South African Astronomical Observatory
South African Astronomical Observatory is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa. It was established in 1972; the observatory is run by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. The facility's function is to conduct research in astronomy and astrophysics; the primary telescopes are located in Sutherland, 370 kilometres from Observatory, Cape Town, where the headquarters is located. The SAAO has links worldwide for technological collaboration. Instrumental contributions from the South African Astronomical Observatory include the development of a spherical aberration corrector and the Southern African Large Telescope; the Noon Gun on Cape Town's Signal Hill is fired remotely by a time signal from the Observatory. The history of the SAAO began when the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope was founded in 1820, the first scientific institution in Africa. Construction of the main buildings was completed in 1829 at a cost of £30,000; the post of Her Majesty's astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope was awarded the Royal Medal on two occasions.
The Republic Observatory, was merged with the much older Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope in January 1972 to form the South African Astronomical Observatory. In 1974 the Radcliffe Observatory telescope was purchased by the CSIR and moved to Sutherland, where it recommenced work in 1976. SAAO was established in January 1972, as a result of a joint agreement by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of South Africa and Science and Engineering Research Council of United Kingdom; the headquarters are located on the grounds of the old Royal Observatory where the main building, national library for astronomy and computer facilities are housed. Historic telescopes are found at the headquarters in a number of domes and a small museum that displays scientific instruments; the South African Astronomical Observatory is administered at present as a National Facility under management of the National Research Foundation the Foundation for Research Development. In 1974, when the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria closed, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research purchased the 1.9 m Radcliffe telescope and transported it to Sutherland.
The observatory operates from the campus of the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, established in 1820 in the suburb of Observatory, Cape Town. The major observing facilities are however located near the town of Sutherland some 370 kilometres from Cape Town; this 0.5 metres reflector was built for the Republic Observatory in 1967, but was moved to the Sutherland site in 1972. A 0.75 metres Grubb Parsons reflector. This 40 inches telescope was located at SAAO Head office in Observatory, Cape Town, but has since moved to the Sutherland site; this telescope participates in the PLANET network. The 1.9m Radcliffe Telescope was commissioned for the Radcliffe Observatory in Pretoria where it was in use between 1948 and 1974. Following the closure of the Radcliffe Observatory it was moved to Sutherland where it became operational again in January 1976. Between 1951 and 2004 it was the largest telescope in South Africa; the telescope was manufactured by Sir Howard Parsons and Co.. This 29.5 inches telescope was called the Automatic Photometric Telescope, but has been renamed the Alan Cousins Telescope in honour of Alan William James Cousins.
One of six telescopes in the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network The IRSF is a 140 centimetres reflector fitted with a 3 colour Infrared Imager. Built as part of the Magellanic Clouds – A Thorough Study grant from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology in 2000. Other studies the telescope participated in include: The Indian Department of Space used this telescope for the Near Infrared Survey of the Nuclear Regions of the Milky Way to improve on data from the DENIS and 2MASS Astronomical surveys. Three 1 metre telescopes to form part of the LCOGT network were installed in early 2013; the MASTER-SAAO Telescope is part of the Russian Mobile Astronomical System of Telescope-Robots. It saw first light on 21 December 2014, it consists of two paired 0.4-m telescopes. In April 2015 it discovered the first comet from South Africa in 35 years, C/2015 G2. One of the two 1.20 metres telescopes of the MOnitoring NEtwork of Telescopes Project is located at Sutherland. Its twin can be found at the McDonald Observatory in Texas.
