The Policy intends to provide guidance to all South African public and private sector stakeholders in the space arena, to promote improved co-ordination and co-operative governance.
The guiding principle of the Policy is to support and promote relevant scientific research, capacity-building, innovation, and industrial development, with the aim of utilising space applications to contribute to economic growth, reduce poverty, and create knowledge.
In terms of the Policy Principles Statement in Section 5 of the attached National Space Policy,
“The pursuit of space activities in South Africa is informed by the overarching principle that these contribute to the country’s economic growth and social development. To this end, national space activities shall be guided by the following principles:
- South Africa is committed to utilising outer space for peaceful purposes and the benefit of all humankind.
- South Africa is committed to developing and maintaining a robust and appropriate set of space capabilities, services and products to support national priorities through co-ordination and co-operative governance.
- South Africa is committed to being a responsible user of the space environment and will ensure that all public and private sector activities are conducted in accordance with national legislation and appropriate international best practices, in addition to relevant international treaties.
- South Africa is committed to promoting research and development in space science and technology.
- South Africa is committed to fostering the development of the domestic industry towards greater levels of national self-sufficiency and international competitiveness in space technology, and its applications through utilising domestic commercial space capabilities and services to the maximum extent possible.
- South Africa is committed to co-operation with strategic nations in mutually beneficial and peaceful uses of outer space, with a focus on extending the benefits of space technology to the African continent through the pursuit of co-operative activities with African countries.”
It is worth noting that the dti with the Council is finalising the new draft Space Legislation, “the South African Outerspace Legislation”, which will replace the Space Affairs Act of 1993 as it has long been outdated due to domestic and international developments. The draft legislation was presented to the DG’s ESEID cluster in August 2017, however, it was put in abeyance afterwards due to other prioritised legislation by the dti.
Based on the above process, the Council in its meeting of the 23 January 2019 recommended that the National Space Policy be extended until such time when a proper assessment is done post the enactment of the South African Outer Space Legislation.
The extension is necessitated by the fact that the validity of the term of the National Space Policy has expired, according to its Monitoring & Evaluation Statement before the finalization of the South African Outer Space Legislation.
The recommendation of an extension of the National Space Policy, until the appropriate reconsideration is undertaken post enactment of the draft South African Outer Space Legislation, was subsequently approved by the Minister on 16 April 2019 .
This is in the process of being gazetted !