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Minister Pandor opens new road to Losberg site, meets with residents of Carnarvon and surrounding communities
SARAO News #02 2018
Former Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, opened the new road from Carnarvon to the SKA Losberg site, followed by an Imbizo and public participation programme with SKA SA and the communities of Carnarvon, Williston, Vosburg, Brandvlei, Loxton, Calvinia and Van Wyksvlei on Saturday, 18 November 2017.
During the visit, Minister Pandor officially opened the upgraded road connecting Carnarvon to the SKA core site; and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas and a senior delegation of the provincial government visited the SKA SA Klerefontein base where the SKA SA Electrician Artisan Training Centre was opened.
The purpose of the Imbizo was to celebrate the benefits that the astronomy project brings to the area in the form of jobs, academic bursaries and technical training for the communities.
The new Electrician Artisan Training Centre at Klerefontein, managed by the SKA SA Human Capital Development programme, will provide in-depth on-site training for electrician artisans who have been studying on bursaries provided by SKA SA. The aim of the training centre is to expand SKA SA’s corporate social investment in the Northern Cape; provide training for the artisans within SKA SA instead of sending them to other organisations; to provide SKA SA with the opportunity to refine its training for specific trades within radio astronomy; and to give managers in SKA SA the opportunity to identify promising students for further mentoring.
The upgrade to the 80-kilometre stretch of former gravel road, the R63 which also connects Carnarvon and Williston, started in 2015 and was completed earlier this year. The road was upgraded at a cost of about R226 million, of which R30 million in contracts was awarded to local subcontractors. The contract for the upgrade of the road was awarded to NMC Civils in 2015 and included a local use clause through which local subcontractors could participate in the construction. More than 200 local job opportunities were created through the construction project.
Congratulations to Telalo Lekalake and this team, for successfully managing the road construction project.
SKA SA also opened the first SARAO/SKA SA Information Centre on the day of the Imbizo. The new centre, situated on the corner of Victoria and Hanau Streets in Carnarvon, is a temporary incubator for the envisaged SKA Carnarvon Exploratorium.
The centre will be utilised by members of the public, educators, tourists, the wider public and members of other organisations to access information in different formats about SKA SA. The centre will be multidisciplinary and electronically connected to other astronomy facilities and observatories across the globe.
Minister Pandor ended the Imbizo at the Carnarvon Primary School, where she was accompanied by several senior delegates from the Department of Science and Technology, SKA SA, the National Research Foundation and the Northern Cape Provincial and Municipal governments. More than 5000 members of the communities of Carnarvon, Williston, Brandvlei, Van Wyksvlei, Loxton, Calvinia and Vosburg travelled to participate in the public participation programme and interact with the Minister and other officials.
“Government is committed to creating better conditions for a better life for all. Government cannot work without your support. We need you as partners. We are here to persuade you that you have a critical role to play in changing your lives with government support and assistance,” said Minister Pandor in her address to the community.
“The SKA SA project is an ideal platform to excite young people about a career in science, engineering and technology, and to train skills that will be in demand in the global knowledge economy of the future. Through the Square Kilometre Array, South Africa has made a major investment in the future,” Minister Pandor concluded.
The Imbizo garnered media interest pre- and post-event:
Big Data Attendees at the one-day work session which was held on 11 July 2017 at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in Ghana to kick off the High Performance Computing training programme in Ghana.
Members of the nine SKA African partner countries concluded the Fourth Ministerial Meeting on the SKA in Accra, Ghana by signing a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on radio astronomy.
Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor watches on as the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cuts the ribbon at the launch of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory.
The launch of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory was covered 119 times in the media between 23 and 25 August 2017:
In Ghana: 24 times
In South Africa: 36 times
In other African countries: 8 times
Internationally: 51 times
The value of these placements is R6 983 234.17.
Last Updated on November 19, 2018