The MONET telescopes are Robotic telescope controllable via the Internet and was constructed by the University of Göttingen. Remote Telescope Markup Language is used to control the telescopes remotely. Two telescopes forming part of Project Solaris is located at the Sutherland site. Solaris-1 and Solaris-2 are both 0.5m f/15 Ritchey–Chrétien telescope. The aims of Project Solaris is to detect circumbinary planets around eclipsing binary stars and to characterise these binaries to improve stellar models. Observatory Code: B31 Observations: SALT was inaugurated in November 2005, it is the largest single optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere, with a hexagonal mirror array 11 meters across. SALT shares similarities with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope in Texas; the Southern African Large Telescope gathers twenty-five times as much light as any other existing African Telescope. With this larger mirror array
Conservation biology is the management of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on natural and social sciences, the practice of natural resource management; the conservation ethic is based on the findings of conservation biology. The term conservation biology and its conception as a new field originated with the convening of "The First International Conference on Research in Conservation Biology" held at the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, California in 1978 led by American biologists Bruce A. Wilcox and Michael E. Soulé with a group of leading university and zoo researchers and conservationists including Kurt Benirschke, Sir Otto Frankel, Thomas Lovejoy, Jared Diamond; the meeting was prompted by the concern over tropical deforestation, disappearing species, eroding genetic diversity within species.
The conference and proceedings that resulted sought to initiate the bridging of a gap between theory in ecology and evolutionary genetics on the one hand and conservation policy and practice on the other. Conservation biology and the concept of biological diversity emerged together, helping crystallize the modern era of conservation science and policy; the inherent multidisciplinary basis for conservation biology has led to new subdisciplines including conservation social science, conservation behavior and conservation physiology. It stimulated further development of conservation genetics which Otto Frankel had originated first but is now considered a subdiscipline as well; the rapid decline of established biological systems around the world means that conservation biology is referred to as a "Discipline with a deadline". Conservation biology is tied to ecology in researching the population ecology of rare or endangered species. Conservation biology is concerned with phenomena that affect the maintenance and restoration of biodiversity and the science of sustaining evolutionary processes that engender genetic, population and ecosystem diversity.
The concern stems from estimates suggesting that up to 50% of all species on the planet will disappear within the next 50 years, which has contributed to poverty and will reset the course of evolution on this planet. Conservation biologists research and educate on the trends and process of biodiversity loss, species extinctions, the negative effect these are having on our capabilities to sustain the well-being of human society. Conservation biologists work in the field and office, in government, non-profit organizations and industry; the topics of their research are diverse, because this is an interdisciplinary network with professional alliances in the biological as well as social sciences. Those dedicated to the cause and profession advocate for a global response to the current biodiversity crisis based on morals and scientific reason. Organizations and citizens are responding to the biodiversity crisis through conservation action plans that direct research and education programs that engage concerns at local through global scales.
Conscious efforts to conserve and protect global biodiversity are a recent phenomenon. Natural resource conservation, has a history that extends prior to the age of conservation. Resource ethics grew out of necessity through direct relations with nature. Regulation or communal restraint became necessary to prevent selfish motives from taking more than could be locally sustained, therefore compromising the long-term supply for the rest of the community; this social dilemma with respect to natural resource management is called the "Tragedy of the Commons". From this principle, conservation biologists can trace communal resource based ethics throughout cultures as a solution to communal resource conflict. For example, the Alaskan Tlingit peoples and the Haida of the Pacific Northwest had resource boundaries and restrictions among clans with respect to the fishing of sockeye salmon; these rules were guided by clan elders who knew lifelong details of each river and stream they managed. There are numerous examples in history where cultures have followed rules and organized practice with respect to communal natural resource management.
The Mauryan emperor Ashoka around 250 B. C. issued edicts restricting the slaughter of animals and certain kinds of birds, as well as opened veterinary clinics. Conservation ethics are found in early religious and philosophical writings. There are examples in the Tao, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In Greek philosophy, Plato lamented about pasture land degradation: "What is left now is, so to say, the skeleton of a body wasted by disease. In the bible, through Moses, God commanded to let the land rest from cultivation every seventh year. Before the 18th century, much of European culture considered it a pagan view to admire nature. Wilderness was denigrated. However, as early as AD 680 a wildlife sanctuary was founded on the Farne Islands by St Cuthbert in response to his religious beliefs. Natural history was a major preoccupation in the 18th century, with grand expeditions and the opening of popular public displays in Europe and North America. By 1900 there were 150 natural history museums in Germany, 250 in Great Britain, 250 in the United States, 300 in France.
