SANAE 59 Logo

Over the past 60 years, South Africa has sent down an overwintering team to South Africa’s station in Antarctica. This event start early on for applications to be posted for the team and then a huge amount of work go into planning for the next overwinter and takeover period. After months of planning and preparation by different government departments and institutions, the day of departure arrives.

Early on, all the team members arrive. The crew of the S. A. Agulhas II get our South African vessel ready for departure. Takeover personnel, research teams, The Department of Public Works and other institutions arrive to make sure everything is loaded to carry out their tasks during the takeover period.

Misokuhle Bulayane, Mardené de Villiers, Thandiwe Gumede and Zach Mogale of SA Weather services

Back L-r: Thabang Tshupo, Bertus Roos, Andrew Kietzmann, Riaan Marx, Front:Thabo Thebe, Thato Mareme, Markus Viljoen. SANDF drivers team 2019/2020

Back L-r: Thabang Tshupo, Bertus Roos, Andrew Kietzmann, Riaan Marx, Front:Thabo Thebe, Thato Mareme, Markus Viljoen. SANDF drivers team 2019/2020

SANSA colleagues wishing the group farewell. Back (L-R): Anita Engelbrecht, Vhulahani Manukha, Ziyaad Isaacs, Pierre Retief, Jon Ward, Stephanus Schoeman, Thomas Chauque, River Yaffe, Johan O Kennedy Front (L-R): Keitumetse Molamu, Camilla Smyth, Abigail Meyer, Jean Van Zyl

Family members, colleagues  and friends come to say goodbye to their loved ones, who will be gone for more than a year.

Leon George of Public Works saying goodbye to family as he will not be home during the festive season



Mariëtte Wheeler, Bruce Dyer, Linda Clokie, Heine Smith and Mardené de Villiers- Friends from the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa at departure of SA Agulhas

Dr Marnel Mouton of Stellenbosch University with her son Jandre Mouton part of the Sound and Vibration research group

Jandre Mouton, Karl Pferdekamper, Jaco Laas and Ben Steyn of the Sound & Vibration Research Group at Stellenbosch University ready to depart on the S.A. Agulhas II with them Prof Annie Bekker

Our friends from Iziko – Sentinels of the South exhibition Nkosingiphile Mazibuko
& Sesethu Coto

Alexander Oelofse with Family before departure


The overwinter team SANAE 59 is announced. A farewell speech for the team is given by Dr Judy Beaumont (Deputy-Director: Oceans and Coasts of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries). 

SANAE 59 Overwintering Team:

Zach, Thulani, Vhule, Taunyane, Pierre, Aby, Lodrick and John

Medical Doctor and Team Leader : Dr Abigail Paton
Electrical Engineer : Mr Lodrick Hlungwane
Mechanical Engineer : Mr Thulani Ngwaqa
Diesel Mechanic : Mr Michael Taunyane
Diesel Mechanic : Mr John Skeleti
Senior Meteorologist : Mr Zacharia Mogale
Engineer (SANSA) : Mr Pierre Retief
Engineer (SANSA) : Mr Vhulahani Manukha





The following personnel are on board the S.A. Agulhas II as part of the takeover team that are taking responsibility during take-over at the South Africa Station as well as on the journey down south:
Departmental Co-Ordinating Officer (DCO) Ms Kusi Ngxabani
Assistant DCO Mr Onke Nyanda
Administartor Officer Ms Zanele Ntobole
Technical Officer Mr Sibusiso Mhambi
Waste Technicians Mr Mazizi Salmani
Mr Tatulo Fiphaza
Chaplain Chaplain Samuel Britz
Master of the S.A. Agulhas II Captain Gavin Syndercombe

A last few good-byes and photos and a team photo conclude the activities.









The ship’s engines are running, the horn sounds and lastly the ladder is pulled up – off they go to be at sea for little more than a week until the ice shelf is reached.

We wish SANAE 59 a successful time at SANAE IV !

(more images available on Antarctic Legacy of South Africa archive)

© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits
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