The South Africa Council for Space Affairs (SACSA) is a statutory body established in terms of the Space Affairs Act (Act No. 84 of 1993, as amended in 1995 to manage and regulate space affairs of the Republic and implement the space policy in the most efficient and economical manner. The Council is appointed by Cabinet through the Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti), who is empowered by the Act to determine the general space policy.
The SACSA’s Strategic Plan for the fiscal years 2017/18 – 2021/22 represents the commitment of the Council to develop the South African space arena and discharge its responsibilities, as stipulated in the Space Affairs Act, with key performance indicators, as outlined in the attached work plan.
The current Council will continue to support the dti with the finalisation of the new space legislation and review of the National Space Policy as well as the development of an enabling regulatory framework to support the growth of the South African space industry. In addition, the Council will continue to represent South Africa’s interest and responsibilities in international platforms as required.
Another important task will be to support the dti and the department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to develop the National Space Industry Framework, identify the country’s capabilities and bring advice on the relevant government interventions to enhance the industry’s capabilities.
The strategic plan was developed through an analysis of the factors affecting and shaping the evolution of the space arena in South Africa and globally. The SACSA’s overarching mandate is to create and maintain a legislative and coherent regulatory environment to support the progressive and orderly development of the space industry in South Africa as well as take care of national interests and obligations in the international space arena. The mandate will be driven by the following three strategic objectives:
Strategic objective 1: Strengthen the national legislative and regulatory environment
The SACSA will primarily support the repeal of the existing Space Affairs Act to align it with developments in the domestic and international space arena and establish a supportive regulatory environment for industry. The council will also develop licensing and regulatory frameworks in consultation with all stakeholders.
Strategic objective 2: Create an environment conducive for the development of the South African space arena
The SACSA will identify the priority areas of policy implementation that require development of regulation and advise the Minister accordingly. The current policy of 2009 is almost 10 years old and will require a review; SACSA will support the dti in this important task of developing a responsive policy for the space industry, taking into consideration the rapid development in the space arena. The SACSA will support government in the development of the Space Industry Framework to identify gaps in the country’s capabilities and recommendations to improve and enhance its competitiveness.
Strategic objective 3: Strengthen and maintain South Africa’s international space commitments and responsibilities
This strategic objective focuses on South Africa as an actor in the global space arena. In keeping with its legislative mandate and South Africa’s international obligations, the SACSA will take care of the interests of the Republic in multilateral space fora and promote the development of multilateral cooperation mechanisms in all space regulatory affairs.
The SACSA will deliver on its mandate and the objectives of this strategic plan through two council committees:
- the Scientific and Technical Committee, which will deal with matters requiring scientific and technical expertise and provide inputs in domestic and international bilateral or multilateral activities that involve the SACSA’s mandate; and
- the Policy and Legal Committee, which will deal with matters requiring policy and legal expertise in the review of legislation and the National Space Policy, as well as domestic and international bilateral or multilateral activities involving the SACSA, and to assist Council in licensing and regulatory matters.
The strategic plan for the period 2017/18 – 2020/21 provides a detailed breakdown of the activities that the SACSA will undertake to meet the strategic objectives outlined above.
For SACSA to implement its mandate effectively in the development of the South African space arena, the Council will have to be appropriately resourced in terms of secretariat support and financial resources. This strategic plan concludes with a breakdown of the Council’s secretariat human resource requirements and the financial projections for the term.
To create and maintain a coherent legislative and regulatory environment that enhances South Africa domestic and international space activities to promote a thriving space industry.
Ensuring the sustainability of South African space activities and the long-term sustainability of outer space for socio-economic benefits through an enabling regulatory space environment.