In 2010, the South African Weather Service celebrated the delivery of 150 years of meteorological services to South Africa, It was with the promulgation of Government Notice 363 of 26 October 1860, that the Cape of Good Hope Meteorological Commission was founded as one of the first formal weather services in the world.

From its early beginning on the 1st of April 1912, in Pretoria, the Library of the Weather Service celebrated its Centenary in 2012. the Library houses a collection that historically went through various phases of development, from reflecting the history of the organization as a whole, including international cooperation, to the development of meteorology in South Africa in particular.

Various stages of development include:-

•  1912-1960: The Weather Service in the Union of South Africa

•  1940: The Meteorological Service resorts under the Department of Defence during the Second World War

•  1949: The Meteorological Service transferred to the Department of Transport and its name officially changed to South African Weather Bureau (SAWB)

•  1986: The SAWB transferred to the Department of Environmental Affairs

•  2001: The South African Weather Service (SAWS) established on 15 July as a Schedule 3A public entity under the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and as from 2009 The South African Weather Service reports to the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The South African Weather Service Act (8 of 2001) provides for the maintenance of the National Meteorological Library (Schedule 1 – Public Good Services).


The South African Weather Service library collection consists mainly of publications in the field of climatology, meteorology and related sciences. Formats range from print to video recordings and electronic resources (eg. DVD/CD, and web access including various subscription based journals and bibliographical databases).

Apart from subject related Books and Serials, the special collections include publications by the organization as publisher, Atlases (e.g. climatological atlases of various geographical areas, cloud atlases and general geographic atlases), Newspaper clippings with regard to climate and weather, collected from as early as 1906 (in chronological order the collection serves as a valuable reference source for case studies of weather events in South Africa), Pamphlets (articles, brochures, reports, ephemera and so-called grey material that do not resort under printed material such as eg. books or serials). Slides and photographs (Pre-1985) of the South African bases at SANAE, Marion and Gough Islands.


Who has access to the Library?:-

•             Staff of the South African Weather Service

•             Students registered with the Regional Training Centre

•             The public via the national interlibrary loan scheme

Access may be obtained to the library during office hours, 8am -16:30, Mondays to Fridays excluding public holidays.

Visitors are welcome to schedule an appointment. Please contact us