South Africa will launch an Earth observation satellite in 2019, as the head of the South African National Space Agency Sansa, Sandile Malinge, announced to a newspaper.
In doing so, South Africa would like to have their own data readily available instead of relying on international satellites. According to the newspaper Mail & Guardian, Sansa buys Spot-6 and Spot-7 data – used by entities such as the departments of human settlements, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and Statistics South Africa – for about R35 million a year - that is almost 3 million USD.
The new satellite, EO-Sat1, will be part of the African Resource Management Constellation, a network of African nations that plan on launching a common Earth observation satellite system. South Africa committed to contributing at least one satellite to the constellation in 2009.