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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


World Radio Day observed

"On this World Radio Day, let us recognize the power of radio to promote dialogue, tolerance and peace." - UN Secretary-General António Guterres. World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on 13 February, proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference, to celebrate radio as the mass medium reaching the widest audience in the world. The University of Limpopo (UL) collaborated with five radio stations in Limpopo and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Community Media, to celebrate the World Radio Day through a seminar aimed to reflect on the prospects of community media. Read more...

Nelson Mandela centenary

The President of the South African National Commission for UNESCO, and Minister of Basic Education, Mrs AM Motshekga, MP, delivered a public lecture on the life and times of the late former President Nelson Mandela, to an audience of over 500 community members, on 4 August 2018, at Hamashamba Village, in Limpopo Province. The Nelson Mandela centenary birthday anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on the life and times of Nelson Mandela and to draw lessons from the ideals he fought for, particularly on education and his quest for universal access to education as the most powerful weapon that communities can use to uplift themselves from poverty. 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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