Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

TThe National Archives and Records Service of South Africa was established by declaration of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (Act No 43 of 1996 as amended). This piece of legislation transformed the former State Archives Service into a National Archives and Records Service. Their mission, functions and structures mirror the South African democratic political order and imperatives, and fosters a national identity and the protection of rights.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Mandela himself in a recorded message, stressed the importance of archives and memory in taking the country from its past into its future. The National Archives should be our leading depository of material relating to the past. He further added that the national archives should be our go-to repository of all history-related material.

Did You Know?
IIn 1899 the first archivist was appointed to collect, arrange and bind his official records.

CCurrently the NAR houses archival records on South Africa's history dating back to the year 1829. This material can be divided into the period of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), 1829 - 1900; the Transvaal Colony period, 1900 - 1910; the Transvaal Province period, 1910 - 1994; and National Government records from 1910 onward. Many of these recordings relate to the political trials that happened during the apartheid regime. 

South African National archives

Food
When to visit
How to get here

TThe Rivonia Treason Trial, one of the most significant political trials in South African history, led to a life sentence for former president Nelson Mandela. At the trial (1963-1964), Mandela was sentenced together with fellow freedom-fighters Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi, Denis Goldberg, Andrew Mlangeni and Ahmed Kathrada. They were all accused of trying to overthrow the apartheid state. During the trial, the proceedings were recorded on 591 dictabelts. (Dictabelts are analogue audio recordings invented in 1947 and discontinued in the 1980s).

TThe National Archives Reading Room is open for public use, Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00 and on the first Saturday of each month excluding January. Archival records consist of public records and non-public records. Public records are created by government, government departments and organisations in the course of performing their functions. Non-public records are private records and papers created by private individuals and donated to the Archives Repository. Although 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.

Who to contact
Best time to visit

Related Articles

Calling all students – explore these top 10 spots in SA

Calling all students – explore these top 10 spots in SA

Here are our top 10 picks where you can take a Shot’Left to relax, get adventurous or simply let loose and have a jol.

Students, find Inspiration when visiting these educational spots around SA

Students, find Inspiration when visiting these educational spots around SA

Whether you’re studying archaeology, marine biology, zoology or even an unrelated field, you’re bound to find inspiration at our top 10 pick of educational spots around South Africa.

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age.

The Shangaan-Tsonga people

The Shangaan-Tsonga people

The Tsonga people are a diverse group of tribes that include the Shangaan, Thonga, Tonga, Vandzawu, VaTshwa, Vakalanga and Valoyi to name a few.

History of women in South Africa

History of women in South Africa

Resilience and peaceful resistance are just some of the ways in which South African women have fought against apartheid.

Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

The Ndebele of South Africa constitute one group of people whose identity has survived precarious conditions and existential crisis under the weight of changing power dynamics of internal and external factors from pre-colonial to present times.

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

A history of mining in South Africa

A history of mining in South Africa

Mining in South Africa has been a contentious issue since 15-year-old Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs discovered South Africa’s first diamond, the Eureka, in Hopetown in 1867.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2019 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy