Tag Archive | SKA

Hanekom to protect SKA win from fracking fallout

Protecting the Square Kilometre Array

In answer to a parliamentary question on the subject, the new minister of science and technology Derek Hanekom has confirmed that a report is to be undertaken by the department of science and technology and the SKA project team on any possible negative effects of shale gas fracking in the Karoo.

Mineral resources minister, Susan Shabangu, earlier told the media in a press media meeting that government “will approach fracking in the Karoo in a sensitive and responsible manner”.    At this meeting she made public to all the report on investigation of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Karoo.

Minister Hanekom’s recent response to MPs questions stated that findings of the research will focus on any negative impacts during the exploration phase and will also be used to inform measures to be put in place “for the exploitation phase.”

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Uncategorized0 Comments

Pandor and Hanekom in ministerial shuffle

Originally announcing that Naledi Pandor would be acting minister of home affairs, President Zuma’s office confirmed the following day the substantiation of this position, Pandor thus taking up the position of minister of home affairs – the cabinet position vacated by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who resigned last month to head up the African Union commission in Addis Ababa.

Parliament has just debated the department of home affairs annual report for 2011/2 and both the department of performance, monitoring and evaluation’s report on delivery service targets and the auditor generals’ report on the financials were not as complimentary as was anticipated.

At the same time the president’s office announced that Derek Hanekom was appointed as minister of science and technology, Hanekom having held before the position of deputy science minister.

Hanekom will be deeply involved in the SKA (Square Kilometre Array radio telescope) project – the full dish array and the dense aperture array being constructed in the Karoo, Northern Cape Province.   The core – i.e. the region with the highest concentration of receivers – will be constructed about 80 km from the town of Carnarvon.

The South Africa portion of the SKA project, shared with Western Australia, will host  the largest telescope ever constructed.     Minister Hanekom had just visited the area prior to his appointment.

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Labour, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments

SKA universe telescope contract split between the two rivals

The US$2bn contract — which will now increase in cost – for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope complex competed for between Australia and South Africa is being shared, according to John Wormsley, the SKA board chairman, following a meeting of SKA members in Holland a few weeks ago.

Speaking on the award to complete the building and to operate the world’s most powerful radio telescope to look into the universe, Wormsley, according to a SAPA report on a press meeting held at the time at Schiphol Airport, said, “We have decided on a dual site approach.”

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

President Jacob Zuma  congratulated science and technology minister, Naledi Pandor, on winning the SA portion of the bid to host the SKA. It would seem that the South African government interpreted the award as a major win for South Africa due the nature of the duality and the split in money terms.

President Zuma announced, “On behalf of government and fellow South Africans, I congratulate Ms Naledi Pandor and her entire team for their hard work which saw South Africa win the bid to host this major Square Kilometre Array at home.”

The decision for a “dual site solution” was taken after a recent meeting by a SKA working group, which Wormsley said “made the best use of both the significant investments those countries made to astronomy.”

South Africa’s site in the Karoo will have dish arrays connected by a remote link to a network of dishes stretching across southern and eastern Africa up to Ghana.

President Zuma 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.”

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Energy, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Labour0 Comments

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