The regulatory journey of drone regulations in South Africa

Haafizah Khota, Senior Associate in the Corporate & Commercial practice joined Hugo Ribatika on Newzroom Afrika to discuss The regulatory journey of drone regulations in South Africa.

8 Jul 2024 06:56 Minutes TV interview

Haafizah states that South Africa's drone regulatory framework, established by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), is relatively new. In 2015, SACAA introduced comprehensive regulations for remote-piloted aircraft systems, making South Africa one of the first African countries to formalise drone usage due to increased adoption in private and commercial sectors.

Haafizah explains that the regulations differentiate between private and commercial use. Private use involves recreational activities, while commercial use involves operations for financial gain. Users must adhere to specific parameters for each category, including licence requirements, altitude restrictions, and no-fly zones.

However, Haafizah explains that non-compliance can result in penalties such as fines or imprisonment. For example, commercial drone users operating without the necessary licences or authorisation from SACAA can face fines up to R50,000 or imprisonment for up to ten years.

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