n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - 'Growing your own timber' : mentoring and succession planning in national and provincial archives repositories in South Africa - implications on access and preservation of archives

Volume 2015, Issue 51
  • ISSN : 1025-8892



Several studies have noted that public archives repositories are characterised by few skilled staff members, a high level of turnover and a lack of succession planning that results in the de-professionalisation of archives in South Africa. This study explored the strategies adopted by national and provincial archives repositories in mentoring and succession planning with a view to assessing the implications on record-keeping and preservation of archival heritage. Interviews were conducted with Heads of Provincial Archives and national archives repositories in South Africa. Interview data was augmented with document analysis of strategies, audit reports and annual reports of the archives repositories. The research revealed that public archives repositories are incapacitated and unable to fully fulfill their mandate of managing and preserving records. It was recommended that public archives repositories should identify individual competency across the board and mentor employees for the purpose of continuity, sustainability and succession planning.

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