Author: thuso607

BRICS GRAIN Working Group visits the CHPC

BRICS GRAIN Working Group visits the CHPC

The 5th Meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Research Infrastructure and Mega-science Projects visited the Centre for High Performance Computing this week. The meeting was organised by the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa. The group received a briefing on the work of the centre from CHPC Management and went on a guided tour of the facility, seeing: the data centre the cooling plant, the back-up power, the engineering lab to name a few. Areas of potential collaboration were also discussed with member states.

Administrative Note and draft agenda

Hardware and coding training – 2-6 October

Hardware and coding training – 2-6 October

18 Chief Education Specialists from Eastern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga responsible for: Science and Technology, Computer Applications Technology, Information Technology, Digital Technology, Coding and Robotics are gathered at the Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town, 2-6 October for the Computer Hardware and Coding Training. Each of these specialists is responsible for about 350 schools in their provinces and is responsible for the teaching and integration Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and to design the curriculum. They also wish to change perceptions of teachers in the use of ICT.

The training is part of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) approved funding for the CHPC Computer Hardware and Coding Project for three years, from April 2022 to April 2024.

Register for the CHPC/NITheCS Coding Summer School 2024

Registration has opened for the Coding Summer School (CSS) 2024. This is a joint effort between the CHPC and NITheCS. The CSS will take the format of a hybrid event where participants will be required to attend specific universities and research locations. The CSS will take place from Monday 29 January 2024 until Friday 9 February 2024.

Aim of the School is to train researchers across South Africa and Southern Africa in the fundamentals of programming, data science, HPC, and computational sciences. It is CSS is aimed at postgraduate students and researchers in STEM fields focusing on the fields of astronomy, biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medical, and physics.


  • Lectures/tutorials occur Monday to Friday
  • Lecture/tutorial times: 10:00 – 16:00 with breaks each day
  • Notes, quizzes, and assignments provided
  • Certificates awarded to qualifying students

Week 1:

Participants will learn the fundamentals of Python and data science which will allow them to analyse and manipulate various datasets. They will also be introduced to Linux and Bash in order to learn HPC skills.

Week 2:

In week two, participants are exposed to Python applications, covering machine learning, probability & statistics, and various domain specific topics.

For more information and if you wish to attend the CSS, kindly follow the link below to register:

Space is limited at the various locations so make sure to register soon to book your place.

We have representatives from each university and some research institutes, known as champions. We have representation at some institutes in SADC countries as well. You may contact them for any further queries and logistics. The contact list can be found here as well:

For general inquiries please contact:

Deputy Minister Buti Manamela visits the CHPC

On Thursday, 25 May 2023, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System (NICIS) had the honour of hosting Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Buti Manamela, at the National Cyber Infrastructure Centre System, which is based at the CSIR Cape Town regional office.

The visit emanated from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation’s finalised programme of activities as part of the Budget Vote, which took place on Tuesday, 23 May 2023.

The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) is a national high performing computing facility that is funded by the DSI and administered by the CSIR.

The intention of the programme is to showcase key investments made in support of science and innovation.

Executive Cluster Manager: CSIR NextGen Enterprises and Institutions (NGEI), Dr Lulama Wakaba, and the Director of the NICIS, Mr Mervyn Christoffels, welcomed Deputy Minister Buti Manamela and gave a comprehensive overview of the recent work done by the NGEI and NICIS.

“It was our privilege to host the Deputy Minister of Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation for a morning of showcasing our impact on enabling innovation to flourish and grow skills thereby contributing to building a capable digital state, which results in a transformed economy and better Africa – our future plans are even more exciting,” said Mervyn.

The Deputy Minister was interested in how loadshedding has impacted the centre and what the mitigating approaches taken by the CHPC have been, as well as what support the centre requires to proceed with its daily operations. Mervyn advised that the team is currently working on mitigating the risks of loadshedding to ensure that there is continuity of the CHPC’s services.

“Our user community, higher education sector, science councils and private industry users have not been spared by the impact of loadshedding as they experience a reduction in the availability of our computing and storage resources, which results in long queues for processing their simulations, complex computations and modelling tasks. Long queues result in delayed processing times, which ultimately impacts their research commitments”, said Mervyn.

“The centre has initiated several projects aimed at ensuring 100% availability of the services but exogenous factors like the availability of diesel is out of their control. Even so, the team has a number of solutions that are currently being investigated, namely renewable and green energy options and an increase in Eskom’s capacity when we are not loadshed to supply our Data Centre”, elaborated Mervyn.

The visit was concluded with a tour of the CHPC facility and a brief engagement with the team at the centre.

DSI Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, with the NGEI and NICIS team

Deputy Minister Buti Manamela during the tour at the CHPC laboratory facility

Register now: DIRISA Student Datathon Challenge

Register now: DIRISA Student Datathon Challenge

 Registration is open for the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) Student Datathon Challenge 2023!

Registration closes on 31 May 2023 and the training event will be held virtually from 3 to 7 July 2023 at the CSIR ICC. The datathon is open to undergraduate students who are above the age of 18 from both universities and technical colleges. No experience in data science is required.

You can register your teams at

The top 10 teams will go through to the national round – in the first week of December 2023 – where AMAZING PRIZES await!

The Student Datathon Challenge organised by DIRISA showcases how open research data can be used to find creative and innovative solutions to some of South Africa’s socioeconomic challenges.


DIRISA is one of the components of the National Integrated Cyber Infrastructure System managed by the CSIR on behalf of the Department of Science and Innovation in South Africa.