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South-African National Antarctic Programme
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South Africa maintains bases at Antarctica as well as on Marion and Gough Islands, managed and administered by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

At the Antarctic base, SANAE IV, the field of research is varied.  Apart from meteorological observations, there are programmes, which provide for upper air research (e.g. cosmic rays) and others again, which cover the earth sciences (e.g. geology).  At Gough Island meteorological observations are made and Marion Island is a meteorological station with research programmes being undertaken in the fields of oceanography, biology and geology.

Relief voyages to replenish supplies and to exchange personnel take place annually. These voyages are undertaken by the DEA research and supply vessel, the mv S. A.  Agulhas II.

Annual departure times to the various bases are usually as follows:

  • Antarctica           - During December
  • Marion Island      - During April
  • Gough Island      - During September

Each expedition is made up of the following DEA support personnel:

Sanae (Antarctica)
Marion island
Gough Island
1 Doctor
1 Medical Orderly
1 Medical Orderly
2 Diesel Mechanics
1 Base Engineer
1 Communication Technician
1 Mechanical Engineer/Technician
1 Communication Engineer
1 Diesel Mechanic
1 Communication Engineer/Technician
 1 Diesel Mechanic  
1 Electrician or Electrical Engineer/Technician
 1 Environmental Control Officer

Appointments for the above DEA support personnel posts are fixed term contracts in the public service with the duration about 15 to 18 months. In scientific posts the periods of appointment vary, and are determined by the training required in a specific instance as well as the time required for the writing up of results upon return from the expedition. Normally, such appointments do not exceed a period of three years. The time spent on one of the Islands or in Antarctica itself is usually between 12 to 14 months.

Should more than one applicant be found successful for an advertised post, a position at one of the other bases will be offered to candidates who are suitable and interested.

A Team Leader for SANAE, Gough and Marion Islands is selected from the expedition team and performs the duties he/she is qualified for, as well as the required leadership duties. A thorough knowledge of administration and staff control is essential. Knowledge of scientific research is a recommendation. An appropriate B-degree is essential.

Current Vacancies for SANAE 2016

We are looking for applications for the Gough Island overwintering team.
Available position can be viewed at Department of Environmental Affairs website

Follow link bellow check available positions

Available Positions

Ensure that you read and follow the instructions on how and where your application should be made.

Individual Training

Successful candidates will undergo training in the field of the work for which they are appointed. Subsistence and Travel allowances, as applicable to the Government Service, will be paid in all cases where applicants are sent for training to centres other than their home base.

Team Training

A two to three week team training period is carried out in Cape Town prior to departure of an expedition. The purpose of this is to prepare the members for the expedition and includes inter alia:

  • cooking
  • fire fighting
  • first aid
  • lectures on life under Antarctic/ Island conditions
  • self development
  • crevasse resque and rope work for Antarctic expeditions (SANAE only)
  • heavy vehicle training for Antarctic expeditions (SANAE only)

General benefits

Protective clothing for use during the expedition is issued in Cape Town free of charge and most items remain the property of the recipient. It is, however, necessary to take additional personal clothing for use indoors. At the bases most amenities are provided free of charge. This includes living quarters, medical and recreation facilities and, of course, food. In short, except for personal toiletries, camera equipment and telephone calls, expedition members have little other expenses during their stay. Standard income tax procedures do, however, apply. Upon completion of the expedition, a bonus is payable to each member on condition that his work and base duties were carried out to the satisfaction of the DEA.


Public Servants must submit their applications via their respective Departments/Administration. Selected candidates will be required to undergo personal interviews and, if successful, proceed for medical examinations. A day is required for these purposes. Applicants residing outside the immediate vicinity of Pretoria will be reimbursed for their travel costs. Applicants who choose to travel by road or by air will be refunded the cost of the most economic transport (bus or first class train ticket) only.

Applications be submitted on a Z83 form with a copy of a comprehensive CV, certified copies of qualifications and ID document in order to be considered, and filling in the biographical questionare would be of benefit to the applicant.

forms:     Z83 Goverment application
            Biographical questionaire

Completed application forms can be forwarded to:

Director-General: Department of Environment Affairs
Human Resources - attention: Shirley Bulu
Private Bag X4390

or hand-delivered to:

14 Loop Street, Cape Town.

For questions OR to APPLY BY EMAIL please contact:

Susan Vosloo (Human Resources)

email: svosloo@environment.gov.za,
tel:      012-310 3570,
fax:     012-320 5450

The National Department of Environmental Affairs is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign qualifications evaluated by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA). Correspondence will be limited to successful candidates only.  If you have not been contacted within three 3 months after the closing date of the advertisement, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. The Department reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Appointment Requirements

Medical Doctor Sample Add

Applicants must be registered as general practitioners with the SA Medical and Dental council.

Medical Orderly Sample Add

Applicants must either be registered with the SA Nursing Council or must be/have been operational medical orderlies in the Permanent Force of the SANDF. Extensive experience in the handling of casualties will be a strong recommendation.

Communication Engineers or (Electronic) Technicians Sample Add

A four-year degree as prescribed in the Engineering Profession of South Africa (Act 114 of 1990) with at least two years practical experience.National Diploma for Technicians or equivalent. Experience in HF and Computer Communication, network (LAN/WAN) will be a recommendation.

Electrical Engineers or Technicians Sample Add

A four-year degree as prescribed in the Engineering Profession of South Africa (Act 114 of 1990) with at least two years practical experience.

Mechanical Engineer Sample Add

A four-year degree as prescribed in the Engineering Profession of South Africa (Act 114 of 1990) with at least two years practical experience.

Industrial Technician Mechanical Sample Add

National Diploma (T or N stream) or registration as an Engineering Technician with at least two years experience.