The Military Archive
Major Gustav Bentz and Annelies Schoeman, 12 March 2022
A military archive is the "memory of soldiers".
The military archive is the repository of army records.
The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000, PAIA is the important law according to which information must be made available.
The collection dates back to 1912. It is a large collection, consisting of about 700 000 cartons and there are three to five files in a carton. There is also a collection of photos, glass negatives, maps, movies and videos. Some of the sources should be stored in a cold facility, such as microfilms. There is also supplementary material such as old magazines and military publications.
The public is welcome to visit the archive. All information is available that has been declassified. In addition to the PAIA Act, there is also the Popi Act which protects personal information (Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013) and the Archives Act (Act 43 of 1996: National Archives of South Africa Act) which underlies the management of an archive. The way in which one can access information is fully explained.
Plans to digitise the collection are progressing.
After the interesting talk, illustrated with photos, many questions were asked and the people present were kindly invited to visit the archive.