Preservationist or conservationist sentiments are a development of the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Before C
South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is an 85-hectare zoo located in Pretoria, South Africa. It is the national zoo of South Africa, was founded by J. W. B. Gunning in 1899. Pretoria Zoo is one of one of the most highly-rated; the farm Klein Schoemansdal, the property of Z. A. R. president Stephanus Schoeman, was sold to Johannes Francois Celliers. It was acquired by the state in 1895, the zoological gardens was established at the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, it became the official National Zoological Gardens in 1916. Half of the zoo is situated on flat ground, while the other half is located on the slopes of a hill; the two areas are separated by the Apies River flowing through the zoo. Two bridges provide access over the river. Around 6 kilometres of pathways are laid out in the zoo. Golf carts are available for rent for those. A cable car links the top of the hill with a point close to the entrance at the bottom. There are two restaurants located within a picnic area on the banks of the Apies River.
A crafts market is located outside the zoo entrance. Proceeding from the entrance a visitor encounters a walk-through aviary, enclosures for chimpanzees and lemurs, a bird of prey aviary, further bird enclosures and the baboon and monkey enclosures along the western boundary. At the centre of the zoo large sections are set aside for the African savannah waterhole and a set of large enclosures for smaller carnivores, South African cheetahs and king cheetahs, black rhinoceroses, elephants, Przewalski's horses and South American mammals respectively. Amongst these are smaller enclosures for pudús, ruffed lemurs, red pandas, small primates and tamarins, kangaroos and emus, owl aviaries and breeding units for birds. Against the northern hillside are six large enclosures for dholes, Bengal tigers, Barbary sheep, Nubian ibexes and Hartmann's mountain zebras respectively. In the western section the zoo includes Aquarium 1 and 2, a reptile park, accessed via a separate entrance. Official website 360 degree Virtual Tour of the Pretoria Zoo
Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory
The Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory is a radio astronomy observatory, located in a natural bowl of hills at Hartebeesthoek just south of the Magaliesberg mountain range, South Africa, about 50 km west of Johannesburg. It is a National Research Facility run by South Africa's National Research Foundation. HartRAO was the only major radio astronomy observatory in Africa until the construction of the KAT-7 test bed for the future MeerKAT array; the observatory was named Deep Space Station 51 and was built in 1961 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In this role the station assisted in tracking many unmanned United States space missions, including the Ranger and Lunar Orbiter spacecraft, the Mariner missions and the Pioneer missions; the first Mars surface images from Mariner 4 were received at DSS 51. NASA withdrew from the station in 1975, handing it over to South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, who converted it to a radio astronomy observatory.
In 1988 the observatory became a National Facility operated by the Foundation for Research Development. As of 2011, NASA continues to contract for launch tracking services on an as-needed basis, did so for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory on 26 November 2011; the observatory is equipped with a single 260 ton radio telescope with a main reflecting surface diameter of 26 metres. The telescope is equipped with radio receivers operating in the microwave band at wavelengths of 18 cm, 13 cm, 6 cm, 4.5 cm, 3.5 cm, 2.5 cm and 1.3 cm. HartRAO is used for continuum radiometry, pulsar timing and interferometry, it works together with radio telescopes in other continents as well as the orbiting radio telescopes HALCA and Spektr-R in order to perform Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations. HartRAO is an associate member of the European VLBI Network, but operates with the Australia Telescope Long Baseline Array, the Asia-Pacific Telescope, the United States Very Long Baseline Array and the Global Array.
