It is nearing the end of the 2018-2020 research cycle within the SANAP funding instrument and new proposals for the next cycle (2021-2023) have already been submitted. This is a brief reflection of institutions that are involved within SANAP.  All detail relating to the funding framework guiding SANAP awards and proposals; as well as research plans and strategies that need to be taken into account are available on the Antarctic Legacy Digital repository. 

South Africa’s geographical coverage of the Southern Hemisphere oceans and access to the Antarctic region. The coloured lines represent the domains covered by annual South African research and logistical voyages (carried out by the S.A. Agulhas II): Marion Island, Gough and Tristan du Cunha Islands, SANAE IV base, South Georgia Island and South Sandwich Islands.  The blue lines represent the northern and southern extent of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, while the magenta line represents the position of the Agulhas Current and Retroflection.  The maximum winter sea-ice extent is indicated.  The background shading represents the ocean depth (meters below sea-level).

Excerpt from the framework document: “The mandate of the National Research Foundation (NRF) is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, and innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge and thereby to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of all the people of the Republic (NRF Act, 1998). In support of its purpose, the NRF Strategy 2020 that aims at two strategic outcomes, namely a vibrant and globally connected national system of innovation, and a representative research and technical workforce.”

“The South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) is a region-specific, theme-driven funding instrument. SANAP research addresses the research themes detailed in the South African Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research Plan (2014-2024) and underpins by the overarching South African Marine and Antarctic Research Strategy (MARS) of 2015.  The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research Plan (the Research Plan) is focused on an integrative systems approach to understanding the evolution of the earth systems and ecosystems in the 21st Century.

SANAP Projects host at different Institutions


The Research Plan provides the overarching framework of operations for SANAP research activities and follows the integrated progression from Earth Systems to Ecosystems to Human Systems in the research themes. Human activities and socio-political complexities in this international arena are of  equal importance.



Projects by Themes
Earth Systems 17 59%
Engineering, Technology & Innovation 1 3%
Human Enterprise 1 3%
Knowledge development 2 7%
Living Systems 8 28%

Projects by Institutions
CSIR – Natural Resources and the Environment 4 14%
DEFF (Oceans and Coasts) 1 3%
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University 2 4%
NWU 1 3%
South African National Space Agency 2 4%
Stellenbosch University 4 14%
University of Cape Town 5 17%
University of Fort Hare 1 3%
University of Johannesburg 2 4%
University of KwaZulu-Natal 1 3%
University of Pretoria 5 17%
University of the Witwatersrand 1 3%


Ria Olivier, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa.

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