Exploring Opportunities in South Africa



Satellite Applications Catapult,
Fermi Avenue,
Harwell Campus,
OX11 0QR


02/06/2017 - 10:00 am


02/06/2017 - 3:00 pm

The Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency hosted an event for UK businesses using satellite data to explore new opportunities in South Africa.

The South African delegation, including senior representatives from the African Embassy, the South African Space Agency (SANSA), and the British Embassy South Africa provided attendees with information to help them explore South Africa as a potential market for export.

South Africa’s large land and ocean territory make satellite monitoring vital for economic and social growth, and the country has a growing appetite for innovative applications of satellite data to help solve a range of challenges.


Click here for the agenda from the day.


UK Space and International Partnerships, UK Space Agency

Space Technologies Opportunities in South Africa, South African National Space Agency

UK and South African Business Opportunities

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa

Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

NewSpace Systems, UK



  • South Africa is a large country (1.2m km2 land territory and 1.5m km2 of Ocean territory), making satellite monitoring vital for economic and social growth.
  • The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) became an agency of the Department of Science and Technology in 2010 following the passing of the National Space Agency Act in 2008 in order to “provide for the promotion and use of space and cooperation in space-related activities, foster research in space science, advance scientific engineering through human capital and support the creation of an environment conducive to industrial development in space technologies within the framework of national government policy”.
  • The space industry is a growing area of strength in South Africa and has seen renewed government focus and funding.
  • The UK Space Agency and SANSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2015 regarding collaboration in civil space activities.
  • UK Space Agency is just six months older than SANSA but both countries have long and rich histories in space exploration. Lunar and interplanetary missions conducted by NASA were supported from the tracking station at Hartebeesthoek near Pretoria (which remains SANSA’s Operations Centre today), where the first images of Mars were received from the Mariner IV spacecraft.
  • South Africa is a partner in the first call of UK Space Agency’s  International Partnership Programme (IPP) (launched in June 2016), and indeed was key to IPP’s predecessor pilot called the International Space Partnerships Programme (IPSP). Current projects include:
  • Coastal Risk Information Service (C-RISe) – this will provide access to data on sea levels, wind speeds and wave heights and enable the African partners (Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa) to improve socio-economic resilience to coastal hazards associated with sea level changes such as floods, storm damage, wetland loss, habitat change, coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion.
  • A follow-on from an IPSP project run by exactEarth, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is mandating the use of Satellite Automatic Identification Systems (SAT-AIS) to track small fishing, work and leisure boats and enhance their safety.  This is vital to saving lives and reducing Search and Rescue costs in South Africa, and the initial 1,500 transponders will be deployed across the poorest and most at-risk boats.

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