The COVID-19 pandemic has been described as the greatest challenge that the world has faced since the second world war. Its impact, in terms of both loss of life and reduced economic growth, has been devastating. South Africa, although at an early stage of the pandemic, is entering uncharted territory with increasing rates of infection. A key factor in the fight against the pandemic is the rapid availability of appropriate information in the hands of key decision makers. [caption id="attachment_5718" align="alignleft" width="504"] Gauteng informal settlements[/caption] The South African National Space Agency (SANSA), through its twin mandates to acquire, disseminate and distribute space based data and information for decision making, as well as coordinating the South African Space Sector, is aligning itself and the South African Space Sector’s capabilities and capacities towards the fight against COVID -19. The objective is to provide decision makers with relevant space derived spatial information and tools to support evidence based decision making in their efforts at implementing a national response to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Africa’s space sector remains fertile ground for growth, both economically and technologically, despite the country’s current economic slump. This was a key take home message from the second annual Space for National Development conference (SND 2019), hosted by SANSA

[caption id="attachment_5592" align="alignleft" width="425"] Corona Virus[/caption] Dear Valued Stakeholder, in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has reached our shores and following the decision by our President, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, declaring a National Disaster, we assure you that we have taken every precautionary measure and will continue to do so to help limit the spread of the virus. We wish to reassure you that our highest priority remains the health and safety of our Stakeholders and Team Members and we are implementing appropriate action to ensure that there is appropriate hygiene standards in all SANSA facilities for anyone using our facilities. Unfortunately, we have had to postpone many of our planned meetings and events, including SpaceOps 2020. We have also restricted visits to our facilities by the public and external clients, as an added precautionary measure. We remain  committed to ensuring that we will continue to offer services with minimal disruption to our customers; except where it is beyond our control.