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A proud moment for South Africa

6 June 2012 No Comment

The University of the Witwatersrand has congratulated the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor and all those involved in assisting South Africa to win the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope.

In a statement, Wits said “This is a major scientific coup for South Africa and will serve as a key research advantage to the entire scientific community.

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, like the origin of extremely high-energy particles, cosmic jets, black holes, and the structure and evolution of magnetic fields in cosmic structures, which will probably be addressed for the very first time.

This attainment will open up new opportunities for South African scientists, to collaborate with some of the best scientists in Australia (co-hosts of the SKA) and the world.

The ANC welcomed the decision, saying that “this is a momentous day for South Africa and the continent.

DA’s MP Junita Kloppers-Lourens said: “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.”

“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,” chief executive officer Miller Matola, Brand SA said.

Australia’s core site will be the Mileura station, about 100 kilometres west of Meekathara in Western Australia.

South Africa’s main site will be outside Carnarvon in the Karoo and satellite dishes for the project will stretch across south and east Africa.

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