Department of Science and Technology
The Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP) has been launched in Johannesburg.
According to a science and technology department statement, the Precinct was launched in partnership with the mineral resources department to ensure that mining does not become a “sunset sector”.
The science and technology department declared that the MMP was set up to “find solutions to the problems facing the mining sector, and to address the need for a vigorous, vibrant and adequately resourced local mining research, development and innovation community.”
The MMP, a research and development hub, flows from the Mining Phakisa which seeks to “foster global leadership in narrow-reef, hard rock mining equipment and systems through partnerships in research and development (R&D) and the creation of a competitive local manufacturing capability.”
The department also pointed out that R213 million has been allocated to support implementation of the South African Mining Extraction Research, Development and Innovation Strategy.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research developed the strategy.
The MMP was described as representing a “new dawn for collaboration in mining research, development and innovation.”
Meanwhile, the science and technology department recently briefed parliament on its first quarter performance for 2018/2019.
Mention was made of the National Research Foundation Amendment Bill currently before the national council of provinces.
It seeks to:
• amend the National Research Foundation Act, 1998, so as to delete and insert certain definitions;
• provide for the minister to determine national policies and issue policy guidelines for implementation;
• extend the functions, powers and duties of the Foundation;
• empower the minister to make regulations relating to the determination of national research facilities;
• provide for the withdrawal of the determination or transfer of a national research facility;
• empower the minister to declare a research institution and its eligibility to receive funding;
• make certain textual alterations; to provide for the liquidation of the Foundation;
• delete certain inappropriate or obsolete provisions; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The department also referred to the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill which has been passed by parliament and sent to president Ramaphosa for assent.