Proposed resuscitation of the South African society of archivists (SASA) and invitation to join or re-join as member


  1. The South African Society of Archivists (SASA) is a professional association that has been in existence since 1960. In terms of SASA’s current Constitution (1992) (attachment), its overarching objective is the development of archival science and the promotion of the archival profession in South Africa. SASA seeks to represent and support practitioners in all fields of archival and records management work and its membership is further open to anyone who has an interest in archives and records management.
  2. The National Committee of SASA ceased to function in about 2005, while the last issue of the S A Archives Journal which it published, appeared in 2003. Many archivists and records managers regret the lack of a functioning professional association and the benefits it could provide, and have expressed a desire for SASA to be resuscitated.
  3. As a functioning National Committee is not in place and membership details and payments have not been maintained, reactivation of SASA would seem to need a special intervention, which is an eventuality not provided for in the Constitution.
  4. At an Archives Conference hosted by the Department of Information Science of Unisa in Pretoria on 4-5 September 2008, the attendance of which can be regarded as being representative of a cross-section of the profession, a resolution was adopted supporting an intervention to resuscitate SASA. The conference elected a Steering Committee to drive the resuscitation process and gave it the following initial terms of reference:


  1. To resuscitate SASA
  2. Revive SASA branches
  3. Convene elections within 12 months
  4. Facilitate and influence the formation of standards generating bodies for training and education in the field
  5. Revive S A Archives Journal
  6. Normalise SASA finances


  1. The Steering Committee wishes to follow open and legitimate processes to enable the resuscitation of SASA in terms of its Constitution. It therefore proposes the following steps:

    Re-establishment of a valid membership list by inviting new as well as former members to join. The invitation will be widely circulated primarily using electronic means. As far as possible, those who were previously members will be approached directly, and this will be regarded as seeking ratification from the previous membership for the mandate of the Steering Committee. A membership application form will be provided for completion, and the provisions of the Constitution and SASA Standing Orders (attachment) regarding membership will be observed. No membership fee will be levied until an elected National Committee takes decisions in this regard. A return date of 23 January 2009 will apply for inclusion in the membership list to enable eligibility to participate in the election of a National Committee.

    Call for nominations: During February 2009, the Steering Committee will invite all members to submit motivated nominations of professional members for election to the National Committee for the two-year term 1 May 2009 – 30 April 2011, and will provide the names of eligible members and nominations form. A reasonable return date will be set.

    Conducting of ballot: During March or April 2009, the Steering Committee will compile a ballot paper containing the names of nominated members and will provide it to members to enable them to cast their votes for up to six nominees. The return date for the ballot papers will be 30 April 2009.

    Convening of National Committee (and reactivation of Branch Committees): The Steering Committee will elect a team of at least three of its members to count and record the votes; to inform the elected members; and to provide initial secretarial support for the convening of the first meeting of the National Committee. The National Committee would then have the responsibility inter alia to elect office-bearers from its members; co-opt additional members; determine membership fees; inform the membership on the outcome of the election and other decisions, and levy fees; reactivate Branches; and decide on actions regarding the resumption of publications such as S A Archives Journal, participation in Standards Generating Bodies, possible reviewing of the Constitution in consultation with the membership, including provisions on membership towards greater inclusiveness, reviewing of the Professional Code and forging of relationships with related associations.
  2. The Steering Committee therefore extends a warm invitation to all who have an interest in archives and records management to apply for membership of SASA. The application form (attachment) should please be returned by e-mail to  or by fax to 086 569 8419 or post to SASA, c/o Private Bag X236, Pretoria 0001, by 23 January 2009. Provision is also made in the form for comments and suggestions regarding the resuscitation and future functioning of SASA.
  3. Enquiries regarding membership may be directed to:

    Mr Emmanuel Mulabo, National Archives and Records Service, tel: 012 441 3318, e-mail:

    Mr Ntsako Mgwena, National Archives and Records Service, tel: 012 441 3263, e-mail: 

    Issued by the Steering Committee
    2 December 2008


Ms Ilse Assmann, SABC Media Libraries
Mr Lawrence Billa, ABSA Museum and Archives
Ms Marlene Burger, Department of Information Science, Unisa
Ms Kate Buthelezi, Department of Transport
Ms Barbara Conradie, Standard Bank Heritage Centre
Ms Imelda Kekana, Independent
Mr Clive Kirkwood, National Archives and Records Service of South Africa
Ms Letitia Myburgh, Standard Bank Heritage Centre
Mr Mpho Ngoepe, Office of the Auditor-General
Prof Patrick Ngulube, Department of Information Science, Unisa


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