Govt did excellent job with SKA - union

2012-05-25 19:39

Johannesburg - The trade union Uasa congratulated Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her team on Friday for securing South Africa as a location for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

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," Uasa said in a statement.

"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.

Although the location of the telescope would be shared with Australia, South Africa's economy would receive a boost.

The SKA consortium would spend an estimated €100m to €150m a year to operate and maintain the telescope, Uasa said.

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

"Celebrations are in order, as the announcement coincides with our celebrating of Africa Day today."

Earlier, AFP reported that South Africa would share the SKA location with Australia.

"We have decided on a dual-site approach," AFP reported SKA board chairperson John Womersley saying at a press conference at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, following a meeting of the SKA organisation's members in the Dutch capital.

"We will be installing equipment in both Australia and South Africa and together they will form part of a global observatory," he said.

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

AFP said the contract, estimated at $2bn, would now increase in cost.

Womersley told AFP the dual site made the best use of the "significant investments" both countries had made in astronomy.

  • Squeegee - 2012-05-25 19:43

    Please keep our end clean. Do us proud and don't embarrass us with corruption or shoddy service. We know we can do this.

      Saleé - 2012-05-25 21:57


  • John - 2012-05-25 19:52

    So we got 2/3 of the SKA, this is how it will work out: 1/3 will be stolen, the other 1/3 will be "appropiated" and the last 1/3 will be working 100% in Australia.

      Mark - 2012-05-25 20:17

      John please crawl back into your little hole.

      colin.dovey - 2012-05-25 20:27

      @John - It is people like you that kill the spirit - get back into your box and go to Perth - boring and MAY be terrifying in SA on occasion....but never boring!

      Rodney - 2012-05-25 20:37

      ag John lol , enough with the negativity man

      1amAlan - 2012-05-25 20:46

      And now for our next trick/miracle. We'll pore billions into a tiny hole in the ground and try and convince the world that it was unforseen costs. Yes people, like John, I'm negative, but will history repeat itself? Prove me wrong.

      rupesh.hari.7 - 2012-05-25 20:51

      John, first people like you said we would never stand a chance, then we were chosen to be one of the two bids that were allowed to compete. Then people like you said, we have no chance against a scientific powerhouse like Oz, then we were judged to be the better scientific bid. Then people like you said, we would never win. We did exactly that with the higher portion of the project being given to SA over Oz. Now, you are saying we will fail. I wonder why didn't fail the first three time. I think it is time for you to switch off the computer and go to work, it is work time in Oz now :)

      Saleé - 2012-05-25 21:58

      Little John is from Australia.

  • george.michaelides.71 - 2012-05-25 19:54

    Well done Mrs.Naledi.............dont let others influence you....

      Press - 2012-05-25 22:42

      More mindless accolades - what would your argument have been if there is evidence available that SA were by far the best locatioon for the whole facility - but a sub-par bid led to it being diluted and split in this way, also remember you didnt give reasons why 2/3 rds are the best we could do - just praise

      Douglas - 2012-05-26 00:12

      Mindless accolades? Too funny. This really is a huge deal for SA. Our bid was far superior to that of Aus/NZ. Our technical team did incredible work of the highest calibre. That's why the decision came as a bit of a surprise. Disappointment, almost. Yet, all things being said...a tremendous achievement for SA.

      Press - 2012-05-26 00:19

      @Douglas - if so superior - where did we lose the third ?

      Saleé - 2012-05-26 00:43

      @Press - It's not as if the Australian bid was useless. It was a very good bid. However it was inferior. We therefore got the lion's share of the project. The Australians got what they deserve, based on the obvious quality of their bid and the investment that they had made. Why is this so difficult for you to understand? This is science. It's not your usual News24-forum diatribe. Sometimes, it's neither wise nor desirable to refuse to be impressed.

      Press - 2012-05-26 10:45

      Not impressed wit 2/3 s - and especially not with losing against Ausies - and since when has 2/3 s been good enough - geez man we just had an ex South African design, built and fly the first commercial spaceship to the ISS - this is what 3/3s look like.

      Saleé Sithwell - 2012-05-26 13:01

      Well,@Press,enjoy you state of mental anguish.

      Press - 2012-05-26 16:43

      I will thanks - and enjoy your naivity to think politics and ability doesn't come into it . . . .

  • arthur.grace - 2012-05-25 20:08

    Mrs Pandor you gem! A priceless stone. May you be spoilt tonight. You're in my heart

  • nkululeko.j.duma - 2012-05-25 20:16

    we have to admit she did a good job. well done to RSA.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-25 20:28

    Well done JZ, Great leadership !! You got some excellent members in your cabintet. Don't get distracted by those who don't appreciate your hard work !!

