In South Africa, Rocket Motors are classified as Dangerous Goods (Explosives 1.4)

This holds significant implications for the Storage, Transport and Sale of Rocket Motors


At Rocketry SA, we have lots of Fun, but we take Laws, Regulations and Safety very Seriously
(If we don't,  the future of SA Rocketry would be compromised!)

At ROCKETRY SA, we respect the Government and abide by the Laws and Regulations

In line with the Responsibility and Mandate to Promote Rocketry as being SAFE, RELIABLE and FUN,
we have a responsibility towards Members and the South African public.

In South Africa we are guided and have to operate within the boundaries of the laws, rules and regulations as affected under the following:

  • SANS (SABS) - Standards
  •  SAPS        - Explosive Act & Regulations
  • SAPS - Firearms Act
  • Occupational Health and Safety  (OHSA)
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) &  Airspace Regulations
  • Fire Brigade Services Act
  • Local Municipal Bylaws


In South Africa, the SAPS (Office of Chief Inspector of Explosive) regulates:

Manufacturing, Purchase, Sale, Storage, Transport and Use of Rocket Motors


Before you build and launch your own Rocket, you at least need to know and adhere to the following:-

  • Anyone can build a Rocket-

    but there are limitations to the type and weight of materials you can use if you want to launch it legally!
    ..Refer to the SAASA Safety and Construction Pages for more information
  • Anyone can launch a Rocket-

    but there are laws and regulations that limit where, when and how high you can launch!  
    ..Refer to the SAASA Safety Field Guide and also the Intro to SA Airspace for more information


  • Anyone can make (manufacture) his/her own Rocket Motor-

    but there are laws and regulations that limit, restrict or prohibit the type and quantity of chemicals/composition!
    ..Refer to the SAASA Rocket Motor Manufacturing and Safety Page for more information


Although Rocket Motors share some similarity to Fireworks, they are legally different!
(Using Fireworks in, or as Rocket Motors is unpredicatable, illegal and Dangerous)





Just because you can download something from the Internet..
does not mean it is SAFE or LEGAL !


There have been numerous incidents reported of "Sugar Candy" that resulted in serious bodily harm, with the loss of fingers and other limbs being recorded



Among a number of Laws and Regulations, the Explosive Act and Regulations apply to Rocketry in South Africa

In Short, the following conditions apply:

As of date, the EXPLOSIVES ACT 26 OF 1956 is still in force.
The Explosives Act 15 of 2003 will only come into force once the Explosives Regulations have been approved

The Following basic guidelines are therefore still applicable:-

  • "No person shall manufacture any unauthorised explosive unless it is manufactured not for sale and solely for purposes of chemical experiment, and in such quantities and under such conditions as prescribed in writing by an inspector."
  • The maximum amount of propellant to be mixed at any one time is 50g (a typical Model Rocket kit contains a maximum of 46g of propellant mix)
  • The maximum quantities of chemicals in any person's possession at any time may not exceed 90g. (Composition of chemical/s manufacturing propellant)
  • All motors/engines/fuels are to be manufactured strictly according to the methods and specifications set out in (the origianl manufacturers instruction kit)
  • No changes are to be made to procedures, materials, prescribed quantities and methods
  • The manufacturer of the model rocket engine has to be the age of 16 years or older. Otherwise in the case of a younger person, the person should work under close supervision of an experienced adult



The Chief Inspector of Explosives, is appointed by the Minister of Police and is responsible for the control over explosives. Some of the Chief Inspector’s functions include:

  • The authorisation and classification of all explosives manufactured in and imported into South Africa
  • The issuing of explosives import, export, transit, transport and user permits to registered persons and entities
  • The licensing of explosives vehicles and explosives magazines
  • Ensuring that all plastic explosives manufactured or imported are marked for the purposes of detection

Applications for registration, licences and permits must be submitted to the Chief Inspector’s Office in Pretoria.

Contact details:

Postal Address:
The Chief Inspector of Explosives
Private Bag x624
Physical Address:
184 Jeff Masemola Street

Contact Details:
Lt. Col JJ van Staden/ Ms D van der Telephone:+27 (12) 393-2748/55/63/67/59
Fax:+27 (12) 323-1711




  • It is much safer to use Commercially available motors.
  • To protect you from yourself and from potential situations you may not be able to handle, there are restrictions placed on the sale of chemicals, fuels (especially on the more powerful rocket motors)
  • It is highly recommended that you join SAASA, who will provide guidance and support, as well as other benefits- ultimately you will be doing the right thing, and you will reap the rewards of participating in a Safe, but exciting hobby/sport that is self-regulated within the constraints of the law.


  • The above information is subject to change, and is provided as a guidance. Always refer to the actual laws and regulations that may apply to your country.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of information provided on this website, SAASA will not be responsible or accountable for any loss,
    damage or claim arrising from the use of information provided here.