PurposeThis paper introduces the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS), developed by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in 2011. The paper describes how SAHRIS facilitates online applications for heritage approval and/or permits for developments and research, fulfils SAHRA’s mandate as a repository for a national inventory of heritage sites and objects in the country, and serves as an integrated, responsive tool for reporting heritage crimes and tracking the progress of the resultant cases. The paper explains, simply, the application processes for each of these functions.Design/methodology/approachThe paper provides an explanation of the design and functions of the system and outlines how each of the content types and applications are created.FindingsThe system has improved the process of South African heritage resources management by decreasing the turnaround time for submissions to heritage authorities, raised the standards of good governance, and increased public compliance with the heritage legislation. Practical implicationsPoor uptake of the system by provincial heritage authorities has limited the impact of the system on heritage management as practiced in South Africa.Originality/valueThrough the creation of a single, unified platform for heritage management processes, geo-referencing of heritage sites and development areas, the provision of a national fossil-sensitivity map, and the national heritage inventory, SAHRIS represents a world first in terms of proactive, integrated heritage management tools.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 15, 2016