About Us

Our Strategic Intent

To be a world-class civil aviation regulator.


To regulate civil aviation safety and security in support of the sustainable development of the aviation industry.

Brand Promise:

Keeping you safe in the sky


Service excellence – Service delivery ahead of customer expectations, striving to always exceed customer expectations.

Teamwork – Working with others and taking joint accountability for the results.

Integrity – Maintain high ethical standards and approach issues professionally with integrity, without any bias and in a transparent manner that engenders trust amongst all our stakeholders.

Collaboration – Working together to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

SACAA Mandate

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is an agency of the Department of Transport (DoT), established on 01 October 1998, following the enactment of the now repealed South African Civil Aviation Authority Act, 1998 (Act No. 40 of 1998). This Act was replaced by the Civil Aviation Act, 2009 (Act No. 13 of 2009), which came into effect on 31 March 2010.

As outlined in the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) (as amended by Act No. 29 of 1999), the SACAA is a Schedule 3A public entity. The PFMA designates the SACAA’s Board of Directors as the organisation’s Accounting Authority responsible for governance, while the Minister of Transport is the Executive Authority.

The Civil Aviation Act provides for the establishment of a stand-alone authority, mandated with controlling, promoting, regulating, supporting, developing, enforcing, and continuously improving levels of safety and security throughout the civil aviation industry. The above is achieved by complying with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), while considering the local context.

The SACAA, through a Ministerial order, is mandated with the administrative functioning of the aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation Division (AIID), while the Department of Transport is responsible for the functional running of this unit.

At the time of establishment, the SACAA was also tasked with the running of the Flight Inspection Unit, whose aim is to conduct calibration and flight inspection of ground radio navigational aids in South Africa and beyond.


The international Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations (UN) specialised agency, established by 54 member States on 7 December 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).

ICAO works with the Convention’s 193 Member States and industry groups to reach consensus on international civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies in support of a safe, efficient, secure, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible civil aviation sector. These SARPs and policies are used by ICAO Member States to ensure that their local civil aviation operations and regulations conform to global norms, which in turn permit more than 100,000 daily flights in aviation’s global network to operate safely and reliably in every region of the world.

In addition to its core function of resolving consensus-driven international SARPs and policies among its Member States and industry, and among many other priorities and programmes, ICAO also coordinates assistance and capacity-building for States in support of numerous aviation development objectives; produces global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation; monitors and reports on numerous air transport sector performance metrics; and audits States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in the areas of safety and security.

The Republic of South Africa, as a signatory State to ICAO, is committed to working with the international community to ensure safer and secure skies. This is coordinated through the Department of Transport; and all aviation organs of State are required to collaborate to achieve this mandate. The SACAA, through the Civil Aviation Act, 2009 (Act No. 13 of 2009), has a mandate to regulate aviation safety and security in accordance with ICAO prescripts.

ICAO Critical Elements

ICAO Contracting States, in their effort to establish and implement an effective safety and security oversight system, need to consider the critical elements (CE) for safety and security oversight. Critical elements are essentially the safety and security advancement tools of a safety and security oversight system and are required for the effective implementation of policies and associated procedures related to safety and security. States are expected to implement the safety and security oversight critical elements in a way that assumes the shared responsibility of the State and the aviation community.

The critical elements of a safety and security oversight system encompass the whole spectrum of civil aviation activities. The effective implementation of the CEs is an indication of a State’s capability regarding safety and security oversight.

The following diagram demonstrates the regulatory areas depicted under the different critical elements.  Critical Elements 1 to 5 pertain to the establishment of the safety and security systems, while CE 6 to 8 address the effective implementation of such systems by the Regulator:

Board of Directors

The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Transport and is representative of aviation industry, management and business expertise. Through a Performance Agreement with the Minister, the Board is accountable for the performance of the Authority in carrying out its statutory functions and achieving objectives. The National Department of Transport will monitor the activities of the Authority.

Mr Ernest Khosa


Ms Poppy Khoza

Director of Civil Aviation

Mr Surendra Sooklal

Chair of Audit and Risk Committee

Ms Tshitshi Phewa

Chair of Safety, Security and Environment Committee

Ms Bulelwa Koyana

Chair of Human Resources Committee

Mr Tshepo Peege


Adv Mpati Lebakeng


Ms Nivashnee Naraindath

Company Secretary

Executive Management

The management of the SACAA has been structured along three core responsibility levels; the Executive Management level, the Senior Management level and the Operational level that is organised according to technical and support departments.

