South Africa's CSIR and France renewed an agreement on joint training in remote sensing during the visit to South Africa of French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, in June this year. This agreement created the opportunity for postgraduate studies by young South Africans in France, with tangible benefits already being reaped.
Tsholofelo Mooketsi was a student at the Institute of Satellite/Software Applications (ISSA) of the Department of Communications when she was selected for a joint training programme in remote sensing. Veronica Rammala is a former student of the University of the North¿s Geography Department. They received comprehensive training in the applications of satellite remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Toulouse-based GDTA, the Aerospace Remote Sensing Development Group. The DESS Postgraduate Diploma in Remote Sensing is jointly delivered by the Universities of Paris and Toulouse.
Veronica and Tsholofelo are the second round of students to have
completed their studies in this joint training initiative, which
has been supported financially by the French Government.
The students returned to South Africa for their practical projects - Veronica was tutored at the CSIR Satellite Applications Centre (SAC), where she has now taken up employment. Her project focused on the flooding of the Jukskei river in Alexandra, northeast of Johannesburg and the impact on informal settlements in this area. She used a combination of SPOT and EROS satellite imagery, as well as aerial photography. Tsholofelo joined a Pretoria-based GIS company, GeoSpace, for her tutoring. The students successfully presented and defended their practical projects to an adjudication panel in France in July this year.
Veronica and Tsholofelo are the second round of students to have completed their studies in this joint training initiative, which has been supported financially by the French Government.
The CSIR Satellite Applications Centre (SAC) is the leading remote sensing organisation in southern Africa. Its activities include direct reception of earth observation data from a range of satellites, as well as processing and distribution to customers in all southern African countries and beyond. In addition to standard data sets, the SAC is increasingly involved in the provision of map format products based on satellite earth observation data sets, and in the utilisation of the data for applications in agriculture, urban development, disaster management, water resource management and others.