Zuma: Science ensures development

President Jacob Zuma says investment in science and projects like the SKA ensure development.

President Jacob Zuma visits the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) site in Carnavon, Northen Cape on 9 October 2012. Picture: GCIS.

CARNARVON, Northern Cape - President Jacob Zuma said no matter what problems a country faces, investment in science and projects like the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), ensure development.

Zuma visited the SKA site on Wednesday, flying to the outskirts of Carnarvon, a dusty Karoo town in the Northern Cape.

He also spoke to several thousand people living in the area, to explain the benefits of what will become the world's most powerful telescope.

It is estimated that by the time the 64 MeerKAT dishes have been built, South Africa would have spent as much as R5 billion on the project.

But Zuma said science was worth investing in.

"Science goes ahead and opens the way, so that we can in fact address the question of service delivery."

The SKA telescope will consist of around 3,000 dishes, with several countries contributing to the cost.

Zuma also spoke about education, and revealed that further investment was being made in science centres around the country.