Department of Science and Technology
19 March 2019
The science and technology minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation.
In a statement, the science and technology department described the new White Paper, which identifies the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a key focus, as placing science, technology and innovation (STI) at the centre of South Africa’s development agenda.
Following its decision, Cabinet declared that “science and innovation often heralds a different way of doing things and allows us to deal with the longstanding challenges in a decisive and cost effective manner”.
Cabinet added that the proposals in the White Paper “seek to address policy coherence, development of human capabilities, knowledge expansion, innovation, performance and increased investment”.
The department holds the view that the White Paper sets down the long-term policy direction to boost economic development and inclusive growth.
According to the minister, the Cabinet approval “positions the country to stand ready to reap the benefits of global developments such as rapid technological advancement and geopolitical and demographic shifts, while responding to the threats associated with some of these global trends”.
She added that “our strategic priority is to invest in and leverage science and technology as instruments for growth that can be sustained in the long run to defeat poverty.”
Some of the issues contained in the White Paper include raising the profile of STI in South Africa, strengthening partnerships between business, government, academia and civil society, growing the human resource base of the national system of innovation and boosting investment in STI.
The department will now undertake a process to develop a decadal plan for STI that will serve as an implementation plan for the White Paper for the next ten years.
The White Paper can be viewed at https://www.dst.gov.za/images/2019/FINAL-White-Paper-to-Cabinet_11-March-2019.pdf.