ACCESS Research 

ACCESS has executed many research projects both as ACCESS-funded projects and as ACCESS consortium projects. Below is information about these projects, both past and presently active.


The Application of knowledge for the management of extreme climate events (APECX) project is an NRF funded project which aims develop a understanding extreme climate events and their application in health, agriculture, logistics and land management. The project is led by Professor Willem Landman (University of Pretoria), with co-PIs Dr Neville Sweijd (ACCESS), Prof Hector Chikoore (University of Limpopo), Prof Jennifer Fitchett (WITS University), Prof Nkanyiso Mbatha (University of Zululand) and Dr Katlkego Ncongwane (South African Weather Services). 

See the project page here


EXEBUS is a Belmont forum project led by Professor AJ Smit (UWC) and which undertakes an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) to establish the roles, trends, and range of variability and the extremities of natural and anthropogenic geophysical, biological, governance, socio-economic features and phenomena, and assess their impact on ecological, sociological, governance, and macroeconomic systems and processes in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) of South Africa (SA), Namibia, and Angola. The goal is to strengthen the rational basis for management on relevant spatial and temporal scales (up to 2070). See the EXEBUS promo video here and read more here.  

For more information contact Professor A.J. Smit.


This is a jointly funded project withe Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Foundation. Given the critical climate juncture that humanity has reached, the effect of climate variability, change and climate extremes, directly and indirectly, on human health and well-being is both apparent and anticipated as a key impact in the future. This project seeks to extend the productive relationship among researchers in South Africa and Japan by introducing emerging researchers into the collaboration. The aims are to assist and expose these researchers (on both sides) to new opportunities for data acquisition and analytical techniques for application in the climate and health domain. The project will assist South African and Japanese researchers to develop specific multi-disciplinary collaborations on climate and health sub-projects, leading to expanded cooperation. This will contribute to the development of the Infectious Diseases Early Warning System Bureau in South Africa (erstwhile SATREPS project) and to expand the work to focus on other climate-sensitive diseases, conditions and disorders in a broader geographical area (in southern Africa and Japan). The research will focus on the stage of characterisation of the relationships between climate variability and a set of selected climate-mediated medical conditions and diseases as a mean of developing this new knowledge into applications for prediction at a range of time an space scales. These include an investigation of the variability of malaria incidence at a SADC-wide scale in relation to climate variability, a study of climate drivers of extreme temperature events and their impacts on health, and a study on the use of proxy/pharmaceutical sales data for the assessment of the relationship between climate variability and respiratory illness and diarrhoeal disease incidence. The inclusion of the appropriate emerging researchers (predominantly black and/or female) at the NICD, SAWS, WITS University and SAMRC and their supervisors, is designed to create a climate and health research fraternity in South African which can grow and expand its collaboration with Japanese experts at JAMSTEC, Nagasaki University and the University of Tokyo (and beyond).  The modest two year project will see some technical exchanges among the two countries including study visits and symposia with targeted outcomes and publications and the main outcome of formalised long term collaboration. 

Contact: Dr Neville Sweijd, Professor Masahiro Hasizume

NFCS study

This project, "Development of Funding Model Options for Public Good Weather/Climate Observation Infrastructure and User-tailored Service Delivery Mechanisms in Support for the Implementation of the National Framework for Climate Services" was completed in January 2023 and was funded by the World Bank. The Co-PIs were Professor Guy Midgely (Stellenbosch University) and Dr Neville Sweijd (ACCESS) with partners from UCT, ARC, WITS, UJ and Stellenbosch. The report has been submitted but has not yet been published.  

For more information, please contact Ms Alinah Mtembu.


Establishment of an early-warning system for infectious diseases in Southern Africa, incorporating climate predictions.

iDEWS was completed in 2019.

See the final report here.

For more information visit here and here

In Southern Africa, where poverty is prominent, lives are threatened by infectious diseases. Recent climate changes have increased the possible risks of infectious disease outbreaks in unexpected regions and on scales previously unknown. This project is developing an infectious disease outbreak prediction model that incorporates the influences of a variety of environmental factors into the climate change models in order to predict the outbreaks of malaria, pneumonia, and diarrheal diseases such as cholera that are predominantly affected by climate conditions. The ultimate aim of the research is to build an early warning system that can be applied in implementing effective countermeasures for infectious disease.

By effectively utilizing the informative resources available to government institutions based on the early warning system, the number of people suffering from diseases can be reduced. The predictions can be applied through approaches involving appropriate preventative measures during warning periods and in high-risk regions (including implementation of countermeasures, preparation of medicines and diagnostic kits for an early response). In the future, the system can also be expected to be developed and deployed in areas outside Southern Africa.


The Annual Cycle & Seasonality Research Programme (ACyS) terminated in 2022. It comprised 6 inter-related projects funded as indepenent but related grants by the NRF. This suite of projects was aimed at understanding the drivers and dynamics, variability and role of the annual climate cycle and seasonality on natural and human systems, at a range of time and space scales. Recognizing that climate change manifests through changes to the properties of seasons, in terms of the amplitude (extremes) and timing of the variation in the annual cycle, the programme addressed a range of questions that seek to explore the implications of this. The research programme as a whole comprised 20 different research partner institutions and was part of a series of research and education activities conducted by the ACCESS programme which is hosted by the CSIR and managed by the National Research Foundation’s Global Change Programme Unit. 

More details here.