About SAHA

The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting and providing access to archival holdings that relate to past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa.

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 collecting materials from organisations and individuals across a broad socio-political spectrum and making archives accessible to as many South Africans as possible.

SAHA's central mission is to recapture lost and neglected histories and to record aspects of South African history in the making. This informs our continued focus on documenting past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy.

SAHA currently organises 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