Statement by Iziko Museums’ Chairman of Council

  • Posted: Sep 19, 2012

Statement by Iziko Museums’ Chairman of Council - Declared Cultural Institution renamed as Iziko Museums of South Africa


Advocate Brenda Madumise, Chairman, Iziko Museums Council, announced today that Paul Mashatile, Minister of Arts and Culture, has approved the renaming of Iziko Museums of Cape Town, to Iziko Museums of South Africa. The notice of this change was published in the Government Gazette on the 14th of September 2012.

Advocate Madumise, stated that: “The naming and renaming of our institutions is driven by the principles of inclusivity and collective memory of history and heritage”. Iziko means “hearth” in isiXhosa which symbolically positions our museums as dynamic centres of learning, entertainment, innovation and creativity. Iziko’s vision is one of “African Museums of Excellence” that empower and inspire all people, and this name change acknowledges and reinforces the critical role of Iziko to entrench ownership of our diverse heritage for all South Africans.”

Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection specific libraries in Cape Town and are the custodians of our country’s heritage. More than 2.26 million objects contained in Iziko’s art, social and natural history collections form an irreplaceable part of our nation’s wealth and legacy.

CEO, Rooksana Omar, highlights the importance of this announcement: “It is significant that this announcement was made during Heritage Month. It clearly acknowledges Iziko Museums’ national importance and underlines that our museums belong to all South Africans. This is a time when we celebrate the value of our diverse heritage and foreground the vital role of museums play in inspiring the public, intellectually, ethically and creatively.

Our South African context demands new ways of thinking about heritage and culture.  The Iziko Museums of South Africa is proactively adapting to the demands of the 21st Century and global developmental contexts. 


Repositioning and reinventing the heritage sector is in alignment with our developmental mandate. As a national museum, our mandate is to conserve, preserve and interpret the cultural, natural and artistic heritage that is part of the national estate. We aspire to make our knowledge and collections accessible, and to showcase both our tangible and intangible heritage for all South Africans and future generations.”

Iziko has emerged as a leading player in the heritage sector in Africa and is acknowledged as a benchmark for South African museums.
In celebration of the renaming, the Iziko Museums Heritage Week programme is currently underway with *FREE Entry for all to our museums from 17- 24 September 2012 (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium, which offer free entry on the 24th only). A dynamic and multi-faceted programme of performances, storytelling, public dialogues and exhibitions will be hosted at the ‘hearth of our heritage’. Full programme details available online



Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and 3 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 which reflect our diverse African heritage.
Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure.  The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).

COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)


  • Human Rights Day: 21 March
  • Freedom Day: 27 April
  • International Museum Day: 25 May
  • Africa Day: 25 May
  • Youth Day: 16 June
  • National Women’s Day: 9 August
  • Heritage Week: 17 – 24 September 2012
  • National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December
  • Emancipation Day: 1 December
  • Day of Reconciliation: 16 December

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