The Department of Environmental Affairs has committed to contribute to the implementation of the National Development Plan by undertaking strategic environmental assessments to integrate the regulatory environmental requirements for the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) while safeguarding the environment. The SIPs are large-scale infrastructure projects of national importance and located across all nine provinces aimed at unlocking development potential in the country.

Strategic Integrated Project 16, established by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC), supports the development of SKA and Meerkat and “aims at providing an opportunity for Africa and South Africa to contribute towards global advanced science projects”.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was appointed by the Department of Environmental Affairs to undertake the SEA of the first phase of the SKA project (also called “SKA Phase 1” and “SKA1_MID”) in South Africa.