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Maps and graphics: Environmental geographic information systems (EGIS)

    National Land Cover data release       Interactive map service for Renewable Energy
Distribution maps for mammals in South Africa
Protected areas database
National Land Cover 2013/2014 data set
Protected Areas Register
Protected Areas Database Revision Tool
Renewable Energy EIA Application Database for SA


The Environment Geographic Information Systems (EGIS) website provides access to baseline geospatial data and services to the users of geospatial technology. The Department of Environmental Affairs works with the Committee on Spatial Information and the broader GIS community to define the data architecture, systems, standards, policies and processes for a fully integrated and effective spatial data infrastructure for the country.

The EGIS website is currently under construction. During this time the most important datasets and map viewers will be accessible from this page.

For any other GIS related enquiries contact the EGIM section in DEA.


Distribution maps for Certain Indigenous Species in South Africa


The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) facilitated a process to develop distribution maps for certain indigenous species.

These distribution maps are being developed as a phased process; hence, the distribution maps available on this website involve those indigenous species that are most commonly translocated within the wildlife industry. 

Invitation to comment on Notice 727 of 2016 (Gazette No. 40398)


Closing Date: 2 December 2016


Stakeholders are invited to submit comments to the Department of Environmental Affairs, or any scientific information that might not have been considered during the process of developing and finalising the distribution maps, namely full details of the publication (author; year of publication; title of publication; publisher; place of publication; and the relevant page number in respect of each species to which the comments relate). This information will be used to refine the natural distribution ranges as indicated in the distribution maps.

The following procedure to submit comments must be followed:

  • Download the template for comments and save it as a “word” document;
  • Type comments on the template;
  • Use the link to the e-mail provided (, and attach the template with comments;
  • Submit comments by not later than 2 December 2016.

Comments that have been submitted after the closing date, or incomplete scientific references, may be disregarded.

Inquiries can be directed to Ms Makganthe Maleka by e-mail on, or by phone on 012 – 399 8865.

Any mapviewer related inquiries could be send to Mr Deon Marais by e-mail on, or by phone on 012 – 399 9295.

Supporting documents:

SA Protected Areas database


South African Protected Areas Database (SAPAD) is a GIS inventory of all protected and conservation areas in South Africa. The database also includes data on privately owned protected areas. The quarter 3 – 2016 data release is now available for download.

The SAPAD is maintained and updated on a regular basis and the latest data is released on a quarterly basis. The data download contains data (shapefile format), metadata and definitions document in one zipped file.

For more information, visit the EGIS website.


National Land Cover 1990 and 2013/2014


Land cover data is a crucial reference dataset that informs a wide variety of activities ranging from environmental planning and protection, development planning, economic development, compliance monitoring, enforcement and strategic decision making.

The National Land Cover 1990 and 2013-14 datasets provides 35 and 72 classes for available years. The data includes classes ranging from agriculture, forestry, vegetation, wetlands, mining and built up areas to name a few. 

The data sets was acquired by the department with open user license from GeoTerraImage.

Please note: The Department of Environmental Affairs will be receiving updated versions of other National Land Cover products. If you need assistance or have questions, please feel free to e-mail your contact details to

Dear Customer

The Department of Environmental Affairs will be receiving updated versions of other National Land Cover products such as the 1990 National Land Cover - 34 classes dataset.  If you stand in need of such data products, please feel free to register your contact details on the URL below.

 Land Cover 1990, 35 Classes Size Format
Metadata Reports Stats Dates 1990 4.33 MB
Original UTM 35 North Metadata 1990 248 MB
Reprojected GEO Metadata 1990 230 MB
Reprojected UTM 35 South Metadata 1990 underneath here 248 MB
Land Cover 1990, 72 Classes Size Format
Re-projected GEO 84 251 MB
Original UTM 35 south 1990 271 MB
Re-projected UTM 35 south 1990 271 MB
ERDAS UTM 35 Hillshade 1990 4.06 GB
SA Landcover Report 1990 4.49 MB
Land Cover 2013-14, 35 Classes Size Format
Metadata Reports Stats Dates 2013-14 5.51 MB
Original UTM 35 north 222 MB
Reprojected GEO 2013-14 208 MB
Reprojected UTM 35 south 2013-14 223 MB
Land Cover Thematic Data 2013-14, 72 Classes Size Format
Land Cover 3D-Hillshade 4.01BG
Land Cover Thematic Data -  Original_UTM35north 300MB
Land Cover Thematic Data -  Reprojected_GEO 279MB
Land Cover Thematic Data -  Reprojected_UTM35south 299MB
Supporting Metadata Documentation 1.7MB


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South African Protected and Conservation Areas 


Register of Protected Areas (PAR)


According to the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003), The Minister must maintain a register called the Register of Protected Areas. The Register must:

(a) contain a list of all protected areas;

(b) indicate the kind of protected area in each case; and

(c) contain any other information determined by the Minister.

In 2012 a multi-user spatial database on protected areas was developed. A Register of Protected Areas was therefore developed for reporting and mapping purposes of protected areas that were included into this database. All legally declared protected areas can be searched and viewed through the use of the Register.

The database is called the Protected and Conservation Areas database (PACA) and comprises of all data required for the Register of Protected Areas as well as data on conservation areas (areas responsibly managed for biodiversity conservation but not legally declared as protected areas).

This map service shows the various types of protected areas and conservation areas in South Africa. Users can generate reports and statistics.

For access to the Register, click on the “Register of Protected Areas”. 


Protected Areas Database Revision Tool


Registered users can comment on or upload information that allows us to improve the database. As a registered user, you will be able to:

  • View the data in a map and list format
  • Search the database
  • Select and open a protected area record and view the details of that area
  • Edit reserve details via a simple on-screen dialogue and submit the edited version to the Department
  • Upload supporting documentation and GIS data
  • Add a new reserve to the database
  • Keep track of your submissions

Protected Areas Database Collaboration Site (

The database distinguishes between various types and sub-types of protected areas and conservation areas. Protected area types include:

  • National Parks
  • Nature Reserves
  • Special Nature Reserves
  • Mountain Catchment Areas
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Protected Environments
  • Forest Nature Reserves
  • Forest Wilderness Areas
  • Specially Protected Forest Areas
  • Marine Protected Areas

Conservation areas range from Biosphere Reserves to Conservancies and Botanical Gardens. The data will be available for non-commercial use by downloading from this portal. Please review the License Agreement before downloading the data.

The database is being created by the Department of Environmental Affairs.

 Renewable Energy 



The South African Renewable Energy EIA Application Database contains spatial data for renewable energy applications for environmental authorisation. It includes spatial and attribute information for both active (approved and in process with valid authorisations) and non-active (lapsed or replaced by amendments) applications.

New sites will be systematically added to the database in subsequent releases. The data is released on a quarterly basis.

Data is captured and managed on a parcels level as well as aggregated to the project level. Only outer boundaries are provided in this release.

Note to the RE industry:

Please submit any discrepancies, possible errors and comments i.t.o. the Renewable Energy EIA Application Map to

GIS products for RE available

Unpublished Draft REDZs Dataset 


The Wind and Solar PV Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment- REDZs Dataset (unpublished draft) contains spatial data for the Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) boundaries in South Africa.

The Wind and Solar PV Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment - REDZs Dataset is provided for download as a zip file, containing a shape file for the Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) boundaries and a metadata document.

This dataset is for information purposes only, until it is finalised as an official dataset.

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