South Africa is home to many natural wonders and the birthplace of wonderful innovations and people who have changed the world for the better. Perhaps this is the reason why South African expats are still fiercely patriotic when it comes to supporting the Springboks and other South African teams when they play abroad. If you have South African blood in you – then here are some proudly South African facts that celebrate good things about South Africa.
Why we love South Africa
South Africans are innovators and are changing and improving the way the world operates. Here are some top South African innovations that are making and have made history:
1. The MeerKAT
After a decade in design and construction, South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology launched the MeerKAT radio telescope on 13 July 2018. Made up of 64 dishes, each 13.5m in diameter, the MeerKAT array is currently the world’s largest radio telescope. The MeerKAT has already produced images that have surpassed everyone’s expectations of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way and South Africa has been congratulated for building an instrument that will be the envy of astronomers everywhere – and is changing the world’s view of the universe as we know it.
2. The CAT Scan
The CAT Scan, also known as the Computed Axial Tomography scan allows physicians to see inside their patients’ bodies to detect disease, bone breaks or tissue anomalies without surgery. This major medical advancement has changed medicine forever and unsurprisingly was developed by a Cape Town physicist Allan Cormack and his associate Godfrey Hounsfield in 1963. This resulted in a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
3. The world’s first heart transplant
Another major medical breakthrough was the world’s first heart transplant, which was completed on 3 December 1967 in Cape Town by Dr Christiaan Barnard. After this successful transplant, Dr Barnard performed more than 10 other transplants, with one of his patients going on to live another 23 years!
4. Retinal Cryoprobe
Continuing on the medical theme, Selig Percy Amoils developed a revolutionary new method of cataract surgery in the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. This new approach to cataract surgery was welcomed all over the world and Selig received a Queen’s Award for Technological Innovation in 1974 and his cryoprobe is currently on display in Kensington Museum in London.
5. Kreepy Krauly
This invention has nothing to do with health, but everything to do with making life a lot easier. South Africans love their swimming pools, so it’s not surprising that one of us – namely Ferdinand Chauvier from Springs, came up with an incredible invention to take all the time and effort out of pool cleaning. The world quickly adopted this invention and everyone all over the world enjoys cleaner pools!
PayPal is a worldwide online payment system that allows people to make payments without cheques or money orders. PayPal has helped revolutionise online shopping and was co-founded by Elon Musk, who was born in Pretoria.
Continuing with the theme of digital innovations, we move to Thawte, a global company that specialises in making the Internet a safer place to do online transactions. Thawte was the brainchild of Mark Shuttleworth, who was born in Welkom in South Africa and today claims the fame of being the first South African to travel to space as a space tourist.
Spread the good South African news
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