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HartRAO is a national facility of the NRF. Its radio astronomy research focuses on stellar evolution, pulsars and masers; and its Space Geodesy research uses space-based techniques to study the earth. The facility is also used by university students for carrying out research, it also undertakes science awareness programmes for schools and the general public.

iThemba LABS

The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences is the continent’s largest facility for particle and nuclear research as well as one of only a handful of facilities in the world producing radionuclides for commercial, research and medical applications. In addition, its facilities include a full radiotherapy clinic for the treatment of certain cancers using both proton and neutron therapy.


The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) is a rapidly transforming facility reporting to the National Research Foundation (NRF). It has an impressive animal collection, conservation centres, a Centre for Conservation Science as well as an NZG Academy. The NZG is well placed as an education and awareness platform for visitors comprising of educators, learners, students, special interest groups and the general public.


The SAAO is a national facility of the NRF and the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa. Its primary function is to conduct fundamental research in astronomy and astrophysics. SAAO oversees SALT, located at its site near Sutherland, on behalf of an international consortium and promotes astronomy and astrophysics in Southern Africa. 


SAEON is a business unit of the NRF and serves as a national platform for detecting, translating and predicting environmental change through scientifically designed observation systems and research. SAEON also captures and makes long-term datasets freely accessible, and runs an education outreach programme. SAEON has six nodes dispersed geographically across the country.


A national facility of the NRF, SAIAB is famous for its association with the discovery of the enigmatic coelacanth and is internationally recognised for ichthyological research, dynamic research staff and active postgraduate school. SAIAB provides unique skills and infrastructure support in marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems research, molecular research, collections and bioinformatics.


The South African Square Kilometre Array Project (SKA SA) is a project of the Department of Science and Technology, administered by the National Research Foundation.