SGAC South Africa

National Point of Contact
South Africa
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Nadia Karrim Leehandi De Witt
Dec 2016 - Dec 2018 Jul 2017 - Jul 2019
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Welcome to the SGAC South Africa homepage. Through this page, we aim to keep young South African space enthusiasts and the general public informed of developments and events in the South African space sector. If you would like to become involved in any space related activities in South Africa, have general comments or queries, or are aware of any events that would be of interest to other space enthusiasts, please do not hesitate to contact your National Point of Contact, Dr Nadia Karrim. Feedback concerning this website is also welcome.


Young Space Activities Overview in South Africa

From agricultural applications to improving health services and education, space technology has become an indispensable component in today’s society. SGAC South Africa will provide you with global networking capabilities, allowing you to increase your role in scientific studies, and exploration and the utilization of space. Many of the events focus on global collaboration with participation from other countries such as France, Australia, Romania, Nigeria, Syria, Saudi Arabia and many more.

Developments in the South African space sector: South Africa has been involved in Space pursuits since the 1950s, and is constantly progressing with regard to national and international space ventures. In 2009, the Sumbandila satellite was launched aboard the SOYUZ rocket from Russia and is now being used for disaster monitoring and management in Southern Africa.

In 2011, South Africa had the honour of hosting the 10th annual Space Generation Congress in Cape Town, South Africa which brought together 130 delegates from 42 countries. In addition, a Space Suit Walk was held around Cape Town City Centre to raise awareness of the Space Generation Congress, International Astronautical Congress and space activities in South Africa in general. SGAC SA members organised several volunteers who donned space suits and walked through the streets of Cape Town.

This activity was generously supported by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement and the International Astronautical Congress 2011 Local Organising Committee. In 2013, the ZACube-1, the first African-built cubesat (built at CPUT) in South Africa was launched into space from Russia and is currently in orbit to facilitate space weather research The South African National Space Agency (SANSA), established in 2010, continues to grow existing space facilities in SA and formulate strategies such as The National Space Strategy, and the South African Earth Observation Strategy, as well as national plans such as the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030. With the appointment of Dr Valanathan Munsami as the new CEO in January 2017, we can look forward to further exciting new prospects in the South African space sector.



Country-Specific Events in 2017

15 April 2017 - Yuri’s Night - The world space party to celebrate the past, present and future of space travel - Durban, Kwazulu Natal

October 2017 - World Space Week - An international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the improvement of the human condition - Durban, Kwazulu Natal

Interesting Web Links for the Young Generation in South Africa


Ernie Halberg discovers Asteroid 2010 DC, the first discovery of an asteroid by a school student in South Africa 
South Africa’s Sumbandila Satellite Mission Blog

Industry, Facilities and Education

South African Space Agency
South African Space Association
The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa
South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)
Emerging Astronaut Programme
National Research Foundation
National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme
Institute for the Development of Emerging Achievers and Leaders (IDEALS)
South African Space Portal – a great website for South Africa’s space facilities
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of Witswatersrand
Space Commercial Services
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

South African Council for Space Affairs
University of Kwazulu-Natal
Stellenbosch University

SGAC-South Africa

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