Frequently Asked Questions



Please be aware that no content and application creation or changes to information on this version of SAHRIS will be retained.

To make applications or utilise SAHRIS for the creation of information, please use the new site:

Changes to SAHRIS!

The South African Heritage Resources Information System (SAHRIS) has undergone a generational upgrade and restructure. These changes to the site include, but are not limited to:

  • A new & modernised look and layout
  • Improved site usage flows with respect to applications and content creation
  • Improved site performance and stability

Launch for the new version of SAHRIS occurred on Monday the 30th of October 2023.

The new site can be found here:



Quickstart guide to making Palaeontological Permit Applications on SAHRIS


Palaeontological Permit Applications on SAHRIS (click on the header to download the pdf version of this FAQ)

When making a Permit Application to SAHRA for Palaeontological work, please note the following steps: (note: it is better to make your entries in one session and save once the application has been completed, rather than to save in stages)

1. You need to be registered on SAHRIS as an applicant and you need to have created your User Profile
‐ Once logged in, go to the My Account label in the top right corner of the screen and click on Create a Profile
‐ Complete the form and save.

2. Once this has been done, navigate to the My Dashboard page (this is the page you automatically go to when you log in)

3. To create a permit application
‐ Hover over the 3rd tab along the main red bar at the top of the page called Create.
‐ A drop down menu will appear, click on Case/Application. Do not click on Conservation Group Registrations.

4. This will take you to the Create Heritage Cases page. On this page, you will find 6 tabs as follows; 1: CaseIntro, 2: CaseHeader, 3: InventoryLinks, 4: OtherRefs, 5: LocationInfo and 6: AttachedDocs. Each of these are dealt with in order below. (sections/windows not
mentioned here can be ignored)

1: CaseIntro
‐ Select the relevant heritage authority from the checkbox list
‐ Under the “Case Type” heading, select Permits from the dropdown menu
‐ The section under “Development Type” can be left blank as it does not pertain to permit applications
‐ Tick the checkbox that is labelled “Yes” to agree to the conditions of submission

2: CaseHeader
‐ Under “Case Reference”, type in a simple title for the permit application Eg.Permit_Farms 123, 321 and 240, Northern Cape
‐ Under “Proposal Description”, provide more detail on the application Eg. The permit application is for the survey and collection of fossils from the Ecca Group exposures on Farms 123,321 and 240 situated in the vicinity of Kuruman in the Northern Cape.
‐ Under “Applicants”, start typing your name. If you have created a User Profile (Step 1), your name will appear in the drop down menu.
‐ For permit applications, the section under “Consultants/Experts” can be left blank.

3: InventoryLinks
‐ This tab is for permit applications to work on specimens already curated in an institution or museum, or for work on a known palaeontological site eg. Langebaanweg 
‐ As this is a new system, if you are proposing to work on specimens curated at an institution or museum, then you may have to CreateObject. **

4: OtherRefs
‐ This section can be left blank for permit applications

5: LocationInfo
‐ Under this tab, you are required to map the boundaries of the area you intend to survey, or map the location of the position of the proposed excavation.
‐ You do this by using the simple GIS mapper tools provided (the same tools available in GoogleEarth) (select a path tool – either area or linear‐ and draw in the site; hold down shift and click to end a path; to delete a path, select by choosing the four‐way arrow tool, left‐clicking on the path and pressing delete)
‐ Alternatively, if you have already mapped the location in GoogleEarth, you can load this GoogleEarth data to SAHRIS as a .kml file
‐ If the permit application is for work on specimens already curated in an institution or museum, then this tab can be left blank.

6: AttachedDocs
‐ Under “Case Images” you can load any photographs you have taken of the area in question but this is not required.
‐ Under “Additional Docs” you can load the document outlining the motivation for the permit application as well as any other pertinent articles or supporting documents
‐ Under “Consent Letters” you must load the letters of consent from land owners
‐ Under “Proof of Payment” you must load the proof that you have paid permit fees should they be required.
‐ All palaeontological permit applications are subject to application fees (R100 for research permits and R150 for CRM permits). Should you wish to apply for exemption, motivation is required. This is granted at the discretion of the CEO of SAHRA.

5. Do not forget to click on the Save button at the bottom of the page. Once this is done, your application will be submitted to the relevant heritage authority for assessment.

6. **How to CreateObject on SAHRIS
Click on CreateObject. This will take you to the Create Objects page. On this page, you will find 6 tabs as follows; 1: General, 2: Description, 3: ObjectHistory, 4: SiteAssociation, 5: Images and 6: Attachments. Each of these are dealt with in order below.

1: General
‐ ObjectCode is the existing accession number from the museum or university at which the object is stored
‐ ObjectCommonName eg. Tooth of Dicynodon
‐ ClassifiedName and ObjectNormalName is normally used for heritage objects such as art or furniture or crockery etc. This section is RARELY relevant to palaeontological permits.
‐ Under Quantity, you would normally fill in “1” 
‐ Under ObjectDescription, please provide more detail about the object eg. A 3cm right upper molar of a Dicynodon from a location in the Northern Cape. It is well preserved with both root and enamel evident and only a small chip on the occlusal surface.
‐ Parent and ItemRelationship are normally used for a set of objects. Should you wish to create a Skeleton as a single object (parent) and then individual bones of that skeleton would be a subset of the parent item. We do not require that section be completed. These fields can be left blank.
‐ Under Owner, type in the name of the curating institution eg. Iziko, McGregor Museum, BPI etc.
‐ For Group Content Visibility, select “Use Group Defaults” from the dropdown menu. 

2: Description
‐ There is very little under this tab that is relevant to palaeontological applications.
‐ If possible, please complete the following sections; DistinguishingFeaturesand ObjectMeasurements: Type
‐ For Group Content Visibility, select “Use Group Defaults” from the dropdown menu.

3: ObjectHistory
‐ Under ObjectAge, please select the correct GeologicalPeriod from the drop down menu.
‐ The rest of the fields in this tab can be left blank.

4: SiteAssociation
‐ When a new archaeological site or palaeontological exposure is identified, it should be loaded onto SAHRIS as a Site
‐ The information in this tab links objects or fossils from a particular location with that location.
‐ If a fossil has been excavated from a site that is already known, this site should be in the system and can be selected from the SiteReference list.
‐ If the site is new, or does not already exist on SAHRIS, please Create Sites
‐ The rest of the information on this tab relates to the excavation of the fossil when standard excavation procedures are used. For curated items, this information should be available from the curating institute.
‐ For items collected from the surface, please use Create Sites to record the place collected from.
‐ For Group Content Visibility, select “Use Group Defaults” from the dropdown menu.

5: Images
‐ Please load photographs of the object for the record.
- For Group Content Visibility, select “Use Group Defaults” from the dropdown menu.

6: Images
‐ Please load any additional relevant documents associated with the object for the record 
‐ For Group Content Visibility, select “Use Group Defaults” from the dropdown menu.

7. Do not forget to click on the Save button at the bottom of the page. Once this is done, the created object will be recorded on SAHRIS.



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