ESAT is a Wiki-based, online, open access encyclopaedia, currently being edited by Temple Hauptfleisch (founder, editor and project director), with Freddy Ogterop, Johann van Heerden and Miriam Terblanche as assistant editors. Hosted by Stellenbosch University

Conceived in the early 1980s and registered as a research project in 1994 by Temple Hauptfleisch, it was originally intended for publication in printed book format. However in 2008 the switch was made to the current digital, online publication, which was opened up for public access and use in late 2011. The current open-access reference work is the result of a national research programme, involving a large number of voluntary writers, researchers, editors and technical supporters over more than 15 years. Sponsorship has come from a number of institutions, among which the most prominent have been the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the University of Stellenbosch.