The key role of the Executive is:

  • The leadership of the organisation
  • The co-ordination and implementation of strategy
  • Overseeing Operations
  • Develop and maintain positive links with the industry
  • The co-ordination of the international relations of the SACAA with organisations such as SADC, ICAO, AFCAC, and other CAAs.

The key role of Senior Management is to oversee, set, monitor and enforce standards in key areas such as:

  • The Technical departments (Aviation Infrastructure, Aviation Safety Operations and Aviation Safety Standards, Aviation Security and Accidents and Incidents Investigations).
  • The Support departments (Legal and Aviation Compliance, Internal Audit, Finance, Human Resources and Corporate Services).

These departments are key in ensuring the efficient functioning of the organisation, and to ensure that the purpose of the organisation is fulfilled.

Poppy Khoza

Director of Civil Aviation

Asruf Seedat

Executive: Finance

Babalwa Ndandani

Executive: Legal & Aviation Compliance

Phindiwe Gwebu

Executive: Corporate Services

Gawie Bestbier

Executive: Aviation Safety Infrastructure

Eric Mataba

Acting Executive: Aviation Safety Operations

King Sotshede

Chief Audit Executive

Thobile Masooa

Executive: Human Resources

Nivashnee Naraindath

Company Secretary

Jason Tshabalala

Executive: Aviation Security

Themba Thabethe

Executive: Accident and Incident Investigation *

*  The Executive: Accident and Incident Investigation heads the Accident and Incident Investigation Division, which administratively reports to the DCA and functionally to the Department of Transport.

Areas of Oversight
The roles and responsibilities of the SACAA revolve around the following three areas of oversight: 
Aviation Security

The mandate of the Aviation Security Division relates to the security of airports, air operators, cargo, the safe transportation of dangerous goods as well as the oversight of aviation security training organisations.

Aviation Infrastructure

The Air Safety Infrastructure Division is responsible for ensuring that South African airports, helistops, heliports and airspace are safe. In addition, this division also ensures that off-airport structures that may affect the safety of air navigation comply with all safety standards as required by the Regulations. The division is also responsible for the approval of flight procedures and the licensing of Air Traffic Controllers. Furthermore, the division is responsible for the provision of aeronautical safety information to the industry in accordance with ICAO requirements.

Aviation Safety Operations

This division ensures the regulatory compliance and safety oversight of all Air Operators, Aviation Training Organisations, Designated Flight Examiners, Designated Aviation Medical Examiners and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers. In addition, the Air Safety Operations Division is also responsible for Flight Inspections, Maintenance of Examinations, Testing Standards and Aviation Medical Standards in the South African aviation context. The division also certifies the safety compliance of Aviation Navigation Aids.  

The Division is also concerned with ensuring that all aircraft that fly in our airspace are airworthy. Included in the Division’s mandate is the upkeep of the civilian aircraft register; ensuring that civilian aircraft are maintained in accordance with requirements, oversight of Aircraft Maintenance Organisations, the approval of aircraft modifications and Supplementary Type Certificates and to ascertain that maintenance engineers adhere to the applicable regulations. 

  • The SACAA has once again achieved 100% on all its performance targets in the last financial year.
  • The 100% achievement against the approved Annual Performance Plan targets is the eighth (8th) such achievement in the past ten (10) years. This outcome has been confirmed by the Internal Audit Division and the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA).
  • The SACAA achieved another clean audit from the Auditor-General with no material findings. This is the ninth (9th) clean audit since the Auditor-General started auditing the SACAA ten (10) years ago.  
  • Over and above achieving an unqualified audit outcome in the 2021/22 financial year-end audit by AGSA, the SACAA recorded zero irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure during the reporting All undisputed invoices received by the Finance Division were paid within thirty (30) days as required.
  • 100% of the Parliamentary Questions received were processed and dispatched to the Department of Transport within the prescribed times.
  • Furthermore, the organisation implemented the Ethics and Fraud and Corruption Annual Plans, achieving 100% in both targets.
Major Campaigns and Show-Stopping Events
  • The SACAA hosted the National Aviation Conference (NAC) on 08 April 2021 to provide a platform for the Regulator and the aviation industry to share knowledge for their mutual enrichment and collaboration, with the view to advancing safety and security within aviation and to recalibrate the industry after the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The SACAA activated a security awareness campaign, promoting the ICAO’s Year of Security Culture” (YOSC), at twelve (12) airports around the country. The campaign was undertaken in partnership with the airports, security cluster departments and entities, private security companies contracted to the airports, local community representatives, the airlines and airport The year-long campaign was hailed as a resounding success by ICAO and received overwhelmingly positive media coverage on both radio and television in the country.
  • The SACAA successfully hosted a National Aviation Gender Summit (NAGS), on 24 August 2021 attended by 285 delegates, and also launched the “You too can play your Part” event in February 2022 to advance the transformation agenda within the industry.
  • The SACAA also hosted a successful National Aviation Gender Summit (NAGS) on 19 August 2022, characterised by international and local contributions of high calibre, dealing with the issue of gender equity in aviation,
Leading in the Global Arena
  • South Africa was re-elected as Chairperson of the ICAO Safety Management Panel at a meeting held from 29 November 2021 to 10 December 2021.
  • South Africa was elected to preside over the 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada on 27 September 2022 .  The representation by the Director of Civil Aviation, Ms Poppy Khoza, was widely welcomed. She was nominated to be president by Czechoslovakia on behalf of the European Union and the nomination was supported by Brazil, Australia, India and Russia. The nomination was unanimously adopted by all member States. The Director of Civil Aviation has the honour of having been the first female to preside over the Assembly in 78 years.
Innovation and digitisation
  • The SACAA launched a smart card for aviation professionals, replacing the booklet that had been used to identify personnel. The launch took place in April 2021, making South Africa one of the few countries in the world to use a smart card where licence holders and operators can access the data of aviation personnel in real time from anywhere in the world. The introduction of the card licence moved the SACAA one step forward towards achieving fully integrated information and communications technology (ICT) systems.

