through archives and their use, there is a cycle of storytelling with multiple characters and perspectives, different endings, and even never endings.

Archival representation is meant to have long-lasting utility. Abstracts, calendars, inventories, repository guides, accession records, biographical sketches, authority records, and a host of other descriptive tools describe the context, structure and content of records and provide access to archival material.

The long-term goal is to ensure that the collections are preserved to make sure that the information therein remains readable and accessed. The Dept of Sport, Arts & Culture took advantage of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package, a project that was aimed at alleviating youth unemployment after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 160 young people were employed at NARSSA to assist the department in kick-starting the digitization project that is currently at its intermittent level.

Archives and archivists ensure the preservation of cultural heritage and the availability of evidence by safeguarding and helping people use authentic records. A centuries-old tradition of archives serving societal needs influences this perspective. We are extremely proud to be a part of a global community of archives, bodies, and institutions and mostly to be part of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council of Archives. Together, we work to raise awareness of archives, promote their value, and broaden the reach and impact we have on the world.