South Africa is being seen as the premier destination for cutting edge science and there is a growing concensus that the future of radio astronomy lies in Africa. MeerKAT is a South African project to build an array of sixty-four 13.5-metre diameter dishes as a world class science instrument and also to enable technology required for the SKA to be developed. KAT-7 a seven-dish engineering and science testbed instrument for MeerKAT, located near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa is already up and running and the full MeerKAT array is expected to be ready by 2015–2016. The dishes will be equipped with a number of high performance single pixel feeds to cover frequencies from 580 MHz up to 14 GHz. The MeerKAT will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is completed around 2024. Via MeerKAT, South Africa is playing a key role in design and technology developments for the SKA. Close to 100 young scientists and engineers are working on the MeerKAT project. Based at the engineering office in Cape Town, and at universities and technology companies across South Africa and Africa, these researchers interact closely with SKA teams around the world. In collaboration with South African industry and universities, and collaborating with global institutions, the South African team has developed technologies and systems for the MeerKAT telescope, including innovative composite telescope dishes and cutting-edge signal processing hardware and algorithms.