The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is a Section 3(a) public entity under the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and is governed by a Board. The organisation became a public entity on 15 July 2001 in terms of the South African Weather Service Act (No. 8 of 2001), as amended in 2013. It is an authoritative voice for weather and climate forecasting in South Africa and as a member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) it complies with international meteorological standards. As an Aviation Meteorological Authority, SAWS is designated by the State to provide weather services to the aviation industry, marine and a range of other identified clients and to fulfil a range of international obligations of the government. It provides two distinct services, namely public good services that are funded by government, and paid-for commercial services.

The South African Weather Service's countrywide observational network consists of:

231 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS)
12 Climate Stations (1 x 1st order, 3 x 2nd order & 21 x 3rd order stations)
1180 Rainfall Stations
153 Automatic Rainfall Stations
23 Sea Surface Temperature Stations
12 Voluntary Observing Ships
47 Weather buoys in the South Atlantic and South Indian Ocean
14 Meteorological Radar Systems
1 Global Atmosphere Watch Station at Cape Point
2 Dobson Ozone Spectrophotometre Stations in Irene and Springbok. (A third to operate at Cape Point)
1 Baseline Surface Radiation Network Station in De Aar
A national UVB Biometer network in Cape Town, Cape Point, Port Elizabeth, De Aar, King Shaka Airport and Pretoria
24 Lightning Detection Sensors (excluding 1 in Swaziland)
6 Air Quality Measuring and Monitoring Stations (DEA infrastructure being maintained by SAWS)
11 Upper-air Sounding Stations with Irene also conducting ozone soundings