2022 Special Awards by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the AFI Group 

The South African Civil Aviation Authority’s (SACAA) Director of Civil Aviation, Ms. Poppy Khoza, was awarded Special Awards by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the AFI Group in Dakar, Senegal, on Monday, 14 November 2022.

Ms. Khoza was bestowed with the awards for outstanding sector leadership and for her excellent Presidency at the recent 41st International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly. The accolades were handed over at the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) Pilot Implementation Project (PIP) event that was launched by 17 African Ministers of Transport and Aviation. Also present were South African Deputy Minister of Transport, Hon. Sindisiwe Chikunga and Mr. Levers Mabaso, the South African Permanent Representative to ICAO and first Vice-President of the ICAO Council.

2022 Gloria Heath Trophy:

The Director of Civil Aviation, Ms. Poppy Khoza, was the first recipient of the Flight Safety Foundation’s Gloria Heath Trophy, which recognises notable achievements in civil aviation.  Ms. Khoza received the award at the Foundation’s Networking and Awards Dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, in the USA. She was selected to receive the award from an accomplished group of nominees, because of her leadership of the Authority and the achievements of the SACAA during her tenure, and for her role in promoting gender diversity in international aviation.

2021 Changemakers Recognition Award:

The Director of Civil Aviation, Ms. Poppy Khoza, was the recipient of the Changemakers Recognition Award in the leadership category during the Aviators Africa Tower Awards.

2021 African Regulator of the Year:

In August 2021, the SACAA was recognised with this Award by the African Business Leadership Awards

2019 Standard Bank Top Women Awards:

On 15 August 2019, the South African Civil Aviation Authority was selected as one of the esteemed Gender Icons in commemoration of 25 Years of Democracy at the 16th Standard Bank Top Women Awards. 

2018 .Gov Institute:

The SA Civil Aviation Authority has been certified a Best Performing Entity by the .Gov Institute, following the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2017/18 audit outcomes, wherein the organisation achieved a clean audit outcome that relates to the five financial years up to the 2017/18 financial year.

2018 CEO Global Pan African Awards:

On 25 October 2018, the Director of Civil Aviation scooped the Aviation Sector and Regional (SADC South) Award at the CEO Global Pan African Awards.  CEO Global champions the growth and prosperity of the African continent and as part of these efforts, recognition is given to the women and men leading and achieving in their regional sectors.  CEO Global has been at the forefront of this recognition for many years, and the finalists represent some of the very best.

2018 EU Africa Women Summit Award:

In realising the rights of women, the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development in conjunction with the African Leadership Magazine and Amazons Watch Magazine, presented the EU – Africa Women Summit in Paris from 4 to 6 July 2018.

This Summit brought together the thoughts, insights and divergent views of female luminaries from the worlds of business and politics in the EU as well as their African counterparts, who have shown extraordinary commitment towards the defence of human rights, as well as that of stakeholders and experts on issues relating to women’s rights, equality and justice.  Ms Poppy Khoza was announced as the winner of the Impactful Leadership Award during this event.

