Weather Service, govt celebrate partnership

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pretoria - The South African Weather Service (SAWS) today celebrated its 10th anniversary as a government institution.

Over the past 10 years, SAWS, as an agency of government through the Department of Environmental Affairs, has been the authoritative voice for weather, and proactively improved its services to the general public, aviation, insurance and many other weather sensitive industries.

Speaking at an occasion to mark the occasion, SAWS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Linda Makuleni, said they are trying to work closely with their customers.

According to Makuleni, SAWS services were rated at 84 percent by its clients.

"We are planning as an organization to increase the ratings to the 90s," she said.

Makuleni also said they were also trying to work very closely with their counterparts in the SADC region.

SAWS has, over the years, improved in terms of technology and skills development.

SAWS technological development is characterised by the first African lightning detection system with the ability to accurately pinpoint lightning strokes within a 600-metre or less radius.

It has also upgraded its countrywide radar network, with 12 Doppler radars and is now able to provide much better information on a very short time scale, severe weather events such as severe thunderstorms and flooding.