South African San Institute (SASI)

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For 14 years the San have been assisted by the South African San Institute (SASI), which has launched numerous projects to improve the San’s economic situation and to build up personal and communal independence and self-reliance. When SASI started its support, particularly for the ‡Khomani San’s land claim, the political climate for such demands, nationally and internationally, was exceptionally favourable. Indigenous rights movements which had developed first in North and then in Latin America some decades before, started organizing themselves on an international level and had begun to identify themselves as global indigenous communities. Indigeneity as a concept entered into the international discourse, and indigenous rights were acknowledged by the UN and other international institutions.

The South African San Institute (SASI) has its roots in the formation of the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA). In the 1980s and the early 1990s, development programmes were initiated for the San in Botswana and Namibia. Through a series of meetings, the San realised the need for regional organisation and established WIMSA. As part of a South African initiative to secure basic human rights for San people, a support organisation - SASI - was established, becoming a Trust in April 1996. A study undertaken shortly thereafter revealed the extent and nature of the struggles that the San were facing and highlighted the need for organisational support. SASI was formed to implement programmes in three areas: legal support and advocacy, culture and heritage and language, and tourism through the development of income generation projects.

Since its establishment, SASI has grown from a core team of 3 people, to a current of 15 fulltime staff members, 25 project / field staff and 2 specialist consultants, all of whom have the responsibility of assisting the San community to manage their land, economic, human and cultural resources in a sustainable and efficient manner. The organisation has offices in Kimberley with offices in the communities of Platfontein and the southern Kalahari.

Operates in: Kimberley, Northern Cape
Established in: September 1996

Non-Profit Organisation Number: 049-951
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930013738
Section 21 Company Number:
Trust Number: IT 5413/96

Contact person: Meryl-Joy Schippers
Phone: 053 832 2156
Fax: 053 831 3794
Physical address: Cnr of Aristotle and Molyneaux Streets, Cassandra, Kimberley
Postal address: P O Box 366, Kimberley, 8301

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