The KwaZulu-Natal Archives Unit is the custodian of documents, oral history maps and photographs that tell the province’s history. KZN Archives came into existence with effect from 01 April 2001, in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Archives Act, Act 5 of 2000 Schedule 5 of the Constitution which provides for the provincialisation of the archives.

Prior to this two archives services operated in the province: the KwaZulu Archives Service operated from Zululand in the former homeland area in terms of the KwaZulu Archives Act, Act 12 of 1992 and the National Archives and Records Service operated from Pietermaritzburg and Durban in terms of the National Archives Act, Act 43 of 1996. Legislation to replace existing lone is currently being processed.

In terms of our mandate KwaZulu-Natal Archives is responsible for:

  • Acquisition, preservation, awareness and use of information that documents the history of our province;
  • Ensuring proper management and care of records in all spheres of government (the Act specifically charges the Archives with the responsibility for the records created by government bodies in the province) and,
  • Documenting our province’s experiences that were neglected in the past.


Due to the large area geographical areas that the Archives service covers, the department runs three repositories in order to ensure service delivery. The KwaZulu-Natal Archives is headed by the Provincial Archivist based in the Head Office. Each repository is headed up by the Deputy Manager and two Assistant Managers.