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Northern Cape Business 2022-23

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Since 2009, Northern Cape Business has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the region. It is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector focused infrastructure development.

OVERVIEW Engineering

OVERVIEW Engineering Local artisans are building telescopes. SECTOR INSIGHT The Department of Roads and Public Works is to be remodelled. The HERA radio telescope near Carnarvon. Credit: SARAO Local artisans are building telescopes for a radio telescope array project in the Northern Cape. Drawn from the town of Carnarvon, the construction team grew to 20 at one point and has increased the skill levels of its members considerably. The 350-dish HERA project is led by the US National Science Foundation with the South Africa Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) acting as the local partner, responsible for systems engineering and construction, among other duties. The Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) is gathering data from a time in history further away from the present time than has ever been explored. The project should be complete in 2022 but data continues to be collected while construction continues. The HERA is a separate project to the much bigger Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which is under construction nearby. The construction timeline of the technically demanding and scientifically advanced SKA project is eight years, giving ample opportunity for specialist engineers to deploy their skills. International teams, including South African engineers and scientists, have worked on the design phase of the latest in radio astronomy for many years, the result of which will see 197 dishes erected in South Africa (mostly around Carnarvon) and 131 072 antennas put up in Australia. South Africa has already erected 64 dishes, which make up the MeerKAT device. In South Africa, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the National Research Foundation, manages all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in the country, including the MeerKAT in the Karoo. The SKA will be the world’s largest radio telescope. In 2019, 15 countries involved in the SKA Project gathered in Rome for the signing of the international treaty establishing the intergovernmental organisation that will oversee the delivery of the world’s largest radio telescope. In 2021, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) officially came into operation. The SKAO, with a head office in London, is tasked with delivering and operating the SKA. Local communities are getting exposure to engineering as a result of the SKA project. The SARAO started offering artisan bursaries in 2011. More recently, the Klerefontein Training Centre was opened in Carnarvon, giving local high school pupils access to an accredited electrical engineering apprenticeship programme. The training programme will provide the MeerKAT and SKA radio telescopes with qualified artisans for their operations and maintenance. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and SKA are placing the recipients of bursaries in the data science programmes of Sol Plaatje University (SPU) and other students of astronomy are enrolled at Rhodes University. NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23 36

OVERVIEW The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) has launched a branch in Kimberley. The SAIEE Northern Cape Centre will attend to the needs of members and hold events of interest related to electrical or electronic engineering. SAIEE has 6 500 members around the country and is registered as a non-profit voluntary association with ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa). An important body in the South African context is the Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA). A key focus for the body is to provide training in sustainable infrastructure asset management, something that has proved a challenge for many municipalities. Innovation Part of a project to remodel the Northern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works (DRPW) aims to ensure that it has adequate in-house technical and engineering knowledge in infrastructure planning, design and project implementation to enable it to complete important work. The DRPW is making 3D printing technology available to engineers and designers to allow them to create prototypes at lower cost. A feasibility study is underway on the establishment of a Northern Cape state-owned construction company. The Coega Development Corporation is undertaking the study. Among the goals for such a company are the training of young people as artisans, building houses, roads and other infrastructure and incubation of small businesses. The Northern Cape Innovation Forum (NCIF) has been established to bring together all sectors of society in taking advantage of innovation and technology in the province. The NCIF falls under SPU, in partnership with the National Department of Science and Innovation and the Localisation Implementation Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). ONLINE RESOURCES Consulting Engineers South Africa: South African Institute of Electrical Engineers: South African Radio Astronomy Observatory: Southern African Institution of Civil Engineering: Technology Localisation Implementation Unit: The Klerefontein Training Centre in Carnarvon. Credit: SARAO Most of the new structures for the Sol Plaatje University were subject to architectural design competitions. From a total of 59 entries, nine architectural firms were selected to enter the second round of the competition with five firms chosen as winners to complete different aspects of the project. The Sol Plaatje University Library and Student Resource Centre earned Aurecon an award at the 2018 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards. The building on South Africa’s newest campus in Kimberley also won a Fulton Concrete Award. It was designed by designworkshop: sa, the construction work was done by Murray and Dickson and Aurecon’s brief was structural, civil, electrical, fire and wet services design. Another striking building, designed by Savage + Dodd, was “highly commended” at the World Architecture Festival. The multi-purpose building encompasses a residence, offices, meeting spaces and retail space on the ground floor. ■ 37 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2022/23

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