THE USE OF SAHRIS AS A STATE SPONSORED DIGITAL HERITAGE REPOSITORY AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA
SAHRA has developed versions 1 and 2 of the South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS –
http://www.sahra.org.zablankhttp://www.sahra.org.za) in 2012 and 2013. The system has been rolled out since May 2012 to the national and provincial heritage authorities in South Africa in line with the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999). SAHRIS was developed using Drupal and Geoserver, both of which are free open source software packages. The three core functions of SAHRIS include: an online application system for developments that is integrated with a commenting module for public participation; a national sites archive of heritage sites; and a comprehensive collections management system for objects. With Geoserver, Openlayers and GMAP, users are provided with an online GIS platform that is integrated with most of the content types on SAHRIS.
More than 21000 sites have already been migrated into SAHRIS along with over 4300 objects. The media and reports archive has already grown to 500 gigabytes, data storage is offered free of charge and so far 96 Terabytes of replicated storage have been installed. The distribution and dissemination of this content is facilitated by the adoption of The Creative Commons South Africa license.
Lessons learnt from previous attempts to develop SAHRIS are covered briefly in light of the opportunities that have been opened up by the relatively recent maturation of FOSS content management systems. The current uptake of SAHRIS and the solutions to the challenges faced thus far are discussed before concluding with the implications for E-governance in South Africa.