HartRAO runs a Space Geodesy programme using VLBI, Satellite laser ranging and the Global Positioning System. Development work of a Lunar Laser Ranger has commenced, based on a 1 m optical telescope; the LLR system will use a 100 mJ, 20 Hz, 80 ps pulse length laser to range to corner cube reflector arrays on the Moon. The observatory provides students and lecturers from South African universities the facilities and opportunities to perform research; the XDM, a prototype dish for the MeerKAT radio telescope, was constructed at HartRAO. The XDM dish design was first used in KAT-7, a seven-dish engineering testbed and science instrument in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape Province. KAT-7, completed in 2012, marked the first stage of MeerKAT development. National Research Foundation of South Africa South African Astronomical Observatory Deep Space Network Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory Website SKA Website
Film and Publication Board
The Film and Publication Board, or FPB, is a content-classification and regulation authority in South Africa, operating under the Minister of Communications. The FPB was established in 1996 under the Films and Publications Act, ostensibly to tackle issues of child pornography and child abuse, as well as to provide ratings to publicly consumed media such as movies and television programs. Under these directives, its mandate can be considered one of state censorship; the Film and Publication Board was established directly under the directive set out in the Films and Publications Act of 1996, shortly after South Africa achieved independence from apartheid rule. The Board's function would be to receive complaints - or applications to evaluate - a film or publication, to classify it according to its suitability for different audiences; these publications could include movies, television programs, computer games, music. The classification of a film or publication would trigger various prohibitions on possessing, distributing or advertising the film or publication.
Different ratings were devised, the most serious of, "X18", which prohibited anyone without a specific license from distributing the content, which had to be conducted within "adult premises". Certain key exemptions from prohibitions were made to the scientific community, the media. An appeals process was defined under the Act, allowing rulings made by the FPB to be contested and challenged; the FPB has the following ratings guideline: Additionally, the FPB provides the following content classifications: In 2012, the Goodman Gallery in Cape Town, showcased a painting by artist Brett Murray. It depicted President Jacob Zuma in a pose reminiscent of Lenin, but with exposed genitalia; the painting drew swift condemnation from the ANC ruling party, who condemned the artist, the artwork, all media outlets who had published images of the painting. Shortly after, the Film and Publication board sent five assessors to provide a rating for the artwork - a move, harshly criticised for being well outside its mandate, beyond the remit of the purpose of the FPB.
Despite this, the FPB issued an "16N" rating, which meant that the Gallery could no longer publicly show the painting if there were children in the building. During the classification proceedings, there were allegations that the FPB was acting outside its statutory remit, that specific members had made statements or asked questions implying that it was entitled to censor political opinions and restrict freedom of the press; this decision was appealed following a public backlash, amidst accusations of state-led censorship. Upon appeal in October 2012, the FPB set aside its original rating, thereby de-classifying the painting; this had taken place after the painting was famously defaced and sold, which rendered the ruling moot on practical terms. In March 2015, the FPB gazetted a notice inviting public comment on a Draft Online Regulation policy, which sought sweeping new powers to police and regulate all aspects of content on the internet. In this draft policy, the FPB sought to classify all manner of content, for instance, user-submitted videos to sites such as YouTube, which would require all such content to first be classified by the FPB at a charge, labelled as FPB-approved before it would be allowed to be published online.
The following sections from the draft detail the broadness of the powers FPB seek: 5.1.1 Any person who intends to distribute any film, game, or certain publication in the Republic of South Africa shall first comply with section 18 of the Act by applying, in the prescribed manner, for registration as film or game and publications distributor. 5.1.2 In the event that such film, game or publication is in a digital form or format intended for distribution online using the internet or other mobile platforms, the distributor may bring an application to the Board for the conclusion of an online distribution agreement, in terms of which the distributor, upon payment of the fee prescribed from time to time by the Minister of DOC as the Executive Authority, may classify its online content on behalf of the Board, using the Board's classification Guidelines and the ActThe Electronic Frontier Foundation described the proposed legislation as: The EFF went on to point out that the FPB had put the burden on South African ISP's to remove offending content, or replace said content with FPB-approved content on platforms such as YouTube and Vine.
