Zuma hails Pandor, SKA team

2012-05-25 22:00

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma congratulated Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her team on Friday for winning the right to co-host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope with Australia.

"We are especially proud of winning this bid... on Africa Day," Zuma said in a statement.

"Africa is indeed rising. South Africa is confident that the country will deliver on the expectations of the continent and world."

Zuma said the this achievement was possible because of the African Union's endorsement and support from partner countries including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.

Earlier, it was announced that the SKA board had decided on a "dual site approach".

"We will be installing equipment in both Australia and South Africa and together they will form part of a global observatory," the French news agency AFP quoted SKA board chairperson John Womersley as saying at a press conference at the Schiphol Airport, in Amsterdam.

"This is a momentous day for South Africa and the continent and will give all of us the possibility to answer fundamental questions in physics, astronomy and cosmology," the African National Congress said.

"It will advance our scientific research capacity as a country and a continent and will also see a lot of foreign direct investment injected into this project, which will go a long way in creating much-needed jobs..."

The ANC said it would also put South Africa in good stead to advance to an inclusive information society.

Cutting-edge investment

Democratic Alliance MP Junita Kloppers-Lourens said the party was disheartened, but not dismayed at the decision.

"Today, Africa Day, we yearned to win the SKA bid to exemplify the African dream outright," she said.

"A draw is no loss, though, and the majority of physical infrastructure in phase one will be built in South Africa."

She said the SKA advisory committee had identified Southern Africa as the preferred site.

"That we will receive the lion's share of the biggest ever scientific project may serve to reverse the trajectory of dead aid that has characterised the African continent and signal a new era of cutting-edge investment that incisively builds our knowledge economy."

Trade union Uasa congratulated Pandor and her team and said that in this venture, South Africa would be at the forefront of technology.

"Waiting for the announcement has been reminiscent of the announcement when we won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010," it said.

"The technical committee, in this instance, did us proud and we are ready to host the world's most powerful radio telescope."

Construction of the SKA is expected to cost about €1.5bn, and the SKA consortium is expected to spend about €100m to €150m a year to operate and maintain the telescope.

A significant portion of the capital, operations and maintenance costs would be spent in the host countries.

Scientific coup

Brand SA congratulated the department on its success.

"We thank the bid committee for giving us and our African partners the platform to bring the stars and the universe closer to the leaders and explorers of tomorrow," CEO Miller Matola said.

"It is really apt to have received the news on Africa Day, a day that celebrates the African continents rich heritage and diversity."

With this, South Africa will foster a culture of co-operation with African consortiums and invest more resources and energy towards promoting strong linkages with Australia, said Matola.

"In addition, the SKA will bring advancements of astro-sciences to both countries and facilitate knowledge sharing between young and older astronomy and cosmology experts."

The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) said this was a proud moment for the country.

"This is a major scientific coup for South Africa and will serve as a key research advantage to the entire scientific community," it said.

"We believe that the SKA will be the most powerful major radio astronomy programme in the 21st Century that will allow us not only to understand the physics and the evolution of the universe and its structures, but also new aspects of astrophysics..."

New opportunities would now open for South African scientists to collaborate with some of the best scientists in Australia and the world, it said.

The SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than the most powerful telescopes presently available.

AFP said the contract, estimated at $2bn, would increase in cost because of the split location.

- SAPA

Read more on:    uasa  |  jacob zuma  |  naledi pandor  |  ska
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 17:56 PM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Riebeeck Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.