Best-performing Institution in Transport:

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) won the award as the ‘Best Performing Institution’; at the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 Annual Transport Awards.  These awards are selected ahead of all provincial departments of transport as well as agencies responsible for various modes of transport.  The main purpose of these awards is to recognise and award excellence by transport officials from the national and provincial departments of transport as well as transport public entities.

2016 Oliver Empowerment Awards:

The Director of Civil Aviation, Ms Poppy Khoza, scooped the Top Empowered Public Service Leader of the Year Award at the 15th annual Oliver Empowerment Awards ceremony on 14 April 2016.  In 2017 the SACAA won the Public Service Award and in 2018 Ms Khoza won the Top Empowered: Business Leader of the Year Award.  The Oliver Empowerment Awards are South Africa’s premier awards for leadership and innovation in empowerment and transformation and have created a legacy of inspiration for the country’s business elite.

2015 National Business Awards:

On 19 November 2015, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) received the Top Performing Public Service Award and achieved second position for the Transport and Logistics Award at the National Business Awards. The SACAA also won the in the Investing in People category of the National Business Awards in November 2017.

The National Business Awards are regarded as ‘the Oscars of South African Business’, and give recognition to the success, innovation and ethics of South African private companies, state-owned entities and government departments across all sectors. They are bestowed in acknowledgement of inspirational leadership and outstanding performance throughout the year.

Its head, Ms Poppy Khoza, walked away with the ‘Best Chief Executive Officer in Transport’ during the 2015 and 2018 awards ceremonies and was the runner up in this category during the 2016 awards.

2014 – 2016 Best-performing Institution in Transport:

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) won the award as the ‘Best Performing Institution’; at the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 Annual Transport Awards.  These awards are selected ahead of all provincial departments of transport as well as agencies responsible for various modes of transport.  The main purpose of these awards is to recognise and award excellence by transport officials from the national and provincial departments of transport as well as transport public entities.

  • The SACAA continued with its Outreach Programme, aimed at exposing learners from disadvantaged communities to careers and opportunities in aviation. In the reporting period, a total of 270 schools were visited and a total of 34 881 learners were reached across the country. 
  • Additionally, the SACAA embarked on its first-ever Aviation Youth Show held outside of the borders of the Republic of South Africa. The SACAA-Lesotho Aviation Youth Show was hosted by the Director of the Lesotho Department of Civil Aviation and was supported and attended by the Lesotho Transport and Education Ministers. A total of 48 schools and 2340 of the Mathematics & Science subject stream learners attended the Aviation Youth Show in Lesotho. The event received coverage on the Lesotho national television broadcaster
Social Responsibility
  • The SACAA has delivered all of its socio-economic development programmes, such as the Child/Youth-headed Household Grocery Project, the School Support Programme and the Maths and Science Project, as These socio-economic development programmes are taking their cue from the principle of… “A little goes a long way”
Wellness of our People
  • To support and help employees to achieve work-life balance and cope with working during the pandemic, the SACAA successfully hosted its Employee Wellness Day event, followed by a number of wellness programmes. The programme focused on the mind, body and soul.
  • The SACAA is a fully transformed organisation with a gender split of 51% females and 49% males.
International Assessment
  • In November 2022, the Minister of Transport, Hon. Fikile Mbalula, an­nounced the final outcome of the United States of America’s Federal Aviation Administration (USA-FAA) assessment on the SACAA where South Africa retained its Category 1 status in their International Aviation Safety Assessment (AISA) and the preliminary outcome of the ICAO security audit where South Africa did not attract any Significant Security Concerns.

The costs of the regulatory services and oversight activities of the SACAA are funded from mainly three revenue streams, namely –

  1. A passenger safety charge that is collected by airline operators on behalf of the SACAA from departing scheduled flight passengers (considered an indirect source); 
  2. An aviation fuel levy collected by wholesale distributors from entities not covered by the passenger safety charge (considered an indirect source); and
  3. “User Fees” which include mainly licence and approval and other regulatory service fees (considered a direct source).

A fourth revenue stream namely an annual grant from the Department of Transport is intended to cover the costs of investigations by a department into civil aviation incidents and accidents on behalf of the Department of Transport. A further additional allocation was received from the Department of Transport to address some of the effects of COVID19 on the revenue of the SACAA.

The funding model of the SACAA consists of the following revenue generating streams:

  • 61.3% Passenger Safety Charge  
  • 16.4% User Fees 
  • 3.6% Fuel Levy 
  • 13.6% Department of Transport 
  • 5.1% Other Income
SACAA Structure

The Senior Management Structure for the South African Civil Aviation Authority