The Centre for Popular Memory (CPM) at the University of Cape Town is engaged in researching, archiving and distributing history passed on in the oral or visual tradition. One of the focal points is the effect of violence and trauma on recollection and the shaping of identity in African countries. The centre offers Oral History courses and maintains a public archive with more than 3 000 hours of audio and video material.
The aim of the History Workshop is to study the lives of South Africans who are otherwise not the centre of interest to historians, and to make the results of that research available in the various forms of media. Oral History plays an essential role in this; the History Workshop also offers seminars for teachers and other disseminators.
The Oral History Association of South Africa (OHASA) supports recording, preservation and analysis of history in South Africa passed on in the oral tradition, with the aim of improving the dissemination of the results and thereby promoting the popularity of oral history. In its search for community traditions, OHASA includes poems, music, oral performances and other types of traditions.
The Sinomlando Centre in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa is an important research and training institution in the field of recollection. Originally a centre for Christian communities coming to terms with their memories of suppression under Apartheid, Sinomlando now supports families and in particular HIV/AIDS orphans by collecting family stories and mementos in so-called Memory Boxes.
The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive which collects documents on the struggle for justice in South Africa’s past and present and makes them available to the public. SAHA has conducted and documented numerous projects on oral history. The collections contain interviews with anti-Apartheid activists, certificates of staff of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, conversations with victims of the xenophobic violence in May 2008 and much more.
South African History Online (SAHO) is a large-scale, impartial and charitable project on the subject of the “History of the people of South Africa”. The aim is to review and revise the representations of history fraught with ideology during the past centuries. For this purpose, SAHO is building a comprehensive online encyclopaedia of South African history and culture. One focal point of SAHO’s work is oral history; useful advice on executing oral history projects is available on the SAHO website.