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Legal Deposit in South Africa: Intro/Definitions

This Guide provides information about legislation, application and enforcement of the Legal Deposit Act and useful resources for publishers, librarians and others involved in compliance with this legislation.


Welcome to this Guide on Legal Deposit matters relating to South Africa.  Legal deposit is mandated by law and administered by the Ministry of Arts and Culture via an appointed Legal Deposit Committee, to ensure that South Africa's cultural heritage is preserved for future generations.


  • Introduction and Definitions
  • SA Legal Deposit Act 
  • Legal Deposit by Country
  • Role of Publishers in Legal Deposit
  • SA Legal Deposit Repositories
  • Legal Deposit Committee/Consortium
  • Legal Deposit Co-ordinator
  • Articles
  • Best Practices & Guidelines on Legal Deposit
  • Charters/Declarations
  • Statements, Reports, Articles & other resources
  • International Experiences in Legal Deposit
  • Copyright Law
  • Other Relevant Laws
    National Council for Libraries and Information Services (NCLIS)
  • Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
  • International Federation of Libraries and Institutions (IFLA)


Legal deposit with libraries does not provide copyright protection. Copyright protection is governed by the SA Copyright Act No. 98 of 1978 (as amended) and is granted automatically once a work is created. Only films need to be registered. 


Some linked material on this LibGuide is copyright protected, so please ensure when using the material beyond 'Fair Dealing', that you obtain the necessary copyright permission from rightsowners.