The Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has taken steps to ensure that current and future generations will have a chance to see and hear South African heritage through the launch of the online digitised audiovisual recordings.

Minister Mthethwa said ¡§armed with these digitised recordings of the Rivonia Trial, we shall be able to tell the full story of this trying period in our history with sound, words and silences to present and future generations in all its glory, its horror and ultimately its triumphs.¡¨

The Minister will launch the digitised recordings on 17 November 2017 at the National Archives and Records Services of South Africa in Pretoria. Audiovisual archives are a cornerstone of the memory of the world, which give citizens access to pieces of history at the touch of a button. The safeguarding and preservation is key to the protection of world heritage.

Sound recordings and moving images in any form are vulnerable, and easily discarded or deliberately destroyed. The department said public awareness of the importance of audiovisual recordings was necessary as much of this type of heritage was lost through neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence.

The launch of the digitised audiovisual recordings is in response to a proposal by the Czech Republic in October 2005 made at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation¡¦s (UNESCO) General Conference. The conference approved the proclamation of 27 October as the annual World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. This year¡¦s celebration took place under theme, "Discover, Remember and Share ".

¡§Through the cooperation project between L¡¦Institut National De L¡¦Audiovisuel (INA) and the National Archives and Records Services of South Africa involving the digitisation of dictabelts and the training of South African archivists on the digitisation and restoration of dictabelts, the resultant Rivonia Trial recordings will be made available to all South African citizens and the world at large".

In 2018, South Africans can look forward to more recordings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission audio-cassettes and papers from renowned writer and journalist and Bloke Modisane.

¡V Source: SAgov.news.za