SKA decision imminent

2012-05-24 15:00
A model of the revised MeerKAT dish which is closely aligned to the SKA requirements is seen at the project office in Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A model of the revised MeerKAT dish which is closely aligned to the SKA requirements is seen at the project office in Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The government is expecting the final decision from the SKA Organisation on the country to host the massive science project.

The department of science and technology is expecting that the international organisation will make an announcement on whether SA or Australia will win the right to host the project which aims to link over 3 000 radio telescopes and allow astronomers to look 12 billion years back in time.

The organisation will have a meeting on Friday, after which an announcement is expected.

"It is expected that an announcement regarding the preferred site for hosting the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) may be made on Friday 25 May 2012, by the Office of the SKA Organisation, following an SKA Members' General Meeting, to be held at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands," the department told News24.

SA is pushing hard to host the SKA or Square Kilometre Array telescope in the Northern Cape province and has already built the KAT 7 (Karoo Array Telescope) consisting of seven radio telescopes as a test bed for the technology.

Strategic relationships

The government is determined to host the massive project, estimated to cost around €1.5bn, and the ministry has been lobbying key players to ensure that the bid goes to SA.

"We believe that our team has really put in an excellent effort. We think we have an excellent site; we think we have scientists in the country and we believe good research, which will give us those answers we're looking for, can be done on the African continent," minister of science and technology Naledi Pandor told News24 recently.

SA has also signed strategic relationships with a variety of companies like Microsoft, Nokia and Intel to partner in the development of technology for the SKA.

John Womersley, head of the SKA's board of directors, indicated in April that the organisation was considering the idea of a split decision for the project.

"We are seeing if there are ways in which one could install SKA infrastructure in both Australia and South Africa that would make sense scientifically," Womersley said.

A decision was expected on 4 April, but it was delayed following a working group that was set up to investigate a wide variety of options to extract the most benefit from the investment into the SKA.

The Australian media has hinted that placing the SKA in Africa was not a good idea because of political instability on the continent, but the review panel has analysed all factors for the site in their terms of reference.

The decision is expected at around 15:30, South African time.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
- News24
Read more on:    naledi pandor  |  astronomy  |  ska

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.