Cape Peninsula University of Technology
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A skills development strategy for a selected technology company in the Northern Cape.

posted on 2023-04-05, 11:55 authored by Naslynne Andreas

Ethics Letter Attached

This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of a skills development strategy for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope, a global technology project based in the Northern Cape, South Africa. This project has the potential to benefit local communities around the Karoo. Projects like it are often associated with social impacts and involvement of local communities increases the likelihood of success. The study applied interpretivism skills development philosophies that involved using semi-structured questionnaires to assess how effective the skills development programmes currently being implemented by the National Research | Foundation South African Radio Astronomy Observatory NRF|SARAO are and their impacts on operations of the SKA. The questionnaires were administered to 17 members of communities in the Karoo region to determine their awareness of SKA programmes, willingness to participate in the SKA programmes and factors that affect implementation of the programmes. The findings indicated that communities were aware of the programmes the NRF|SARAO being implemented. These include bursaries that support students from primary school up to graduate level as well as artisan training, which potentially benefits mainly the youth of the Karoo.

Communities had varying responses concerning the effectiveness of the programmes, with most respondents (35.3%) regarding the programmes as neither effective nor non-effective. Regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the programmes offered by the NRF|SARAO, the percentage of strengths were rated at 43.5% and weaknesses at 56.5%. Weaknesses mainly had to do with how the SKA programmes are being implemented, which is discriminatory to potential candidates, and communities end up disregarding them. Various hindrances that derail the progress of the programmes and their successes were raised, which had to do with the communities themselves, their perceptions, and standards set by the SKA which, at times, hinder potential candidates from taking up the programmes. This study noted major challenges associated with the SKA project in the Karoo region. It is important to document and understand these issues deeply in order to promote a harmonious atmosphere with both the communities and the SKA benefiting. The weakness to strength ratio of programmes offered by the SKA project should be very low with strengths dominating more than the weaknesses. It is up to the SKA to look at the weaknesses, address them and reach out to the community. The strengths should also be assessed so that the effectiveness of programmes is enhanced.


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