A Summary of South African History Online Projects

Higher Education Partnership and Student Internship Programme 
South African History Online (SAHO) is committed to building partnerships with institutions of higher education so that they can draw on the expertise of our educational institutions and on all our resources to contribute to knowledge production that supports the teaching and learning of history and to ensure the integrity of our content. SAHO has developed partnership agreements with both local and international universities to jointly undertake research, produce publications and exhibition programmes.

Since 2012, SAHO has taken on over one hundred and sixty PhD, masters and undergraduate students as part of our student internship programmes. SAHO’s interns include web design and information technology (IT) students. 

In addition to our internship programmes, SAHO runs unique research and student exchange programmes with three American universities. We also have a partnership programme with Glasgow University in Scotland. Our goal is to undertake joint research and student exchange programmes with universities in the rest of Africa.

SAHO’s student internship programme provides history and humanities students with an opportunity to work as researchers, as web and media engineers, eLearning and publishing professionals.

SAHO has held a number of very successful international conferences in partnership with our university partners.

Summary of our Research areas. 

The SAHO team uploads new features material, daily, on our website. This includes material that is linked to documents, online books, interviews, videos etc

Society and Politics

This section of the site examines the political history of South Africa. It houses many detailed research projects on political movements and organisations, with particular focus on South Africa’s liberation struggle history and the road to democracy.

Culture and Society

SAHO’s features and  articles explore South African arts, heritage, culture, languages and religion. It also includes an online gallery of the work of artists, organisations, writers, musicians, and photographers.

History of Places

This project is based on research and working with communities to compile a history of their cities, towns, and villages. It is the largest project of its kind in the country, featuring heritage tours, galleries, and architecture. It also includes timelines, images and links to biographies of prominent South African political, arts and cultural figures on the SAHO website.

Timeline: What Happened in History

A general chronology of events listing South African and African biographies, politics, culture, sport and science. It also includes specialised timelines on aspects of South African history and includes events covering the history of individual African countries.

People in History: A Who’s Who and Wall of Remembrance
SAHO’s biography project is one of the largest in South Africa.  It includes biographies of people who have played a significant role in the Liberation Struggle in South Africa. The “Lives of Courage Project”, is an online “Wall of Remembrance” of people killed in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.

History through pictures

This is an online photographic archive which also serve as a platform for photographers to market their archive.


The SAHO archive is a unique feature of its website.  It contains more than 50.000 documents, videos and images and acts as an invaluable resource for furthering new research. The material in the archive is linked to features, articles, biographies and the history classroom on the website.   

Africa in History

This project comprises of building a country-by-country history together with thematic overviews across countries. SAHO’s aim is to work with partner institutions and academics from across Africa and internationally to build content for this feature on our website.

Overview of our Special Projects

Online Classroom 

The Online Classroom is the mainstay of SAHO's schools History Project, which comprises of a number of inter-related projects aimed at popularising and strengthening the teaching of the new history and other subject areas curriculum requirements.  The online classroom consists of the history curriculum for grade 4 to grade 12.  All the lessons on SAHO’s website are downloadable for free. SAHO is working on publishing material for other subject areas, like arts etc. SAHO has also designed and published books and CDs and produced travelling exhibitions for the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

 National Oral History Project

SAHO and the Department of Basic Education (DBE), jointly, run the annual Chief Albert Luthuli Young Historians Oral History Competition. This is a national oral history project, which invites learners and educators to undertake oral history projects on people who fought for freedom and those who are promoting democracy in their communities.


SAHO has a printing and publications programme that showcases and promotes the works of South African historians, artists and photographers. Since 2000, we have assembled, edited and published 16 books on history, culture and photography in partnership with local and international publishers.

Community Projects

SAHO has developed links with community-based projects and provides communities with assistance and training to undertake oral history projects and in the use of the internet to narrate their own and their communities’ histories. We have assisted community groups to build their own websites. which has enabled communities to market their heritage sites, local histories and festivals online. This programme has the potential to create jobs and promote tourism.


SAHO has an online and a travelling exhibition programme. We have, over the past 20 years, organised a number of seminal exhibitions that have travelled locally and internationally. SAHO has also assisted artists and photographers with the designing, printing and marketing of their work.

Mafika Gwala Annual Lecture  

In 2016, SAHO launched the annual Mafika Gwala Lecture in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the National Institute of Humanities and Social Science (NIHSS).  Mafika Gwala was a leading poet and member of the Black Peoples Convention (BPC). As part of the annual lecture programme, we began a school’s essay writing competition with 14 schools in Hammarsdale Township outside Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).