Collect, Conserve, Curate, Connect

  • Posted: Sep 4, 2017

Museum collections: impacting lives today, tomorrow – the future

The rich history of South Africa brings with it diversity in language, culture, tradition and religion. On 24 September, we celebrate our diversity when we commemorate Heritage Day. In recognition of this important day, Iziko Museums of South Africa, as a custodian of our heritage, in partnership with the HCI Foundation and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), will host the 10th annual in_ herit Festival from 18 - 24 September 2017.

The annual festival offers *FREE entry to Iziko museums throughout the week (Castle of Good Hope and Groot Constantia only free on Heritage Day, and the Planetarium is half-price on Heritage Day ONLY).  This week of fun-filled family edu-tainment provides visitors with the opportunity to discover and explore our museums and South Africa’s history. A series of walkabouts; a new exhibition opening, public discussions, and guided tours offer insight into our diverse and dynamic cultural, natural and artistic heritage.  The Iziko Mobile Museum, #MuseumWithoutWalls will extend the footprint of the museum by embarking on a week-long outreach programme – visiting communities who traditionally cannot access the museum sites.

Museums play an integral role in the collection and preservation of historical artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, and scientific significance.  Heritage Month speaks of the core to what the organisation does.  For decades, our museums have been collecting, conserving, curating and, through our education and public programmes, connecting the public and communities with our collections, exhibitions, and research” says Iziko Acting CEO, Dr Bongani Ndhlovu.

A host of activities and events have been arranged by Iziko’s Education department. The jam packed Heritage Week programme is a celebration of our diversity - and our South African heritage.

From 18-22 September

Gain free access to behind-the-scenes tours! Explore the Discovery Room and see interesting artefacts or learn about traditional head gear and the ancient technologies used by early humans. 

Public seminars – "Challenges associated with mobilisation of data for hyper-diverse invertebrate groups: Assessing species richness of one of Africa’s most diverse insect families (Ichneumonidae, Hymenoptera)" will be presented by Simon van Noort on 19 September at 11h00. On 20 September,“Our Museums, Your Museums – the Future”will take place on 20 September at 18h00 Presenters include Sam Longford (UWC PhD candidate),Wandile Kasibe (UCT PhD candidate) and Ron Martin (heritage consultant and activist). Both seminars will take place in the in the TH Barry Lecture Theatre at the ISAM.               

Thursday 21 September sees the exciting opening of cartoonist Derek Bauer’s exhibition, “Alternative Press” at the Iziko South African National Gallery. Bauer is known for his provocative cartoons depicting South Africa in the 1980s. The event is open to the public and starts at 17h30.

Saturday, 23 September

Experience traditional dance performances, do crossword puzzle activities and art making, or join a walkabout tour at the Iziko Slave Lodge or National Gallery. See wonderful marine life, on display and see what our Discovery Room has to offer. Juniors and teens can test their excavation skills and are invited to participate in our Palaeo hunts (limited space is available RSVP Zaituna Skosan by 20 September at

The interactive exhibition “Life in the Dark” provides visitors with the opportunity to experience and develop an appreciation for museum specimens. Through braille labels, touch and sound the exhibition raises awareness around the challenges faced by the visually impaired.

Heritage Day, 24 September

South Africa is a melting pot of culture and diversity. The need to celebrate our diversity as a ‘Rainbow Nation’ brought about Heritage Day, which was first celebrated in 1995.

Entry to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome is half price. Visitors are invited to come early and collect tickets for the shows.  Marimba bands and a family treasure hunt will take place at the ISAM starting at 10h00. The Iziko Slave Lodge and Bo-Kaap museums will especially be open (normally closed on Sundays) on Heritage Day and visitors are invited to explore exhibitions at either museum where curators will take you on “Slavery Journeys” or “Get talking about the history of Bo-Kaap”. Those wanting to visit Groot Constantia are invited to join in an adrenalin chased “Amazing Race” (email for further information).

Heritage Week is one of Iziko’s most important commemorative events, signifying the museum’s mission of conserving and keeping heritage alive for a wide audience. 

The HCI Foundation supports education at all levels; we believe that the role played by arts, culture and science is crucial to education in its broadest sense, and we have therefore been the principal funder for this event over the past 3 years.

Our contribution has enabled further funding, via Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), to become available for this annual event, which gives individuals, families and communities the opportunity to experience South Africa’s diverse histories, and promotes respect for our cultural, natural and artistic heritage. – Dr Corinne Abel, Chief Executive Officer

"Business and Arts South Africa is once again proud to be associated with Iziko Museums of South Africa's "in_herit" Programme. We feel that this is a programme that increases access to the arts to a diverse group of people, as this contributes to stimulating dialogue in society, which in turn helps us learn more about each other and the communities we live in." BASA

This is an outing for the whole family! Bring your friends along too! We look forward to seeing you between 18 – 24 September at one or ALL of our museums!



Issued by: Kim Lindeboom, Communications Co-ordinator

Institutional Advancement, Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 481 3874                
Facsimile: +27 (0) 21 461 9620

On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa


Notes to editor:

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium). Visit our webpage at, join our online community on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.

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