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National Heritage Resources Act, 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999)

Chapter I : System for Management of National Heritage Resources

Part 2 : Constitution, function, powers and duties of heritage resources authorities

13. Functions, powers and duties of SAHRA


(1) The general functions of SAHRA are to—
(a) establish national principles, standards and policy for the identification, recording and management of the national estate in terms of which heritage resources authorities and other relevant bodies must function with respect to South African heritage resources;
(b) co-ordinate the management of the national estate by all agencies of the State and other bodies and monitor their activities to ensure that they comply with national principles, standards and policy for heritage resources management;
(c) identify, record and manage nationally significant heritage resources and keep permanent records of such work;
(d) advise, assist and provide professional expertise to any authority responsible for the management of the national estate at provincial or local level, and assist any other body concerned with heritage resources management;
(e) promote and encourage public understanding and enjoyment of the national estate and public interest and involvement in the identification, assessment, recording and management of heritage resources;
(f) promote education and training in fields related to the management of the national estate; and
(g) perform any other functions assigned to it by this Act or as directed by the Minister.


(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1) and in addition to the general powers and duties conferred in terms of section 25, SAHRA—
(a) must investigate and advise the Council on—
(i) the state of South Africa’s heritage resources and any steps necessary to protect and conserve them;
(ii) national policy for the management of the national estate;
(iii) legislative amendment and enactment for the management of the national estate;
(iv) the repatriation of heritage resources which have been removed from South Africa and which SAHRA considers to be significant as part of the national estate;
(v) the role of the national estate in the development and promotion of a cultural profile for South Africa;
(vi) action and expenditure by the State for the identification and management of heritage resources, including financial incentives and concessions for heritage resources management;
(vii) education and training at all levels to promote the effective identification and management of the national estate;
(viii) any matter related to the operation of this Act; and
(ix) any other matter pertaining to the national estate or its management;
(b) must establish and maintain, for its own use and for the use of all heritage authorities and bodies and the public, the national heritage resources library, including documentary and other records relating to the national estate;
(c) must promote the systematic identification and recording of the national estate by—
(i) the development of a national strategy for the identification and assessment of heritage resources;
(ii) the establishment and funding of a standing South African Heritage Resources Survey which is tasked with annual projects aimed at identifying, assessing and documenting heritage resources;
(iii) the co-ordination and support of initiatives by provincial heritage resources authorities, any other bodies and persons to survey and record heritage resources;
(iv) the administration, co-ordination and funding of projects and research programmes aimed at the creation of graphic and other records of heritage resources;
(v) training programmes and other relevant activities aimed at conserving and documenting traditional South African building techniques and structural forms;
(vi) promoting the identification and recording of aspects of living heritage associated with heritage resources; and
(vii) projects aimed at increasing the volume and detail of information held in the inventory of the national estate referred to in section 39; and
(d) must prescribe national norms and standards for the recording of information about heritage resources in data bases maintained by itself and by provincial heritage resources authorities.