      Crracker - 2012-05-25 20:45

      Ja. Don't get distracted by paintings. This country is far bigger. Well done to those ACTUALLY INVOLVED in the bidding and process. The project will apparently reach its full operation in 2024. That's 12 years to go that one will just have to keep going for the exciting results to start flowing in in full force. Can't wait. Even enduring a full scale dictatorship in this country for the sake of learning of the fantastic results may be worthwhile.

      Hermann - 2012-05-25 20:55

      Sorry Anthony I wanted to comment but have no time as I am off to make another baby out of wedlock and have another rape case on hand, forget about the sleeping 94 fraud charges I have to face, life is pretty busy in my life.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-25 21:25

      HermannH, Sure, JZ personal life, leaves much to be desired, but unfortunatelly , so do those of many leaders. just to mention two; French President Francois Mitterand had his lover living 5 minutes walk from the Elysee'!!!!!!!!!! US President Bill Clinton had a blowjob by Monica Lewinsky, while she was sitting on his desk in the O val Office!!!!!! It is tooo easy to ALWAYS be negative about JZ. For those not blinded by some silly negativity; There is also PLENTY good coming from JZ and his cabinet. Under our "gentleman" Presisident, Thabo Mbeki, who we never ever associated with the word'sex' TENS OF THOUSANDS South Africans died unnecessarily, due to his halfbaked pseudo intellectual BS re hiv Aids!!!!! JZ turned this around, and today tens of thousands , who suffer from this dreadful decease, are being cared for.!! Under the same Thabo Mbeki, the Department of Interior, was unbelievable corrupt and totally inefficient. JZ turned that around and today corruption is a fraction of what it used to be, and they are pretty efficient. It is the easiest thing in the world, to break someone down, A CHILD CAN DO IT !!!

  • rupesh.hari.7 - 2012-05-25 20:48

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. i am excited and disappointed. I am disappointed because the best scientific bid (ours) did not get the full project. But excited because we got the bigger portion of the project. Well done to the scientists involved and to the Minister. This is freaking awesome. In the scientific community, this is as big as the world cup. Awesomeness

  • Hermann - 2012-05-25 20:50

    Just wondering how many affirmative actions were involved in the scientific part of the operation, but at least we got part.

      Saleé - 2012-05-26 00:45

      Happy wondering! Don't crack your pretty head over it now...

      James - 2012-05-26 16:52

      Me thinks Herman = old school. Read the sign language Herman then sit on it and rotate.

  • Crracker - 2012-05-25 21:10

    The current ANC and its leadership (Jackson Mthembu exemplified it yesterday with his reckless statements about racism clearly aimed at those not of his specific tribe) which is headed by Jacob Zuma, are destroying our patriotism. This country is clearly being taken over by certain interest groups for their own devious purposes. Now we have to show and shout patriotic praise. See the next wave of propaganda sweeping towards us to cause alienation. This country's biggest mistake ever was allowing the Zumas and their pals to take over this country. It removes all joy in our achievements. You start feeling like a stranger in your own home.

      Sam - 2012-05-25 21:19

      you must start packing your bags , see where you will be discarded, Mugabe has told us what to do with you

      Saleé - 2012-05-26 00:48

      The country's biggest mistake was to produce unhappy Billies like you.

  • Sam - 2012-05-25 21:16

    As long as done by ANC govt there is nothing

      Crracker - 2012-05-25 21:34

      @ Sam Mugabe loves you. No greater love can you experience than the love of someone that makes you a fugitive out of your country of birth.

      Sam - 2012-05-25 22:02

      you think Im joking , you fool, if you saw what Malema was wearing yesterday , you should have thought twice,blutty fool,wait an relax,you will see

      Crracker - 2012-05-25 22:09

      @ Sam He that shall not be named here lacks the spear. LOL

  • Jazzy - 2012-05-25 21:59

    well done, Minister Pandor and your team!

      Saleé - 2012-05-26 00:49

      She did a sterling job!

  • Adil Smit - 2012-05-25 22:04

    Well done Mrs Pandor - you focused on the job at hand and managed to bring the SKA to South Africa - a lasting legacy. You fully deserve to be awarded for your work. Congratulations!

  • HugoMabasa - 2012-05-25 22:05

    proud of our gov,my anc my future,together we can

  • Horst - 2012-05-28 12:00

    One aspect of this whole SKA thing, who is actually paying for this? And if it is us, will we see some return on the money? And has there been an environmental impact study? I am thinking with horror about all that water that will be used during construction and the additional traffic on the roads of the Karroo. This will certainly destroy the delicate environment of the Karroo. Sorry, I am just having a go at the anti-frackers.

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