PART OF CORE BUSINESS
What is Development Applications?
The Development Applications Unit’s (DAU) legislative mandate is to process all development applications submitted to SAHRA in terms of Section 38 of the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999 (NHRA). This includes any permits required in terms of sections 27, 35 and 36 of the NHRA as part of the development applications. The SAHRA DAU processes development applications in South Africa for the following provinces and areas:
- Northern Cape Province
- North-West Province
- Limpopo Province
- Gauteng Province
- Mpumalanga Province
- Free State Province
- Offshore Developments
- Developments within National Heritage Sites in all Provinces
Development applications located in the Western Cape Province, Eastern Cape Province and Kwa-Zulu Natal Province must be submitted to the relevant Provincial Heritage Resources Authority (PHRA) in that Province.
Developments that trigger the National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998 (NEMA) are required to assess the impact to the national estate as defined by the NHRA in terms of section 24(4)b(iii) of NEMA and the assessment must comply with Section 38(3) of the NHRA as required by Section 38(8) of the NHRA. This means that every Environmental Authorisation (EA) application must include an assessment of the impact to cultural heritage resources (as defined in the NHRA).
SAHRA will provide a comment, either objecting or not objecting to the proposed development based on the submitted assessment of heritage, which must be included in the final report that is submitted to the relevant authority for decision-making i.e. the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) or Provincial offices of DFFE.
Development applications that do not trigger the need for an environmental authorisation must follow the procedure in terms of Section 38(1) of the NHRA. These will include all developments exempted from the need for an Environmental Authorisation (EA), if they trigger Section 38(1) of the NHRA. A standalone assessment of the impact to heritage resources may be required. A proponent must submit an application as early as possible so that SAHRA may decide whether an assessment of the impact to heritage resources in required in terms of section 38(2) of the NHRA.
The DAU also processes all permit applications for the mitigation of impacts to heritage resources related to proposed developments and current/ on-going developments. These also include permits for mitigation of features and sites protected under Section 27 of the NHRA (National Heritage sites as well as some Provincial Heritage sites (PHS) depending on the competency assessments of the various PHRAs i.e. Wildebeestkuil Rock Art Site 69 is a PHS but is defined as an archaeological site and therefore is managed by SAHRA).
The mitigation of sites protected by Section 35 of the NHRA including offshore heritage sites and the removal from its original position and relocation of graves as per Section 36 of the NHRA are processed by the DAU. Please note that permit applications for heritage sites protected by section 34 of the NHRA must be submitted to the relevant PHRA.
Development applications must be submitted to SAHRA via the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS). Please see the following link to SAHRIS: https://sahris.sahra.org.za/
No posted, emailed or WeTransfer/Dropbox applications are accepted. An application fee is required as per the gazette at the following link: https://sahris.sahra.org.za/content/what-are-sahra-processing-fees-and-banking-details. Development applications without Proof of Payment will not be processed.
AMAFA Heritage Institute in KZN (https://amafainstitute.org.za/) and the Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Resources Agency (ECPHRA) (https://www.ecphra.org.za/) process development applications via SAHRIS within their respective provinces. Please ensure that payments are made to the correct Heritage Resources Authority when making applications.
Complaints and contraventions in terms of the NHRA regarding developments and development related impacts may be reported to the DAU. The relevant case officer and the SAHRA Heritage Protection Unit (HPU) (https://www.sahra.org.za/heritage-protection/) will investigate the matter.
The DAU is also responsible for drafting national policies, standards and regulations with regards to heritage management and development applications. Please see link (https://sahris.sahra.org.za/about/legislation) to current standards for heritage reports submitted as part of the Section 38 development application process. The Guidelines for Site Management Plans if heritage sites are to be managed in-situ within a development boundary can also be found in the link. Please note that heritage reports will only be accepted if drafted by qualified heritage practitioners. Please see links to associations where qualified heritage practitioners may be sourced.
- The Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA): https://u17001626.wixsite.com/asapa
- The Association of Professional Heritage Practitioners (APHP): https://www.aphp.org.za/home
- The Palaeontological Society of South Africa (PSSA): https://www.palaeosa.org/
The DAU is a member of the Energy One Stop Shop (EOSS) Technical Working Group, working to resolve the energy crisis in South Africa. Please see the following link to the EOSS website for all energy related development applications: http://energyoss.gov.za/
MEET THE DAU TEAM
Senior Heritage Officer