SARAO has an Opening for a Networks Technical Lead

SARAO is Recruiting a Procurement Officer

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is currently seeking to appoint a Networks Technical Lead to join its Cape Town team. Working with the Computing Infrastructure Technical Lead, this individual will take overall technical responsibility for the organisation’s business and science networks. Furthermore, the lead will execute the systems engineering during the design, construction and commissioning of the SKA Science Processing Centre and co-located operations and administrative facilities in Cape Town, along with the SKA Engineering Operations Centre and co-located facilities at Klerefontein, Northern Cape.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology or Electrical Engineering OR equivalent NQF 7 qualifications
  • Seven years of relevant technical networking and leadership experience

Duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Play a hands-on technical and day-to-day role in the management and leadership of the company’s network department;
  • Ensure that the networks department effectively supports the business and engineering IT needs of SARAO across all locations (CT, JHB, Karoo, HartRAO);
  • Manage and plan office network infrastructure, including being the company interface to suppliers and managing the procurement of related hardware and software;
  • Be available to advise key SARAO stakeholders in the area of networks;
  • Direct responsibility for the company’s network (including telescope data) and primary network services, including user authentication and authorisation and associated network infrastructure and communications;
  • Work with the security lead to help develop and implement a robust organisation-wide security policy;
  • Take responsibility for FortiGate firewall management and updating firewall rules as required;
  • Provide second line support to IT help desk and technical support functions;
  • Assist in the move towards greater standardization for improved long term support across the project in particular alignment with the company’s requirements and adopted ISO frameworks;
  • Monitor, report and document networking systems;
  • Develop business justifications and cost/benefit analysis for network spend and compliance with project procurement policies for network equipment; and
  • Take responsibility for asset management for network hardware and licencing.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

Ability to:

  • assess and organise resources;
  • communicate complex information clearly and encourage commitment to learning in others;
  • display a strong networking and computing background; and
  • display strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to motivate, negotiate, influence and build strong relationships.

Experience in:

  • technical and performance management of a small team;
  • developing innovative solutions and contributing to strategic planning;
  • managing and controlling budgets, resources, funding and an understanding of financial management; and
  • systems engineering environment.

Knowledge of:

  • industry products, services and available solutions;
  • systems/services for software/hardware development and how they relate to each other;
  • network architecture fundamentals, including high-speed networks;
  • network equipment, transceivers, cabling, physical network layer;
  • ITIL 3 or 4 Framework and ICT operations;
  • TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Routing, DNS, DHCP, OSI Stack, WAN, VPN, OSPF, BGP, VRF, MPLS, Optical network transmission systems (DWDM);
  • networking switch and router configuration – Cisco, HPE, Mellanox, Arista;
  • Linux operating system, Opensource software and networking tools would be advantageous;
  • service delivery to customers;
  • applicable regulations and processes, and
  • expertise in other fields, including CCENT or CCNA.


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

As a business unit of the NRF, SARAO is committed to employment equity and redress.

To apply for this job, please visit here.

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