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 mirrors the South African democratic political order and imperatives, and is to foster 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 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_Afrikaanche Republiek (ZAR), 1829 - 1900, the Transvaal Colony period, 1900 - 1910, the Transvaal Province period, 1910 - 1994 and National Government records from 1910 onwards. 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 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 1980’s).

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 organizations 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.

Related Articles

The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Vibrant culture
The Old Synagogue - from Jewish place of worship to historic courtroom

Paul Kruger Street Synagogue, the first synagogue to be constructed in Pretoria, was expropriated by the government in 1952 and converted into a special Supreme Court.

Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Vibrant culture
Emirates Airline Park - How Emirates Airline Park played host to SA’s post-apartheid reconciliation

Emirates Airline Park played a significant role in South African sporting history, after hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Vibrant culture
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is committed to preserving the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Vibrant culture
Pretoria Central Prison - Pretoria Central Prison bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past

Pretoria Central Prison is arguably the most infamous prison where Mandela was held before he was transferred to Robben Island.

One last boxing round at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Vibrant culture
One last boxing round at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court houses the statue of Nelson Mandela, “The Shadow Boxer”.

FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

Vibrant culture
FNB stadium - Step into the “calabash” one of Africa’s biggest stadiums.

The FNB stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto derby involving Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Vibrant culture
Kholvad House, landmark of the South African liberation struggle

Flat 13 Kholvad House remains one of Johannesburg’s most treasured heritage gems.

Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Vibrant culture
Take a journey into the centre of Africa’s rich heritage at the Regina Mundi Church

Regina Mundi Church a struggle landmark and a tourist attraction that continues to serve the community.

Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows.

Vibrant culture
Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility - Feel the chill of one of SA’s most notorious gallows.

The Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who met lost their lives here.

Sakhumzi Restaurant - Soak up the kasi flavor at Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Vibrant culture
Sakhumzi Restaurant - Soak up the kasi flavor at Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Soak up Soweto’s rich cultural atmosphere at an important South African tourist destination, Sakhumzi Restaurant.

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Vibrant culture
Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Chancellor House – Where Mandela & Tambo Attorneys once flourished

Mandela House (Houghton) - Take a look inside Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home.

Vibrant culture
Mandela House (Houghton) - Take a look inside Nelson Mandela’s Houghton home.

Thousands gathered to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy outside his Houghton home after his passing in late 2013.

In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

Vibrant culture
In memory of those who sacrificed everything. Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

In memory of those who sacrificed everything Sharpeville Human Rights Precinct, Gauteng

The face of an uprising, The Hector Pieterson Museum, Soweto

Vibrant culture
The face of an uprising, The Hector Pieterson Museum, Soweto

The Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto's Khumalo Street recalls the events of 16 June 1976 and the ensuing Soweto Uprising.

Kliptown Open Air Museum

Vibrant culture
Kliptown Open Air Museum

The home of the Freedom Charter Kliptown Open Air Museum, Johannesburg

Tour the beloved country; the KwaZulu-Natal Freedom Route

Vibrant culture
Tour the beloved country; the KwaZulu-Natal Freedom Route

Tour the Beloved Country KwaZulu-Natal Freedom Route

Lilliesleaf Farm

Vibrant culture
Lilliesleaf Farm

Home of the Freedom Struggle Liliesleaf Farm

Mandela sites in Gauteng

Vibrant culture
Mandela sites in Gauteng

Nelson Mandela’s memory lives on in a number of places in Gauteng where he spent his formative political years, opening a legal practice and starting to play a leading role in the Struggle against apartheid.

18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Vibrant culture
18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

With Nelson Mandela's passing, he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and the remarkable achievement of bringing peace to a deeply divided country.

Alexandra township – a vibrancy that’s hard to beat

Vibrant culture
Alexandra township – a vibrancy that’s hard to beat

The next time you decide to try something new and different, why not go for a memorable township experience in the kasi (township) of all kasis: Alexandra.

Place of human rights Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Vibrant culture
Place of human rights Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill remembers the horrors of the past, and yet embraces the promises of the future, marrying them with the reality of the present.

Walk through South Africa’s history in Pretoria, the capital city

Vibrant culture

Walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the Cradle of Humankind

Vibrant culture
Walk in the footsteps of our ancient ancestors at the Cradle of Humankind

Have you ever wondered where we, human beings, came from? What led to this evolutionary revolution on Planet Earth? All of the answers can be found in one place: the Cradle of Humankind.

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy