The Future of Archivists and Records Managers in Mpumalanga, South Africa

Keywords: records managers, archivists, electronic records management systems, digital age


This article aimed to assess the future of archivists and records managers in South Africa. It is a fact that information communication technology (ICT) has impacted the management and preservation of records. Most of South Africa’s archivists and records managers were trained to manage paper-based records. The growth of electronic records has overtaken the ability of the records and archives management professionals to develop electronic records management systems (ERMS). The digital era requires archivists and records managers’ roles regarding the management of records to change to include ERMS. Reviewing and updating the job descriptions of archivists and records managers will not only assist in evaluating their current responsibilities and job functions but also in strategically choosing new responsibilities, expectations and job titles. This will benefit organisations so that they can understand and assist in building a case for adapting and elevating the positions of archivists and records managers. Archivists and records managers can elevate their roles and the profession by collaborating with cross-disciplinary role players to show their value and prove their worth to key stakeholders and decision-making individuals. The case study was chosen as the method of the study. The data were collected through interviews and analysis of documents. A total of 10 records managers were selected for the interviews during the annual Mpumalanga Records Management Forum. The study recommends that archivists and records managers adopt ERMS as a strategy for managing records and archives in collaboration with ICT specialists. Archivists and records managers play an important role in designing key organisational information systems and reviewing job descriptions.