SOUTH AFRICA’S

NATIONAL HERITAGE SITES

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE

It is understood that the Castle of Good Hope is arguably the oldest fortress and building in South Africa. It is currently the oldest functioning Dutch colonial building of the period. It has retained its function as military site and centre of ceremonial military activity of the Cape Regiments…

CRADLE OF HUMANKIND

Known as The Cradle of Humankind this National Heritage Site is a collection of hominin fossil sites which also form part of the same World Heritage Site of the Taung Fossil Site. Located in the Muldersdrift area, about 40km northwest of Johannesburg these sites have some of the richest concentrations of fossil hominid bearing sites in the world…

PARLIAMENT BUILDING

The Houses of Parliament and the Parliamentary precinct are home to the legislative capital of South Africa. Just as South Africa has undergone many changes and transformations, so have the buildings of Parliament.

ROBBEN ISLAND

This well-known World Heritage Site is most famous as a political prison but has a rich multi-layered history spanning over 400 years. The island and its buildings, especially the Apartheid era maximum security prison, bear witness to the triumph of democracy…

MAPUNGUBWE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape another one of South Africa’s World Heritage sites and gives us a picture of the rise and fall of the first indigenous kingdom in the sub-continent.  The site is situated on the fertile confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers bordering South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe…

VOORTREKKER MONUMENT

The iconic granite structure renowned for it’s Art Deco design commemorates the Voortrekkers that left the Cape between 1835 and 1854. On 16th December 1938, descendants of the Boer leaders laid the cornerstone when the building commences. Later on 16 December 1949, the monument was officially opened…

UNION BUILDINGS

The Union Buildings in Pretoria, together with 120 Plein Street and Tuynhuys in Cape Town, are significant as the administrative offices of the South African Cabinet. They have all played pivotal roles in the history of South Africa through their associations with events…

CHARLOTTE MAXEKE

Teacher, social worker, politician, South Africa’s first black woman graduate and founder of the Bantu Women’s League of South Africa…

lilian ngoyi

Lilian Ngoyi (25 September 1911 – 13 March 1980), is fondly remembered as ‘Ma Ngoyi”. She started her political activism in the Garment Workers’ Union and joined the ANC’s Defiance Campaign in 1952. She later joined the ANC Women’s League and through her energetic and passionate approach she quickly gained recognition and was elected president of the league only a year later.

HELEN JOSEPH

Helen Joseph (8 April 1905 – 25 December 1992) was a British-born teacher who arrived in South Africa in 1931 after teaching in India. 1951 she joined the Garment Workers Union which exposed her to the injustices of the Apartheid regime, which angered her deeply. Joseph was one of the few white people to get involved in ANC activities in 1950s and became a founder member of the Congress of Democrats…

RAHIMA MOOSA

Rahima Moosa (8 April 1905 – 25 December 1992) worked as a secretary at a food factory where she joined the Cape Town Food and Canning Workers Union in 1943. She was elected as a shop steward and worked tirelessly in the Union…

 

TAUNG FOSSIL SITE

Taung Palaeonthropological Fossil site is the type locality for the early hominin, Australopithecus africanus, as this was the first site in the world where this species was found. The find, a fossilized skull and lower jaw of a young individual with some human like characteristics [Taung child skull]. was discovered in 1924 in the Buxton Limestone quarry…

WEST COAST FOSSIL PARK

The palaeontological site is situated in the Hopefield District near Langebaanweg in the Western Cape Province (32° 57′ 53.8668″ 5, 18° 6′ 50.8968″ E) and extends over an area of approximately 700ha. It was discovered during mining in the Varswater Quarry for phosphate for fertilizer by the company Chemfos from the 1960’s to 1993…

KLASIES RIVER CAVE

The Klasies River Cave Complex has yielded some of the earliest and most extensive evidence for anatomically modern humans in southern Africa, and some of the oldest behavioural evidence for a coastal economy through the extensive use of marine resources in Africa…

wonderwerk cave

In terms of the criteria set out in Section 3(3} of the National Heritage Resources Act (Act No. 25 of 1999) Wonderwerk Cave qualifies for national heritage status on several criteria. Research, since the 1940s, into the archaeological deposits within Wonderwerk Cave has testified to the site’s importance in the pattern of South Africa’s history. Some 6 m deep…

KADITSHWENE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Kaditshwene is historically considered a capital of the Bahurutshe nation and the largest Batswana settlement in Southern Africa with a population of 6000 to 20000, around the early 1800’s. The large population of Kaditshwene is evidenced by extensive settlement remains that include House foundations, tone walls, ash middens as well as evidence for metal working industry… 

