country flag of South Africa

South Africa

Theft Ranking
Has Weapons-Usable Nuclear Materials


South Africa ranks 16th in the theft ranking and is one of the most improved states, increasing its score by 3 points from 2014. South Africa improved by strengthening its cybersecurity requirements for nuclear facilities and hosting an international peer review. In the future, South Africa’s nuclear materials security conditions could be improved by requiring more stringent and frequent personnel vetting and constant surveillance of inner areas at nuclear facilities to mitigate the insider threat, requiring updates to its Design Basis Threat, defining nuclear security responsibilities in its laws and regulations, and ensuring requirements for security of material during transport reflect the latest IAEA nuclear security guidelines. South Africa could also improve its nuclear materials security conditions by increasing voluntary engagement in international initiatives, such as participating in the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and contributing to the World Institute for Nuclear Security or the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund.

Category & Indicator Scores

Category & Indicators
Rank / Score / Δ

Quantities and Sites

Quantities of Nuclear Materials

Sites and Transportation

Material Production / Elimination Trends

Security and Control Measures

On-site Physical Protection

Control and Accounting Procedures

Insider Threat Prevention

Physical Security During Transport

Response Capabilities


Global Norms

International Legal Commitments

Voluntary Commitments

International Assurances

Domestic Commitments and Capacity

UNSCR 1540 Implementation

Domestic Nuclear Materials Security Legislation

Safeguards Adherence and Compliance

Independent Regulatory Agency

Risk Environment

Political Stability

Effective Governance

Pervasiveness of Corruption

Group(s) Interested in Illicitly Acquiring Materials


= denotes tie in rank
Δ denotes change in score between and
– denotes no change between and
All countries are scored 0–100, where 100 = most favorable nuclear security conditions

Note on Scores

Indicator scores equal the sum of the subindicator scores. Scores are then normalized 0-100, where 100 = most favorable nuclear materials security conditions.