South African Radio Astronomy Observatory Mandated To Manage The Production Of Respiratory Ventilators

Press Release by SARAO

South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition have mandated the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) to manage the national effort required for the local design, development, production and procurement of respiratory ventilators to support the government’s response to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

SARAO has been mandated to manage the National Ventilator Project based on the experience it gained in the development of complex systems for the MeerKAT radio telescope, a precursor to the world’s largest Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

With the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 steadily increasing in South Africa, the government has called on companies and experts, particularly engineers and scientists, to come with innovative solutions to help combat the pandemic.

As of 03 April 2020, South Africa had 1 505 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The health ministry expects the number to increase exponentially in the next few weeks as more people get tested.

In an effort to meet the anticipated demand for critical medical equipment such as ventilators, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is inviting companies and experts to express their interest in the design, development, production and procurement of ventilators in South Africa.

The invitation provides an opportunity for experts and companies to register their interest regarding the goods and services they offer that may be relevant to the National Ventilator Project. Once the specifications are finalised, interested parties will be invited to make a representation of their proposed solutions and the extent to which they would meet the specification.

Interested parties can register here

Experts interested in providing technical support can register here

View the Call for Proposals document.

Submissions have to be in the standard templates, listed below:

All forms and templates can also be obtained by emailing Submissions must be sent to

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