||Services rendered by the Department
- Facilitating, initiating and implementing international co-operation agreements on arts and culture.
- Ensuring the representation of South African arts and culture on the international scene.
- Managing heritage and film-related issues in the country.
- Managing and administration of arts, culture and heritage institutions.
- Promoting arts, culture and heritage festivals.
- Supporting informal arts education and training.
- Supporting development and access to the arts.
- Supporting excellence and sustainability in the arts.
- Encouraging co-operation and networks within the diverse heritage of South Africa.
- Collecting and preserving the national archival heritage.
- Proper management and care of government records.
- Heraldic services.
- Developing cultural industries in partnership with the private sector.
- Rendering translation and editing services to national departments.
- Promoting of indigenous languages.
- Language planning and terminology services.
- Standardisation and advice on the proper use of geographical names.
- Management and government of national libraries and meta-information.
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How to apply for services rendered by the Department
Application to change names on the South African Geographical Names Council Database
Geographical names are names of features on earth that are natural or manmade and adapted. These features may be populated or unpopulated.
Geographical names that fall within the jurisdiction of local government include streets, municipal buildings and squares, local parks and cemeteries, and privately owned buildings. Geographical names that fall within the scope of national government include towns, suburbs, human settlements, post offices, stations, airports, harbours and highways, as well as natural landforms such as mountains, streams, rivers, bays, points, islands, wetlands and national parks.
Who may apply for a name approval?
All government departments, provincial governments, local authorities, the South African Post Office (SAPO), property developers, or any other body or person.
Steps to follow:
- Obtain application form from the South African Geographical Names Council or your provincial geographical names council.
- Submit the form with the following information:
- the language from which the name has been derived
- origin and meaning of the name if you know it
- feature for the proposed name, e.g. a post office or railway station
- magisterial district and province where the place is situated, how far, and in what direction, the feature is situated from the nearest town or magistrate.
- Enclose an A4-size map.
- Name the person who suggested the new name.
- Submit the application form to the Tribal Authority or Local Authority for signing or affixing of an official stamp.
- Submit the completed form to South African Geographical Names Council, Department of Arts and Culture.
South African Geographical Names Council Act, 1998 (Act 118 of 1998)
There is a waiting period of at least four months.
This service is free.
Forms to complete
Application for proposed new Geographical Name and/or change of existing geographical name.
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National Automated Archival Information Retrieval
The National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS) is an archival information retrieval system that has the means of identifying archival material on a given subject irrespective of whether it is public or non-public, and regardless of its location or type.
NAAIRS assists users of archives to identify and locate archival material relevant to their requirements.
NAAIRS contains only information about archival material, and not the actual texts of the documents.
The majority of the archives are public records in the safekeeping of the National Archives Repository and provincial archives repositories. NAAIRS also incorporates national registers of non-public records in the custody of over 40 private archives repositories. Although actual access to archival documentation is free of charge, the public is charged for the reproduction of material for further use; either on film or paper. Publications are sold.
Steps to follow
Request information or copies by:
- visiting the archives repository
- writing to the archives repository
- faxing or e-mailing
- searching online.
It may take seven working days to locate archival material.
The service is free.
Forms to complete
Requisition forms are obtainable from the repository.
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National Language Service
Guiding the establishment of language units, drafting, reviewing or finalising provincial language policies and facilitating annual language awareness campaigns
The Constitution (Section 6, Act No. 108 0f 1996) calls for equitable use of the 11 official languages with a view to facilitating equitable access to government services, knowledge and information, as well as respect for linguistic rights.
Being conscious of the challenges involved in the efficient management of linguistic diversity, Cabinet endorsed a National Language Policy Framework (NLPF) and an implementation plan (2003) with a view to establishing infrastructure and appropriate mechanisms for the full implementation of multilingualism, especially in the Public Service.
In light of the foregoing therefore, establishing language units (by all government departments nation-wide), finalizing language policies and conducting language awareness campaigns are imperatives to be implemented with urgency. However, while DAC reserves the sole mandate to facilitate and coordinate the establishment of the required infrastructure nationally, successful implementation of multilingualism will depend largely on collaboration with all national and provincial structures, as well as the public.
Aims of Language Awareness Campaign
- Encourage people to use their own languages and learn other languages
- Create awareness of the benefits of living in a multilingual society
- Create an awareness of the value of South Africa’s linguistic diversity as part of our heritage
- Promote greater language tolerance in South Africa
- Encourage public servants to provide a service to clients in their own languages
- Inform business and private sector of the bottom-line benefits of implementing multilingual policies (Banks are ahead of everyone)
- Ensure correct understanding of constitution and policy at all
To all government departments, nationally, provincially and locally, if you wish to establish a language unit, draft, review or finalise your language policy or conduct annual language awareness campaigns towards implementation of multilingualism policy, for more information, please contact:
Dr M Jokweni
Chief Director: National Language Service
Tel: +27 12 441 3255
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