MAKAPANS VALLEY

Makapansgat 39ks is cultura-Ily significant in the categories = aesthetic, historical, scientific, social, spiritual, linguistic and technological value. The scientific, environmental and cultural heritage value of the site must not only be preserved but presented to as wide a public as possible and utllised for educational purposes…

BUSHMANSKLOOF ROCK PAINTING LANDSCAPE

Bushmanskloof encompasses a Rock Painting Archaeological Landscape that bears graphic testimony to the complete social, political, spiritual and economic history of Stone Age hunter gatherers and Khoekhoe-speaking pastoralists, who inhabited the region for at least the past 10 000 years…

DAL JOSAFAT

The Daljosafat Cultural Landscape is significant because of its idyllic setting, rich history associated with the living heritage and distinctive cultural and natural environment, it boasts a ditinct Cape Vernacular Architecture with an aesthetic landscape design, unique to South Africa…

SS MENDI MEMORIAL

On 21 February 1917, the Liverpool-registered steamship Mendi sank after being involved in a collision in the English Channel, roughly 11 nautical miles south-west of the Isle of Wight. The collision occurred in thick fog, shortly before 5 am…

FISH TRAPS

The Noordkapperpunt (also known as Noorkapperpunt, Noordkappershoek and Noorkapper Point) Fish Traps at Still Bay, Hessequa Municipality, comprise a site of invaluable and irreplaceable historic, aesthetic and scientific significance….

South African Astronomical observatory

The South African Astronomical Observatory in Cape Town has played a highly significant scientific role over time as the oldest permanent observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. The site offers an overview of the history of astronomy both locally and internationally.  It is a “living site” with more than 150 years history while still retaining its prominence in the international astronomical community.

LILIESLEAF FARM

Liliesleaf Farm represents two pivotal points in South Africa’s History and the Liberation Struggle. The purchase of the property by the South African Communist Party (SACP) was to serve as both the organisation’s headquarters and a “safe house” for activists….  

STONE WALL

The community spirit of Bo-Kaap as described in many historical studies has been carried through the last two centuries by generations of families residing in the area. The protection of religious, cultural and architectural heritage of the area is at the fore of community concerns.

WALTER SISULU SQUARE

As the site of the 1955 Congress of the People, the Walter Sisulu Square represents the most representative gathering in the history of South Africa and the democratic approach taken in documenting the vision of ordinary South Africans.

freedom square

The granting of land by Chief Tyali for establishing a place of learning for Africans as early as the 1800s was unprecedented on the sub-continent. During this period South Africa was still in the throes of colonial expansion and British annexation of parts of the Eastern Cape during the Frontier Wars….

OWL HOUSE AND CAMEL YARD

The Owl House and Camel Yard represent South Africa’s foremost example of outsider art. The Owl House and Camel yard were created by Helen Martins and her assistants, most notably, Koos Malgas; and became well-known after the internationally recognised Athol Fugard play……

Sibhudu Cave

Large rock shelter, sandy floor about 20 feet above river. Within the shelter but out of reach are several smaller ones in the rock face. A few sherds were seen by T. Maggs, collected by Mr Suzor. These were plain body sherds probably of the Later Iron Age and not particularly old….. 

SHARPEVILLE MASSACRE

The 21st March 1960 marked a critical turning point in the history of South Africa when police opened fire on a peaceful march led by the Pan Africanist Congress in protest against the pass laws. Marches were organised in both Sharpeville (Gauteng) and Langa (Cape Town)…. 

Chief Tyali Grave

The granting of land by Chief Tyali for establishing a place of learning for Africans as early as the 1800s was unprecedented on the sub-continent. During this period South Africa was still in the throes of colonial expansion….

LAKE FUNDUDZI

The first sacred site to be declared a National Heritage Site, Lake Fundudzi holds significant intangible heritage value and is closely associated with the living heritage of the Vha Venda people. The site is also scientifically significant with its relatively unaltered natural environment due to its sacredness……

GAME PASS SHELTER

The San rock painting site of Game Pass Shelter in the Kamberg Nature Reserve, within the
Southern Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site, is one of the most extensive painted panels
in South Africa. A wide variety of painted….

SÃO JOSÉ

The São José wrecked while rounding the Cape on its way from the Island of Mozambique to
Brazil in the early hours of the 27th of December 1794. On board the ship were 500 slaves, 212
of whom were abandoned and left to drown, some……

Waaihoek Wesleyan Mission Church

The Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein is the birth place of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) which was formed in 1912. Later, in 1923 the SANNC became the African National Congress (ANC)….

Boschendal Founders Estate

his farm was originally granted to the Huguenot Jean le Long in 1685, Afterwards the property became the home of Jacques de Villiers and his wife Marguerite Gardiol. Their grandson, Paul, built the historic manor- house in 1812.……