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

Chapter I : System for Management of National Heritage Resources

Part 1 : General Principles

5. General principles for heritage resources management


(1) All authorities, bodies and persons performing functions and exercising powers in terms of this Act for the management of heritage resources must recognise the following principles:
(a) Heritage resources have lasting value in their own right and provide evidence of the origins of South African society and as they are valuable, finite, non-renewable and irreplaceable they must be carefully managed to ensure their survival;
(b) every generation has a moral responsibility to act as trustee of the national heritage for succeeding generations and the State has an obligation to manage heritage resources in the interests of all South Africans;
(c) heritage resources have the capacity to promote reconciliation, understanding and respect, and contribute to the development of a unifying South African identity; and
(d) heritage resources management must guard against the use of heritage for sectarian purposes or political gain.


(2) To ensure that heritage resources are effectively managed—
(a) the skills and capacities of persons and communities involved in heritage resources management must be developed; and
(b) provision must be made for the ongoing education and training of existing and new heritage resources management workers.


(3) Laws, procedures and administrative practices must—
(a) be clear and generally available to those affected thereby;
(b) in addition to serving as regulatory measures, also provide guidance and information to those affected thereby; and
(c) give further content to the fundamental rights set out in the Constitution.


(4) Heritage resources form an important part of the history and beliefs of communities and must be managed in a way that acknowledges the right of affected communities to be consulted and to participate in their management.


(5) Heritage resources contribute significantly to research, education and tourism and they must be developed and presented for these purposes in a way that ensures dignity and respect for cultural values.


(6) Policy, administrative practice and legislation must promote the integration of heritage resources conservation in urban and rural planning and social and economic development.


(7) The identification, assessment and management of the heritage resources of South Africa must—
(a) take account of all relevant cultural values and indigenous knowledge systems;
(b) take account of material or cultural heritage value and involve the least possible alteration or loss of it;
(c) promote the use and enjoyment of and access to heritage resources, in a way consistent with their cultural significance and conservation needs;
(d) contribute to social and economic development;
(e) safeguard the options of present and future generations; and
(f) be fully researched, documented and recorded.