About The South African History Archive

The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting, supporting and promoting greater awareness of past and contemporary struggles for justice through archival practices and outreach, and the utilisation of access to information laws.

Established by anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s, SAHA was closely connected in its formative years to the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the African National Congress. SAHA is now politically non-aligned, committed to: 

  • Recapturing lost and neglected histories;
  • Recording aspects of South African democracy in the making;
  • Bringing history out of the archives and into schools, universities and communities in new and innovative ways;
  • Extending the boundaries of freedom of information in South Africa;
  • Raise awareness, both nationally and internationally, of the role of archives and documentation in promoting and defending human rights.

SAHA currently organizes its activities into two core programmes:

  • The Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP) is dedicated to using South Africa's Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 in order to extend the boundaries of freedom of information and to build up an archive of materials released under the Act for public use.
  • The Struggles for Justice (SFJ) Programme focuses on collecting, preserving and creating access to archival materials held by SAHA and promoting related archival collections across the region.

As of 2015, SAHA has launched a cross-programmatic pilot project, the Right to Truth (RTT) project, to consolidate SAHA’s archival practice and information activism that has been focused on making the work and records of, and surrounding, the South African TRC more readily accessible.

Read more about this pilot project here