South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas​


Latest Training Resources

GIS Day 2021

The South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas team hosted a GIS day on 17 November 2021. GIS day is an international event that celebrates Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The day aimed to educate and demonstrate real-world GIS applications that are making a difference in our society.

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SARVA Workshop at ACCESS “Perspectives on Global Change” Conference 2020

In this workshop session, we will present SARVA 3.0 Beta Portal and demonstrate a number of our new tools including:

1. Climate Risk Atlas: a decision support tool that combines spatial information on historical climate data, projections, impacts, and response actions.

2. Air Quality Dashboard: interactive visualizations of estimated daily PM2.5 values across South Africa. This method uses weather data and remote sensing data to predict historical air quality.

3. SDG Goal 3 (Health) Dashboard: a tool that links open data resources to targets and indicators of human health and well-being in South Africa at the local and district municipality scale.

4. Updated Data collections to further support global change research

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The South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas is an open access platform that unites data to solve complex interconnected problems. SARVA is a living collection of global change resources – including scientific data and long-term observations, static content, references to documentation and reports, and other digital objects.

SARVA is an initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation and forms a 10-year Global Change Grand Challenge. It is currently in its third phase of implementation. 

Open Spatial Datasets
Risk Profiles
Vulnerability Indicators
SDG Indicators Linked to Data

Featured Data

South Africa active COVID-19 vaccination sites as of 25 September 2021

This dataset demarcates the COVID-19 vaccination sites across South Africa, as published by the South African National Department of Health on 02 August 2021. The address of the vaccination sites is provided for each of the locations. 

South African Census of Commercial Agriculture
SDG 2: Indicator 2.4.1

The 2017 Agriculture Census produced by the Department of Statistics South Africa  is a country-wide census of commercial agriculture and includes variables such as the type of farm ownership, production land, agricultural products, and agricultural losses,

Daily air quality estimates for urban centers in Africa
SDG 11: Indicator 11.6.2

This dataset contains daily estimates of PM2.5 particulate matter in 1466 cities across Africa as well as an additional 496 smaller population clusters in South Africa.

South African hazardous events mortalities data
SDG 1: Indicator 1.5.1D

Supporting data for – Davis-Reddy, Claire & Hilgart, Amelia. (2021). Towards an interoperable National Hazards Events Database for South Africa. Frontiers in Climate. 

COVID-19 Vulnerability Metrics for South Africa

The spreadsheet provides a list of 52 spatial indicators with open access download links that can be used to map the potential high risk areas for spread of COVID-19, the vulnerability of people to the diseases, and the ability of the healthcare system to cope with the infected population.

Population Living in Poverty
SDG 2: Indicator 1.2.1

The dataset shows estimates of the total population living in poverty. The data was allocated to mesozones by combining with a base mesozone layer. The estimate is a sum of income levels below the upper bound poverty line. 

Risk and Vulnerability

The world is facing a number of complex global challenges or risks. These include changes in the climate system as well as changes in biophysical and human systems such as urbanisation, deforestation, biodiversity loss and, more recently, the rise of pandemics.

Tracking risks and identifying the susceptibility of communities, settlements, or ecosystems to these risks will assist in building more sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient. 


SARVA 3.0 presents the spatial and temporal characteristics of a growing number of risks facing South Africa in order to enable decision-makers to identify vulnerable regions, ecosystems and communities. 


SARVA 3.0 provides access to datasets and interactive visualisations of 53 vulnerability indicators that can be used to measure the ability of environmental, economic, and social systems to cope with global change. 


The district-level Sustainable Development Goal indicator tool links higher spatial and temporal resolution data from a variety of sources to each of the 17 SDGs and associated targets and indicators. We currently have data that covers 15 out of the 17 goals. Click on the SDG logos to view each of the data collections