Our Government Publications Collections

The Government Publications Department contains the main collection of government publications in UCT Libraries. There are some government publications in other sections of UCT Libraries, particularly the Built Environment Library.

Collections lost in the Jagger Library Fire, 18 April 2021

The Jagger Library fire of 18 April 2021 resulted in the loss of a major part of the Government Publications collection:

South African publications lost include:

  • Most of the South African book collection
  • House of Assembly/National Assembly Debates (Hansard)
  • Cape of Good Hope Province, Cape Divisional Councils and Cape Regional Services Councils
  • Cape Town City Council and the Cape Metropolitan Council
  • Post-1994 Provincial and local government collections
  • U.G. numbered series
  • White papers series
  • Homelands
  • Section of South African statistics
  • Agricultural statistics publications

International publications lost include:

  • Publications of the British Colonial Office
  • European Union
  • Commonwealth
  • Various international governmental organisations, including the:
    • United Nations
    • International Labour Organisation
    • World Trade Organisation

We lost our collections for the following African countries:

Angola, Botswana, Eswatini/Swaziland, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Current collections

For South Africa we collect national government publications, selected provincial (mostly Western Cape) and selected local (mostly City of Cape Town) government publications. It is increasingly difficult to acquire print copies of government publications. 

Our collection covers official publications from Africa, focusing primarily on southern Africa, particularly South Africa’s neighbouring states. We have recent material from other African countries, including to a lesser degree the French-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries. The countries from which we collect are the following: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dijibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini/Swaziland,  Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania,Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

We have publications from the following African regional organisations:

  • African Union (AU)
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)

Historical collections

The Government Publications collection includes material from all the former South African colonies, with particularly good holdings for the Cape of Good Hope, fair holdings for Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. We also have the British Command paper series up to 1990.