n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Building the nation through legal deposit : examining the legislation

Volume 2014, Issue 49
  • ISSN : 1025-8892



The preservation and access of our cultural heritage is dependent on an appropriate legislative framework and implementation of the law. This paper briefly examines the history of legal deposit and then critiques the South African Legal Deposit Act 54 of 1997, 20 years after it was enacted by the South African Parliament. This paper identifies the various aspects of the Act that have been implemented as well as the gaps that may have created various challenges affecting the present situation concerning activities and strategies used to preserve and access legal deposit materials in South Africa. A review of the literature and a survey of legal depositories conducted in 2012 found that depositories lack policies to help implement legislation. Implementation requires appropriate legislation together with policies, regulations, guidelines and fully functional processes. A comparison of the Legal Deposit Act 2003 of the United Kingdom and the South African Legal Deposit Act was undertaken to see whether certain aspects of legislation can be adapted from the United Kingdom since policy issues, gaps and challenges have been identified.

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