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World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act No. 49 of 1999)

Chapter II : Authorities

13. Powers and duties of Authorities


(1) In the case where an Authority controls one or more World Heritage Sites, the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, give some or all of the following powers to an Authority over one or more specified World Heritage Sites, namely to—
(a) implement the Convention, including to ensure—
(i) the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission of the cultural and natural heritage to future generations; and
(ii) that effective and active measures are taken for the effective protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage;
(b) exercise all the powers reasonably necessary to fulfil the duties of an Authority spelled out in subsection (2);
(c) liaise with relevant cultural, nature conservation and similar authorities on a local, provincial, national and, with the consent of the Department, international level;
(d) conserve, manage, promote, facilitate and monitor cultural and natural heritage;
(e) manage cultural and natural heritage in accordance with all applicable national and provincial legislation, policies and management plans;
(f) negotiate land claims over—
(i) State land with claimants, in consultation with the Department of Land Affairs, in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act No. 22 of 1994), and settle any such claims, with the approval of the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs or his or her delegate; or
(ii) private land forming part of or affecting World Heritage Sites or land affecting World Heritage Sites, with the owner, and settle any such claims;
(g) enter into agreements, subject to section 217 of the Constitution, with any person for the provision of goods and services, including the performance of powers and duties of the Authority, but the Minister may prescribe the procedure to be adopted in procuring and negotiating such agreements, or in any particular matter determine that an agreement requires his or her prior written approval;
(h) acquire land or rights in land by contract, donation or otherwise;
(i) charge fees, rent or other consideration for—
(i) any function it fulfils; or
(ii) any right it grants;
(j) use for gain or reward any movable and immovable asset under its control, subject to all applicable law, where such asset is not required by the Authority for the fulfilment of its functions, but such movable and immovable property, as listed in the nomination file for the World Heritage Site, may not be alienated, leased or encumbered without the prior written approval of the Minister;
(k) undertake, or cause to be undertaken, research or investigations relevant to a World Heritage Site;
(l) co-ordinate with—
(i) the relevant tribunals under the Development Facilitation Act, 1995 (Act No. 67 of 1995), if applicable; or
(ii) similar bodies or relevant planning authorities, on a national, provincial and local level,

in order to expedite sustainable development in World Heritage Sites and to ensure that development takes place in accordance with all applicable laws and procedures;

(m) initiate, assist, comment on or facilitate any application under the Development Facilitation Act, 1995, or other applicable development, planning or management law relating to or affecting a World Heritage Site;
(n) with the consent of the Minister, perform any function, on contractually agreed terms that are fair in relation to the obligations imposed on an Authority, at the request of—
(i) a national government department;
(ii) an institution or statutory body;
(iii) another country;
(iv) a province;
(v) a regional council;
(vi) a local government; or
(vii) any other entity or person approved by the Minister;
(o) employ persons or entities on a permanent or temporary basis;
(p) make rules in connection with the World Heritage Site under its jurisdiction regarding such matters as the Minister may determine;
(q) establish committees and subcommittees and otherwise arrange its internal affairs in a manner it deems necessary;
(r) enter into contracts in an open and transparent manner regarding cultural development or nature conservation with a competent national, provincial or local government or private nature conservation entity, with the necessary administrative capacity and resources; and
(s) do all things incidental or reasonably necessary for the proper fulfilment of paragraphs (a) to (r).


(2) An Authority has, unless the Minister prescribes otherwise, the following duties in connection with a World Heritage Site under its control, namely to—
(a) develop measures for the cultural and environmental protection and sustainable development of, and related activities within,World Heritage Sites and to ensure that the values of the Convention are given effect to;
(b) promote, manage, oversee, market and facilitate tourism and related development in connection with World Heritage Sites in accordance with applicable law, the Convention and the Operational Guidelines in such a way that the cultural and ecological integrity are maintained;
(c) identify cultural and natural heritage that must be transmitted to future generations;
(d) take effective and active measures for the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage;
(e) facilitate steps that encourage investment and innovation;
(f) facilitate programmes that encourage job creation;
(g) take measures that ensure that the values of the Convention are promoted;
(h) establish and implement the Integrated Management Plan;
(i) initiate steps regarding research, education, training, awareness raising and capacity building; and
(j) liaise with, and be sensitive to, the needs of communities living in or near World Heritage Sites.


(3) In giving the powers referred to in subsection (1) to an Authority established in terms of section 9, the Minister must specify the powers which must be exercised by either the Board or the Executive Staff Component, or both, as the case may be.


(4) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, publish model rules to be used as a guideline by Authorities.