NRF/SARAO SSTC/21/2020-21

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Scientific Study to Gauge The Socio-Economic Impact and Perceptions of The Meerkat / SKA Telescope Project

BID Reference: NRF/SARAO SSTC/21/2020-21

Closing Date and time: Wednesday, 31 March 2021 @11:00am

Compulsory briefing Session:
A virtual compulsory briefing session using the Zoom application, will take place on Monday, 8 March 2021 at 11.00AM. Bidders who would like to register for the virtual briefing session must do so by sending an email to Anwuli Okecha (; not later than 16.00PM, Friday, 5 March 2021 with “Register for Virtual Briefing Session NRF/SARAO SSTC/21/2020-21” in the subject line.

Responses to queries will be addressed in the form of bid clarification letters and sent to all bidders that attended the compulsory briefing session.

Electronic submissions must be sent to Bids must be submitted in two separate electronic folders, one with the compliance and technical response, and the second with the financial response.

The financial response must be password protected. Folders must be titled with the bidder’s company name and folder title. Attachments are limited to 25 MB per email.

Bidders are to send an email to post submission with the password to their financial envelope.


The contracted service provider will be expected to:

  1. Conduct a scientific study to gauge the direct socio-economic impact of the design and implementation of the Karoo Array Telescope/Square Kilometre Array (MeerKAT/SKA) telescope project within the SKA footprint area (Carnarvon, Brandvlei, Vanwyksvlei, and Williston, utilising Victoria West as a control area), the Northern Cape Province and the country at large, using historical and current survey information.
  2. onduct a scientific study to gauge the potential broad national socio-economic impact of hosting and participation in the SKA telescope project.
  3. Conduct a scientific study to gauge perceptions about the SKA project amongst identified stakeholder groups.
  4. Use Victoria West as control group to be able to disaggregate the impact of the SKA from long term Karoo trends.
  5. Produce a long-term trend analysis using past studies.
  6. In conducting the studies, the following resource documents should be taken into consideration and incorporated into the surveys, as relevant (these documents, or links to where they may be sourced, will be provided to the successful bidder on award of the contract):
    1. Previous socio-economic studies commissioned by SARAO, the SKA Strategic Environmental Assessment, and research by NRF funded research chairs;
    2. Research and Socio-Economic data collected in previous National censuses 2007 and 2011 and by Stats SA specific to this proposed study, and the Northern Cape;
    3. the SKA and National Census data related to the SKA Northern Cape economic impact;
    4. the SKA National Perceptions Survey Quantitative and Qualitative samples as identified by SARAO, and referred to in this bid document;
    5. the SKA Northern Cape Perceptions Survey Quantitative and Qualitative with focus on SKA Area as per sample provided by SARAO, as referred to in this bid document;
    6. previous socio-economic and benchmarking studies conducted and commissioned by the SKA, as referred to in this bid document; and
    7. any other data that may be relevant, including interviews with appropriate key stakeholders.
  7. Identify and report on the stakeholder perception risk to the project.


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