WESTERN CAPE ARCHIVES FACING STAFF CRISIS

Mark Wiley MPP

DA Western Cape Spokesperson for Cultural Affairs and Sport

The Western Cape Archives, situated in the old Roland Street jail, is facing a crisis due to a shortage of qualified archivists. Mr Wiley, Chairman of the Cultural Committee in the Western Cape Parliament, visited the archives today (4 May 2012) at the launch of a weeklong exhibition on Genealogy.

During a tour of the building, which houses the oldest records of the Cape and South Africa, it was pointed out that there is a severe shortage of qualified archivists and this will have a serious impact on the ability to give the professional attention required of the profession.

One problem is that most archivists are also qualified as librarians and the pay offered by especially City libraries is much better. Wiley stated that “this has to be addressed urgently as qualified archivists are becoming more scarce as most learning institutions no longer offer this course as a study option. We will have to try and have this trend reversed”.

” Without our history being preserved we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past” Wiley said. Wiley complimented the staff on the excellent condition of the building which is still world class, ensuring that these National Treasures are preserved in ideal conditions.

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