Refurbishment of existing Heritage-worthy Pump Station Building to a new Visitor Centre at the SAAO – NRF/SAAO/2020/001

This year, 2020, marks the bicentenary of the SAAO. Africa has a long and rich relationship with astronomy, dating back millennia and the unique geographical importance of Africa in global astronomy was recognised almost two centuries ago with the establishment of the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope on 20 October 1820. 

The SAAO is known for the rich history it holds in the contributions in science as well as for its architecture. Consequently, it was formally declared a National Heritage Site by the South African Heritage and Resource Agency (SAHRA) in December 2018. This site is also one of the last remaining places close to the city where the original ecology of the area is preserved. It supports a wide range of plant, bird and animal life including the endangered western leopard toad.

The SAAO is seeking to appoint a qualified firm to perform construction services in connection with the renovation of the Resource Centre, located at Observatory Road, Observatory, Cape Town. This work will include relevant construction, historic preservation, and budgetary considerations. The Scope of Work below contains additional details of the work requested.

The renovated building will be used as a new visitors centre on the Cape Town site which will leave a lasting legacy of excellence in science engagement and communication. 

Due consideration of the unique heritage of the site, the ecology, and the continued functioning of the observatory as a working site, as well as a residential property will need to be given at all times.


The tender document can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:

NRFSAAO Bid invitation template – NRFSAAO2020001

The following drawings will form part of the tender document and are mentioned as Annexures


The bid must be submitted before 11h00 on Monday, 28 September 2020.

Bids can be submitted by physically deposited into the tender box at the SAAO site in Observatory, Observatory Road, Cape Town, 7925

Any queries can be directed to Daniel Cunnama on