Nobel Prize for literature laureate Nadine Gordimer has died in her sleep. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

Cape Town - The death of Nobel laureate and writer Nadine Gordimer has robbed South Africa and the world at large of an astute writer and staunch human rights activist, Parliament's arts and culture portfolio committee said on Monday.

“While the committee mourns her passing, her lifetime work will continue to be celebrated all over the world,” chairwoman Xoliswa Tom said in a statement.

“She was one of those people who were rich repositories of our heritage as a nation. Future generations will benefit from her writings.”

The committee encouraged South Africans to follow the example set by Gordimer in ensuring that South Africa's culture and heritage was immortalised by writing their lifetime experiences.

“The only way we can guide future generations is to write our unique experiences so that they will learn from them,” Tom said.

The committee sent its heartfelt condolences to Gordimer's family and friends.

“May they find solace in the fact that Ms Gordimer's life was a life well lived,” Tom said.

Earlier on Monday, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs said in a statement on behalf of the Gordimer family: “Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane and her caring helpers were with her... A private memorial service will be announced at a later date.”

It said she died “peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg on Sunday”.