A strategic approach to the management of the national archives of South Africa.
When the first democratic government came into power in 1994, it was faced with a number of challenges. One of these challenges was to ensure that the public service is transformed in order to redress the imbalances of the past. The National Archives of South Africa as a branch of the public service was therefore no exception. Prior to the 1994 elections, this branch was known as the State Archives Service. It was converted into the National Archives of South Africa through the passing of the National Archives of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996). It is important to note that before the 1994 election the exercise of hegemony by the government was through the control of social memory, and this control involved remembering and forgetting. Furthermore, this control demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to secure the support of most white South Africans and the minority of blacks who collaborated with this system. Therefore, the promulgation of the National Archives of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996) was of crucial significance in South Africa, since it portrayed the death knell for archival legislation moulded by apartheid. This Act converted the State Archives Service into the National Archives of South Africa with the new mandate of serving all the people of South Africa. This study examines a strategic approach to the management of the National Archives of South Africa. Firstly, the National Archives of South Africa Act (Act No. 43 of 1996 is discussed in detail, with emphasis on its formulation and implementation. This act came into operation on 1 January 1997. Secondly, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats experienced by the National Archives of South Africa during its conceptualisation and launching are discussed. Thirdly, the transformation of the National Archives of South Africa was examined and discussed using the public management functions, namely, policy-making, organising, planning, leadership, motivation, control and evaluation. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats experienced by the National Archives of South Africa are focused on. Lastly, conclusions and recommendations end the study.
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