In the response to what is understood to be one of the most draconian pieces of internet legislation seen in the world, the FPB has been on the receiving end of a growing online backlash, proliferated through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In particular, the Right2Know coalition - who advocate open government and whistleblowing - have championed the cause against FPB's draft proposal
President of South Africa
The President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under the Constitution of South Africa. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the State President; the President is elected by the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, is the leader of the largest party, the African National Congress since the first non-racial elections were held on 27 April 1994. The Constitution limits the president's time in office to two five-year terms; the first president to be elected under the new constitution was Nelson Mandela. The incumbent is Cyril Ramaphosa, elected by the National Assembly on 15 February 2018 following the resignation of Jacob Zuma. Under the interim constitution, there was a Government of National Unity, in which a Member of Parliament from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as Deputy President. Along with Thabo Mbeki, the last State President, F. W. de Klerk served as Deputy President, in his capacity as the leader of the National Party, the second-largest party in the new Parliament.
But De Klerk resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution, although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of Deputy President; the President is required to be a member of the National Assembly at the time of his election. Upon his election, he resigns his seat for the duration of his term; the President may be removed either by a motion of an impeachment trial. The office of the President, the roles that come with it, were established by Chapter Five of the Constitution of South Africa, formed by a Constituent Assembly upon the dissolution of apartheid as state policy. A number of manifestations of the office have existed. Aspects of these offices exist within the presidency today; the executive leadership of the British colonies of Natal and of the Cape of Good Hope were invested in their Governors was invested in the Presidents of the Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.
Alternating sovereignty as a result of wars culminated in the Vereeniging Treaty signed in which concluded the South African War. The Union of South Africa, a British Dominion, was established on 31 May 1910 with the British monarch as titular head of state, represented by a viceroy, the Governor-General. Upon the declaration of the Republic of South Africa on 31 May 1961, the office of State President was created, it was a ceremonial post, but became an executive post in 1984 when a new constitution abolished the post of Prime Minister and transferred its powers to the State President. South Africa has a distinctive system for the election of its president. Unlike other former British colonies and dominions who have adopted a parliamentary republican form of government and those that follow the Westminster system, South Africa's President is both head of state and head of government and Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force. Contrary to presidential systems around the world, the President of South Africa is elected by the Parliament of South Africa rather than by the people directly.
He is thus answerable to it in theory and able to influence legislation in practice as head of the majority party. The President is elected at the first sitting of Parliament after an election, whenever a vacancy arises; the President is elected by the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, from among its members. The chief justice must oversee the election. Once elected, a person is no longer a member of the National Assembly, they must be sworn in as President within five days of the election. Should a vacancy arise, the date of a new election must be set by the chief justice, but not more than 30 days after the vacancy occurs; the Constitution has thus prescribed a system combining both parliamentary and presidential systems in a unique manner. Only Botswana and a few other countries use a similar system. Between 1996 and 2003 Israel combined the two systems in an opposite way, with an elected prime minister. Although the presidency is the key institution, it is hedged about with numerous checks and balances that prevent its total dominance over the government, as was the case in many African countries.
The presidential term is five years, with a limit of two terms. Thus the electoral system attempts to prevent the accumulation of power in the president as was during Apartheid or in many other African countries. According to chapter five of the constitution, the President can only exercise the powers of his or her office while within the Republic of South Africa. Should the president be outside of the country, or unable to fulfil the duties of the office, they may appoint an acting president; the presidential vacancy should be filled first by the Deputy President cabinet minister selected by the President a cabinet minister selected by the cabinet, by the Speaker of the National Assembly. The President is the head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the South African National Defence Force; the rights and remuneration of the President are enumerated in Chapter V of the Constitution of South Africa and subsequent amendments and laws passed by the Parliament of South Africa.
The executive powers of the Republic are vested in the President. He appoints various officials to positions listed in the Constitution however the most significant are the ministers and justices of the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. Through the Cabinet, the President implements and enforces the constitution and laws and enforces his