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South African NATCOM for UNESCO

The South African National Commission for UNESCO was established in 1998, after South Africa re-joined UNESCO in 1994. The Commission was established to effectively integrate and coordinate UNESCO activities in South Africa, through cooperation with government departments, institutions, and civil society organisations.


Thematic Areas

  • Education: Education transforms lives and is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.
  • Natural Science: Creating knowledge and understanding through science equips us to find solutions to today’s acute economic, social and environmental challenges and to achieving sustainable development and greener societies.
  • Culture: Protecting Our Heritage and Fostering Creativity
  • Communication and Information: Sharing of knowledge and information, particularly through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has the power to transform economies and societies.
  • Social and Human Science: Supporting people in understanding each other and working together to build lasting peace


Year of Indigenous Languages

The Language Services Unit of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) officially launched their year-long activities to celebrate 2019 as the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). Speaking at the event about the importance of the preservation and promotion of indigenous languages, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Ms Anroux Marais, said that government supports the drive as it is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society.Read more...

SASL as 12th official language

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Mrs Naledi Pandor, the Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen, the Commission for the Promotion of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, Ms. Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, and the Secretary-General of the South African National Commission for UNESCO, Mr Carlton Lufuno Mukwevho, were invited to join the 138 years old National Institute for the Deaf (NID) in its celebration to mark Sign Language (SASL) as the recommended 12th language in South Africa. Read more...


  • 25-26 May 2019: Jose Foundation Safeguarding in Sport Conference; in Johannesburg in the Gauteng Province
  • 12 August 2019: Celebration of the International Youth Day at Laastehoop Village in Polokwane City; Limpopo Province
  • Summary of Deliberations: Meeting of the Education Sector Committee (ESC) of the South African National Commission (NATCOM) for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held on 18 September 2018 at SAQA House, Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Upcoming
  • Reports




MOST Programme

The Management of Social Transformation (MOST) Programme's primary purpose is to transfer relevant Social Sciences research findings and data to decision-makers and other stakeholders.


UNESCO has established the Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) to enable member states to expose learners, particularly female children and young people, to global debates.

MAB Programme

Man and the Biosphere Reserves Programme proposes an interdisciplinary research agenda and capacity building initiative aiming to improve the relationship of people with their environment globally.


The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is UNESCO’s international scientific cooperative program in water research, water resource management, water education, and capacity- building, and the only broadly based science program of the UN system in this area

World Heritage Sites

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.


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