The South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI) was established in 2003. Registration of geographical information science (GISc) practitioners by the South African geomatics professional body followed in 2004 and accreditation of university GISc programmes in 2012. In 2010 the Committee for Spatial Information (CSI) identified inadequate knowledge and skills of GISc practitioners as a challenge for the implementation and maintenance of SASDI. In response, spatial data infrastructure (SDI) knowledge and skills requirements for GISc professionals were specified by GISc industry representatives and the professional body’s academic model was qualitatively compared against these requirements. Results are discussed and improvements recommended.