A RISK BASED APPROACH TO HERITAGE MANAGEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords: Digital Inventories, Heritage Management, South Africa, SAHRIS, Risk Analysis
Abstract. The management of heritage resources within the South African context is governed by the National Heritage Resources Act, act 25 of 1999 (NHRA). This legislation calls for an integrated system of heritage management that allows for the good governance of heritage across the three tiers of government. The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), as the national body responsible for heritage management, is mandated to compile and maintain an inventory of the national estate. The South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS) was designed to facilitate this mandate as well as provide a management platform through which the three-tiers of governance can be integrated. This vision of integrated management is however predicated on the implementation of the three-tier system of heritage management, a system which to date has not been fully implemented, with financial and human resource constraints being present at all levels. In the absence of the full implementation of this system and the limited resources available to heritage authorities, we argue that a risk based approach to heritage management will allow under resourced heritage authorities in South Africa to prioritise management actions and ensure mitigations are in place for at risk heritage resources. The aim of this paper is to position the inventory of the national estate as the key driver in the production of risk analysis models for an informed approach to heritage management.