RIM is governed by a Council appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture. The Council is appointed for three years.
The duties of Council, as described in the Cultural Institutions Act, 1998 (Act 119 of 1998), are to:
- formulate policy;
- hold, preserve and safeguard all movable and immovable property of whatever kind placed in the care of or loaned or belonging to the declared institution concerned;
- receive, hold, preserve and safeguard all specimens, collections or other movable property placed under its care and management under section 10(1) of the Act;
- raise funds for the institution;
- manage and control the moneys received by the declared institution and to utilize those moneys for defraying expenses in connection with the performance of its functions;
- keep a proper record of the property of the declared institution;
- submit to the Director-General any returns required by him or her;
- all books of account to be kept;
- determine, subject to this Act and with the approval of the Minister, the objects of the declared institution; and,
- generally, carry out the objects of the declared institution.
In addition the Council:
- appoints, in consultation with the Minister, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO);
- determines the public operating hours of the institution;
- determines the conditions under which the public may visit the institution; and,
- determines the admission charges that may be paid.