The Square Kilometre Array’s (SKA) location in the Northern Cape will be a boost for the Karoo region, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday (09/10/2012).
"The location of the SKA site augurs well for government’s plan to build the first university in the Northern Cape province,” Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery.
"In its pursuance for excellence in the continent and worldwide, its location in the Karoo also augurs well for tourism in the region.” Zuma was talking during his visit to the SKA site in the Karoo town of Carnarvon.
He said government, through the department of science and technology, had identified investments in research, development, education and skills.
"The SKA project presents an opportunity to intensively recruit and train young South Africans to pursue careers in the field of science and technology.
"Since its inception in 2005, the South African SKA project’s human capacity development programme has spent nearly R42 million on capacity development in radio astronomy and the disciplines of engineering relevant to radio astronomy,” said Zuma.
Government had also launched the SA Young Academy of Science last year to enhance the participation of young scientists in mainstream research and development and other key areas.
There were also plans to set up 26 science centres across the country, he said.
"The centres are vital to the development of human capital and in inculcating the culture of excellence within the field of science and technology. ”In this way we can build a promising future underpinned by a solid foundation of excellent science and technological innovation,” said Zuma.
The president said he hoped the SKA project would open more opportunities and future development not only in the Northern Cape but in the country as a whole. - Sapa