Zuma congratulates SKA team

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her team for winning the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

SKA Organisation announced on Friday that South Africa and Australia are to share the hosting of the most advanced scientific project. The two biggest components of the SKA will be built in Africa, while one will be built in Australia - about 70 percent of the facility will be built in Africa.

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

The President further acknowledged that this mammoth achievement was possible because of the African Union endorsement and support from partner countries, namely, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.

The SKA will consist of about 3 000 dish-shaped antennae spread over a wide area. Building was expected to start around 2016 and the telescope will be completed by 2024. It should be ready to do early science in 2020.