Union Buildings declared a national heritage site

Sahra has declared the Union Buildings in Pretoria as a national heritage site.

Overhead view of Union Buildings on 12 December 2013. GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Tomorrow South Africa will celebrate the centenary of the Union Buildings in Pretoria which have recently been declared a national heritage site by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra).

The agency says in terms of Section 27 of the National Heritage Resources Act, the Union Buildings meet the criteria based on its role on the political, cultural and social history of South Africa.

Sahra says the Union Buildings have remained a symbol of the Presidency and the seat of power of the Republic of South Africa.

Acting CEO of Sahra, Mmabatho Ramagoshi, said, "Preservation and management of the building due to its vulnerability, cultural and economic value is critical. The gardens of the Union Buildings and Meintjeskop are a popular venue for leisure, formal and large scale events associated with the seat of Government. As Sahra we will ensure that the protection of the site will include all the elements that make the landscape and not merely the architectural components of the complex."

In 1994, the Union Buildings were occupied by Nelson Mandela and his cabinet as the first democratically elected president, a turning point in the political history of South Africa.

After his passing on 5 December 2013, Madiba also laid in state at the Union Buildings for three days.

National and international visitors can visit the Union Buildings to learn about the political the history of South Africa and the natural and cultural history, about landscape, art and architecture.