SARAO is Hiring a Head of Hosting


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting a Head of Hosting on a permanent contract to its facility at Johannesburg, Gauteng. The primary purpose of this position is to ensure delivery of South Africa’s commitments in respect of hosting of the SKA telescope. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the appropriate access to land and new and existing assets and infrastructure in a radio frequency-protected and environmentally sustainable environment to enable the construction and operation of the SKA telescope.

Key Responsibilities

  • Ensure the  acquisition, through appropriate agreements, and long-term sustainable management of land to enable the construction and operation of the SKA telescope;
  • Ensure and enable controlled and secure access to land, assets and infrastructure owned or managed by SARAO;
  • Ensure the acquisition of, and monitoring and evaluation of compliance with, all relevant permits, licenses and other approvals necessary to construct and operate the SKA and other radio astronomy-related projects;
  • Ensure a sustainable approach to hosting the SKA in the Karoo, including the delivery of spatial planning functions for strategic decision-making and enhanced organisational operations and the delivery of sustainable land management practices;
  • Working with internal engineering resources, ensure delivery of capital assets and infrastructure, including buildings and data centre facilities, to the SKA Observatory for utilisation under appropriate agreement(s);
  • Ensure the establishment and ongoing radio frequency protection of a radio astronomy reserve through appropriate national and international policy, legislation and regulations, and related activities that promote increased stakeholder buy-in and support;
  • Work with external government stakeholders to resolve blockages to the construction and operation of radio astronomy projects in the Northern Cape;
  • Collaboratively ensure delivery of strategic hosting projects and programmes in the Karoo;and
  • Provide support to the Deputy Managing Director in matters related to hosting of the SKA in South Africa.
Key Requirements
  • Bachelors’ degree, preferably in an engineering, built-environment or public administration and related field, with necessary experience; OR
  • National diploma (or equivalent), preferably in an engineering, built-environment or public administration and related field, with necessary experience
  • 12 years experience, with seven years of experience in a similar management role (if Bachelor’s degree held); OR
  • 15 years experience with seven years of experience in a similar management role (if a National Diploma, or equivalent, is held).
  • Relevant project management skills;
  • Relevant environmental management skills;
  • Relevant Spectrum management skills;
  • Relevant Infrastructure delivery skills;
  • Relevant Cost Management skills;
  • An excellent understanding of the public sector supply chain management and the Public Finance Management Act;
  • Knowledge of the government legislation and regulatory requirements applicable to the construction sector (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Environmental Management Act, Construction Industry Development Board Act and Regulations, National Water Act, Minerals & Petroleum Resources Development Act, amongst others)
  • Project management and project processes (i.e. system engineering, configuration management’ logistical support, supply chain management
Additional Notes
  • Ability to maintain excellent internal and external stakeholder relations whilst resolving conflicting stakeholder expectations and requirements;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with an ability to relate to stakeholders at different occupational levels and different backgrounds;
  • Ability to work with South African government departments and processes;
  • Ability to manage multi-disciplinary teams and functions;
  • Ability to deliver large, complex projects with multiple internal and external stakeholders;
  • Ability to represent SARAO at national forms, as well as with public office bearers;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Extremely professional with high personal and professional standards;
  • High level of personal responsibility and accountability;
  • Excellent problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills; and
  • Excellent organisational, planning and decision-making skills.
How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by registering here to apply online by 26 January 2024. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant’s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

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