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Thembisa residents learn the value of preserving history

The department passed on knowledge during the awareness week held in communities across in Gauteng.

The Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, in partnership with the National Archives and Records Services of South Africa (NARSSA), visited the Thembisa community on May 8 to educate residents about the importance of preserving history under the theme of ’30 years of Democracy and State of Record Keeping in State Institutions: Archives of the Future’.

Archives Awareness Week promotes the work done by the NARSSA in the province and serves as a platform for record managers from the government, municipalities and the private sector.

The institution promotes the importance of maintaining good records and enhances access to archival facilities, functions, and services.

Sizwe Mbuyisa, Rachel Malatji, Tshiamo Kgasi and Jacob Ntamela team up to host a workshop for the people of Thembisa about preserving history through archiving

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The department saw fit to also pass on the knowledge during the awareness week to communities in Gauteng, sharing the importance of preserving history for coming generations.

The event also raised awareness of job opportunities in the archives industry, giving those with interests and qualifications the processes to follow when applying for jobs.

Sizwe Mbuyisa from NARSSA said the function of their office is to preserve documented history.

“Our department is responsible for safeguarding records and documents generated by the legislature and liquor boards, and provincial and municipal records are kept at our archives.

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“We have a system that determines whether or not the information is worthy. The information kept at our disposal is relevant and accessible to the community.

“We must also safeguard non-public information submitted by people for preservation, which could play a role in research purposes for students or researchers.”


Rachel Malatji from the University of South Africa said digital archiving is the future because it helps access information.

“We are in the new normal due to Covid-19, which enabled us to move our records to digital access. This helps people access information at large. Digitalising helps preserve history in many departments, including ours.

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“At the moment, we have begun our own digital archiving. It is in the middle because it requires serious technical experience, but we are saying for us to be fully digital, we need to be clear and accept the practices of this generation.”

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