Formed in 1982


The Institute originates from a Steering Committee of twelve persons from academia and industry formed in 1982 for the purpose of founding the South African Institute of Computer Scientists (SAICS) with the following objects:

  • to further the study and application of computer science;
  • to disseminate information and knowledge related to computer science;
  • to promote and accredit education of computer scientists;
  • to promote and uphold the interests of the Institute, its members, and computer science;
  • to do things which may be desirable for the attainment of these objects.
The members of the Steering Committee were: Past presidents: SACJ History

Stef W Postma, Judy M Bishop, Pierre Visser, Gideon de V De Kock, Niek F du Plooy, Douglas G Laing, Ken J MacGregor, Phil P Roets, Trevor Turton, Gerrit Wiechers, Trevor Winer, Roelf J van den Heever and Derrick Kourie.

During 1992 a process of restructuring commenced for the purpose of fulfilling the mission. Consensus was reached during 1994 to broaden the membership to university graduates and technikon diplomates of three year standing in the fields of Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information Systems.

The SAICS name and constitution was changed to SAICSIT in 1995.


  • Prior to 1987: Prof. Stef Postma. RAU, and then University of South Africa
  • During 1980s: Prof. Gerrit Wiechers, University of South Africa
  • 1987: Dr G Wiechers
  • 1990-1992: Prof. Basie von Solms, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (now UJ).
  • 1992-1996: Prof A. L. Steenkamp. University of South Africa
  • 1996-1997 (Oct 1995-Sep 1997): Prof JM  Hattingh, North West University (PUCHE)
  • 1998-2000 (Oct 1997-Sep 2000): Prof Philip Machanick, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • 2001-2004 (Oct 2000-Sep 2004): Prof Paula Kotzé, UNISA
  • 2005-2006 (Oct 2004-Sep 2006): Prof Jan Eloff, University of Pretoria
  • 2007-2010 (Oct 2006-Sep 2010): Prof Rossouw von Solms, NMU, Port Elizabeth
  • 2011-2012 (Oct 2010 –Sep 2012): Prof Irwin Brown, University of Cape Town
  • 2013-2016 (Oct 2012-Sep 2016): Prof Alta van der Merwe, CSIR/UP
  • 2017-2018 (Oct 2016-Sep 2018): Prof Jan Kroeze, UNISA
  • 2019-2022 (Oct 2019-June 2022): Prof Aurona Gerber, UP
  • 2022-current (June 2022-): Prof Tendani Mawela, UP


The South African Computer Journal serves as the scientific voice of the Institute. Editors of SACJ and its predecessor the Quæstiones Informaticæ journal: 

  • Dr Derek S Henderson and Prof M Howard Williams (1979-1980)
  • Prof Gerrit Wiechers (1982- 1987)
  • Prof Judy M Bishop (1988)
  • Prof Derrick Kourie (1989-2008)
  • Prof Lucas Venter (2008-2011)
  • Prof Philip Machanick (2012-2022)
  • Prof KatherineMalan (2022-current)

A record of its early years was published by the then editor, Derrick Kourie, as:

  • Derrick G. Kourie (2010) The South African Computer Journal: 1989 to 2010, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 65:2, 107-11

The South African Computer Journal (SACJ), as the successor of the Quæstiones Informaticæ journal founded by Derek Henderson, is part of his heritage to South Africa. This brief historical sketch of SACJ outlines the role of various organisations and people that have been part of the journalʼs story, giving some insight into its financing and functioning, and pointing out highlights in its past editions.

The full article is available at www.tandfonline.com .


hands-on experience

SAICSIT Conferences

A primary strategic activity of the Institute has been the annual conference, which started in 1981 (predating the formation of the Institute). According to proceedings, the 4th conference was in 1987 and the 7th in 1992. From 1995, we have annual records.