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

2. Definitions


In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise—



means any action affecting the structure, appearance or physical properties of a place or object, whether by way of structural or other works, by painting, plastering or other decoration or any other means;




(a) material remains resulting from human activity which are in a state of disuse and are in or on land and which are older than 100 years, including artefacts, human and hominid remains and artificial features and structures;
(b) rock art, being any form of painting, engraving or other graphic representation on a fixed rock surface or loose rock or stone, which was executed by human agency and which is older than 100 years, including any area within 10m of such representation;
(c) wrecks, being any vessel or aircraft, or any part thereof, which was wrecked in South Africa, whether on land, in the internal waters, the territorial waters or in the maritime culture zone of the Republic, as defined respectively in sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Maritime Zones Act, 1994 (Act No. 15 of 1994), and any cargo, debris or artefacts found or associated therewith, which is older than 60 years or which SAHRA considers to be worthy of conservation; and
(d) features, structures and artefacts associated with military history which are older than 75 years and the sites on which they are found;



in relation to heritage resources, includes protection, maintenance, preservation and sustainable use of places or objects so as to safeguard their cultural significance;



means the Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency established in terms of section 14;


"cultural property agreement"

in relation to a foreign state, means an agreement between South Africa and a foreign state or an international agreement to which South Africa and a foreign state are both parties, relating to the prevention of illicit international traffic in cultural property;


"cultural significance"

means aesthetic, architectural, historical, scientific, social, spiritual, linguistic or technological value or significance;



means the national department responsible for arts and culture and heritage;



means any physical intervention, excavation, or action, other than those caused by natural forces, which may in the opinion of a heritage authority in any way result in a change to the nature, appearance or physical nature of a place, or influence its stability and future well-being, including—

(a) construction, alteration, demolition, removal or change of use of a place or a structure at a place;
(b) carrying out any works on or over or under a place;
(c) subdivision or consolidation of land comprising, a place, including the structures or airspace of a place;
(d) constructing or putting up for display signs or hoardings;
(e) any change to the natural or existing condition or topography of land; and
(f) any removal or destruction of trees, or removal of vegetation or topsoil;



means the Director-General of the Department;



means the process as determined by the terms of and according to procedures prescribed in the Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act No. 63 of 1975);


"foreign cultural property"

in relation to a reciprocating state, means any object that is specifically designated by that state as being of importance for archaeology, history, literature, art or science;



means the Government Gazette;



means a place of interment and includes the contents, headstone or other marker of such a place, and any other structure on or associated with such place;


"heritage agreement"

means an agreement referred to in section 42;


"heritage register"

means a list of heritage resources in a province;


"heritage resource"

means any place or object of cultural significance;


"heritage resources authority"

means the South African Heritage Resources Agency, established in terms of section 11, or, insofar as this Act is applicable in or in respect of a province, a provincial heritage resources authority;


"heritage site"

means a place declared to be a national heritage site by SAHRA or a place declared to be a provincial heritage site by a provincial heritage resources authority;



in relation to heritage resources, includes the repair, restoration and rehabilitation of a place protected in terms of this Act;



includes land covered by water and the air space above the land;


"living heritage"

means the intangible aspects of inherited culture, and may include—

(a) cultural tradition;
(b) oral history;
(c) performance;
(d) ritual;
(e) popular memory;
(f) skills and techniques;
(g) indigenous knowledge systems; and
(h) the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships;


"local authority"

means a municipality as defined in section 108 of the Local Government Transition Act, 1993 (Act No. 209 of 1993);



in relation to heritage resources, includes the conservation, presentation and improvement of a place protected in terms of this Act;



unless otherwise stated and insofar as a provision of this Act is applicable in or in respect of a province, means the member of the executive council of a province responsible for cultural matters;



means any naturally-occurring object of extraterrestrial origin;



means the Minister responsible for arts and culture;


"national estate"

means the national estate as defined in section 3;


"national symbols"

means any heraldic representation so determined under section 5 of the Heraldry Act, 1963 (Act No. 18 of 1963);



means any movable property of cultural significance which may be protected in terms of any provisions of this Act, including—

(a) any archaeological artefact;
(b) palaeontological and rare geological specimens;
(c) meteorites; and
(d) other objects referred to in section 3;



includes the owner’s authorised agent and any person with a real interest in the property and—

(a) in the case of a place owned by the State or State-aided institutions, the Minister or any other person or body of persons responsible for the care, management or control of that place;
(b) in the case of tribal trust land, the recognised traditional authority;



means any fossilised remains or fossil trace of animals or plants which lived in the geological past, other than fossil fuels or fossiliferous rock intended for industrial use, and any site which contains such fossilised remains or trance;




(a) a site, area or region;
(b) a building or other structure which may include equipment, furniture, fittings and articles associated with or connected with such building or other structure;
(c) a group of buildings or other structures which may include equipment, furniture, fittings and articles associated with or connected with such group of buildings or other structures;
(d) an open space, including a public square, street or park; and
(e) in relation to the management of a place, includes the immediate surroundings of a place;



means urban and regional planning, as contemplated in the Physical Planning Act, 1991 (Act No. 125 of 1991), and provincial town planning and land use planning legislation;


"planning authority"

means an office of the State, including a province, a local authority or a regional authority, which is invested with a physical planning capacity;



means prescribed by regulation;




(a) the exhibition or display of;
(b) the provision of access and guidance to;
(c) the provision, publication or display of information in relation to; and
(d) performances or oral presentations related to,

heritage resources protected in terms of this Act;


"provincial heritage resources authority"

insofar as this Act is applicable in a province, means an authority established by the MEC under section 23;


"public monuments and memorials"

means all monuments and memorials—

(a) erected on land belonging to any branch of central, provincial or local government, or on land belonging to any organisation funded by or established in terms of the legislation of such a branch of government; or
(b) which were paid for by public subscription, government funds, or a public-spirited or military organisation, and are on land belonging to any private individual;


"reciprocating state"

means a foreign state that is party to a cultural property agreement;



means regulations made under this Act;



means the South African Heritage Resources Agency, established in terms of section 11;



means any area of land, including land covered by water, and including any structures or objects thereon;



includes a province;



means any building, works, device or other facility made by people and which is fixed to land, and includes any fixtures, fittings and equipment associated therewith;


"supported body"

means a body funded or financially supported by the State, and includes State-owned enterprises;


"this Act"

includes the regulations;


"victims of conflict"


(a) certain persons who died in any area now included in the Republic as a direct result of any war or conflict as specified in the regulations, but excluding victims of conflict covered by the Commonwealth War Graves Act, 1992 (Act No. 8 of 1992);
(b) members of the forces of Great Britain and the former British Empire who died in active service in any area now included in the Republic prior to 4 August 1914;
(c) persons who, during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) were removed as prisoners of war from any place now included in the Republic to any place outside South Africa and who died there; and
(d) certain categories of persons who died in the "liberation struggle" as defined in the regulations, and in areas included in the Republic as well as outside the Republic;



has the meaning given under the definition of "archaeological" in this section.