Deputy President David Mabuza will on Friday, 13 July 2018, officially launch the 64-dish MeerKAT array, a significant milestone in radio astronomy, in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.

 

The MeerKAT will be the world's largest radio telescope of its kind until the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has been completed, and will be integrated into Phase 1 of the mid-frequency component of the SKA.

 

The SKA, when completed, will be 50 to 100 times more sensitive than any other radio telescope on Earth.  The SKA is expected to address fundamental questions about the universe, including how the first stars and galaxies were formed.

 

It is being built by an international consortium, including Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and will be co-hosted in Africa and Australia.

 

Deputy President Mabuza will be supported by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane; Former science and technology ministers, including Mr Ben Ngubane, Mr Mosibudi Mangena, Mr Derek Hanekom and Ms Naledi Pandor, and the Northern Cape Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas.

 

The members of the media are invited as follows:

 

DAY 1 (Thursday, 12 July 2018)

 

Media briefing

 

Date:     12 July 2018

 

Time:     10:00 – 12:00

 

Venue: Sassa Hall

 

 

Media networking

 

Date:     12 July

 

Venue: Lord Carnarvon Restaurant

 

Time:     18:00

 

 

DAY 2 (Friday, 13 July)

 

Date:     13 July

 

Time:     07:00 - 13:00

 

Venue: SKA core site

 

 

NB: The SKA core site is a national key point, and therefore – only SKA vehicles will be allowed inside (other vehicles must be left at the entrance);

 

• All journalists must have proof of identification to enter.

 

Media covering the launch must please send their ID/Passport numbers and other details to Veronica Mohapeloa (DST) at 083 400 5750 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Lorenzo Raynard (SKA) on 071 454 0658.

 

Enquiries: Thami Ngwenya on 082 428 4263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA