National Heritage Council


To build a nation proud of its African heritage


To transform, protect and promote South African heritage for sustainable development.


The following values will guide the programmes, actions and behaviours of Council members and employees of the NHC and all those who are acting in its name:

·         Ubuntu

·         Integrity

·         Creativity

·         Professionalism

·         Equity


These are as per the NHC’s strategic plan, annual performance plan and budget documents.


The mandate of the NHC is contained is Section four of the National Heritage Council Act, 1999 (No. 11 of 1999) as per the objects of the Act as stated below:

a) Develop,  promote and protect the national heritage for present and future generations;

b) To coordinate heritage management;

c) To protect, preserve and promote the content and heritage which reside in orature in order to make accessible and dynamic;

d) To integrate living heritage with functions and activities of the Council and all other heritage authorities and institutions at national, provincial and local levels;

e) To promote and protect indigenous knowledge systems, including but not limited to enterprise and industry, social upliftment, institutional framework and liberatory processes, and;

f) To intensify support for the promotion of history and culture of all peoples and particularly to support research and publications of enslavement in SA.

The core functions of the Council of the NHC are set out in the NHC Act.  These core functions inform the day to day realities of the organisation and will therefore be pre-eminent in the strategic initiatives and their related objectives.  The core functions of the Council are to:

a) Advise the Minister on:

·         National policies on heritage matters, including indigenous knowledge systems, treasures, restitution and other relevant matters; and

·         Any other matters concerning heritage which the Minister may from time to time determine;

b) Advise the Minister on the allocation of core funding to declared cultural institutions;

c) Investigate ways and means of effecting the repatriation of South African heritage objects presently held by foreign government, public and private institutions and individuals;

d) Make grants to any person, organisation or institution in order to promote and develop national heritage activities and resources;

e) Co-ordinate the activities of public institutions involved in heritage management in an integrated manner to ensure optimum use of State resources.

f) Monitor and co-ordinate the transformation of the heritage sector, with special emphasis on the development of heritage projects;

g) Consult and liaise with relevant stakeholders on heritage matters;

h) Generally support nurture and develop access to institutions and programmes that promote and bring equality to heritage management;

i) Promote an awareness of the history of all our peoples, including the history of enslavement in SA

j) Lobby in order to secure funding for heritage management and to create a greater public awareness of the importance of our nation’s heritage;

k) Perform such duties in respect of its objects as the Minister may assign t it; and

l) The Council may on its own initiative advise the Minister on any mater concerning heritage.


Domus Building

57 Kasteel Road (Cnr Ingersol and Kasteel Roads),

Lynwood Glen, South Africa, 0081

P.O. Box 74097, Lynwood Ridge, Pretoria, 0040

+27 12 348 1663/8223

+27 12 348 2833