The Minister of Arts and Culture Mr Nathi Mthethwa invites you to the first ever


“The Year of O.R Tambo: Rediscovering Liberation Heritage for the Africa we want”


The aim of the Summit is to adopt a coordinated collaborative approach of preserving the slowly fading Resistance and Liberation Heritage of South Africa with its many SADC cross boundary traces. This would contribute to the local development economies and boost the tourism sector with a new niche market

We recognise the contribution of individuals, groups, or organisations/academic institutions that protect, preserve and promote the country’s heritage. The award recipients and the projects reflect best practice in promotion, preservation, conservation and/or interpretation of our heritage. Nominations are welcomed from all disciplines that have a direct bearing to how heritage is appreciated and preserved in the country. 



Closing 10 August 2018


Download Nomination Form





The National Heritage Council conceived the awards (Golden Shield National Heritage Awards) in 2012 as a way to acknowledge active citizenship that protects and promotes the country’s heritage. As the name of the awards suggests, these are the people who act as the shields against the obliteration of our cultural and natural heritage. It is important to acknowledge, thank and take pride in people who continuously contribute selflessly to the preservation, interpretation and promotion of South Africa’s rich cultural heritage.


The awards were motivated by the rationale that heritage has a significant role to play in promoting social cohesion and community development. Awards such as this one therefore give acknowledgement and expose the depth of the South African Heritage which is unique and diverse. This project takes a national character and is intended to be all-inclusive.

A national schools project for learners of up to Grade 10 encourage to know their heritage better and explore traditions of other cultures is hosted annually. Schools in the country challenge each other to represent their province at a week-long camp at a national heritage site where learners are taken through an educational cultural exchange experience of a lifetime.

The Ubuntu campaign recognises and encourages every citizen to embrace the positive values of humanity as one of the intangible cultural heritages of the African people. The campaign promotes love – honesty – compassion – forgiveness – humility and unity. The citizens of South Africa participate in the campaign by nominating their own community members who live these values. Information about the work of these nominated Ubuntu Champions is shared with the entire population to appreciate and possibly emulate – thereby contributing to social cohesion and nation building.

We continue to assist community heritage initiatives with funding that propels the prospects of the projects into flourishing milestones of protecting, preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of South Africa. Over thirty million rands (R30m) was invested in such deserving projects in the 10 years of the NHC. Applicants are invited to submit proposals annually between November and March.

‘Bataki’ is a Sesotho and Setswana word for ‘artists’ of fine art. It is an initiative that was once funded by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLTDF). Young artistically gifted South Africans from all the provinces are working together to produce indigenous artwork that reflects our heritage. Dr Lemma Guya, an Ethiopian veteran, transferred this rare skill to nine unemployed young artists who spent three months in Ethiopia. Today, many more have learned the skill and use it as a means of a ‘Golden Economy’ for themselves and to communicate their heritage in beautiful paintings across the country and abroad.

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