Statistics South Africa Geospatial Strategy – where South Africans work, live and play


Spatial Statistical Data management

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Ashwell Jenneker, Statistics South Africa, South Africa,


The Statistics South Africa Geospatial Strategy has been developed primarily for implementation by organs of the state with active participation from the private geospatial information community. A glance at the current landscape indicates that geospatial information does not meet planning and policy requirements to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030. Furthermore, whilst local government requires geospatial information to fulfil its mandate, resource scarcity is a serious shortcoming.

Despite this, municipalities are best placed to ensure sustained dwelling frame and service delivery information of good quality. The Spatial Data Infrastructure Act (Act No. 54 of 2003) provides for the establishment of the South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI) to regulate the collection, management, maintenance, integration, distribution and utilisation of spatial information in the country. The Act promotes the efficient and effective use of state resources among the different spheres of government, motivated by the fact that it is cost-effective to centralise large volumes of spatial data to be readily available to all in an integrated format.

A SASDI will provide a reliable support environment that gives access to diverse geospatial resources, integrating data from multiple sources, and establishing a set of standards and formats that will ensure more practical benefits to users. Our response to the NDP is that no realistic and sustainable planning or development can be done without an adequate SASDI as a key strategic enabler. This strategy outlines the first steps of Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) towards the implementation and support of a SASDI. Key principles and a generic geospatial value chain are defined in order to assist role players in the geospatial community to find their role in the development of an integrated SASDI. The geospatial value chain further describes how the relevant role players should modify their practices to create greater and more meaningful outcomes.

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