SKA stakeholders prepare for visit

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will host a two-day stakeholder forum site visit in Carnarvon month end , Picture : Gallo Images

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will host a two-day stakeholder forum site visit in Carnarvon month end. The forum aims to bring together all organisations and partners under one roof and elaborate on possible relations during the tenure of the project.

A collaboration with the Pixley ka Seme district municipality will give members of the media, stakeholders and government officials an opportunity to interact with SKA members and know the day-to-day running of the multibillion-rand project. The office of the mayor, Merriam Kibi, will be facilitating the event aimed at educating the people regarding the SKA.

“The main objective of the forum is to create a network in order to enhance service delivery. All departments are invited to provide a report on current affairs and future projects within the respective organisations,” the municipality said. The municipality said it was vital that it takes part in the event to strengthen the relations with relevant stakeholders. Last week, President Jacob Zuma applauded the Department of Science and Technology for investing in the SKA project, which has created jobs and boosted the economy of the province.

The president said the projects had yielded positive results and had put the country on the map in terms of science. The South African government has invested about R2bn into the project, acquiring eight African states as partners and managing to use 75% local content to construct the MeerKAT telescope. Zuma said since the country won the bid to host the SKA telescope significant progress has been made in building this mega science project and reaping its benefits.

“Together with its precursor,the MeerKAT telescope, the SKA project continues to make important contributions to socio-economic development in South Africa,” Zuma said. He said working closely with the industry, the Department of Science and Technology is implementing a technology strategy.

“This has led to job creation in the Northern Cape and diversification of the economy through the creation of artisan and maintenance of jobs and the promotion of science as a career of choice.” The SKA is one initiative which brings together scientists in the disciplines such as mathematics, physics, computer science and other fields to build the largest scientific infrastructure on the continent.

SKA is one of the projects which has positioned the country on the map with scientists across the world showing interest to work on it once complete.

-Tiisetso Manoko|