Boswa is the successor body to the former National Monuments Council in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Under the 1996 Constitution of South Africa cultural matters are a competency shared between national and provincial government.
This necessitated the creation of a system whereby many of the responsibilities of the former National Monuments Council were devolved to provincial level via the National Heritage Resources Act.
Whilst provinces may pass their own heritage conservation legislation, the Northern Cape Provincial Government elected to use provisions of the National Heritage Resources Act which allow it to establish a provincial heritage resources authority (PHRA). Boswa was hence established by regulation on 28 February 2003.
On 11 October 2003 the Council appointed by the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture met for the first time and has since met regularly.
The Council has established a sub-committee known as the ‘Permits Committee’ which meets monthly to consider applications under the terms of the National Heritage Resources Act. The Council has also established an Executive Committee.
Boswa inherited responsibility for approximately 130 former national monuments, now known as ‘provincial heritage sites’.
The National Heritage Resources Act provides for a greater variety of protection than did its predecessor and the organisation has continued to institute protections of various forms under its terms. A large part of this work is dedicated to transforming the heritage landscape of the Northern Cape Province to ensure that the heritage of all its people enjoys equal recognition and appropriate protection.