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National Research Foundation Amendment Act in Effect Soon

February 18, 2020

The Presidency

The National Research Foundation Amendment Act will come into effect on 1 April 2020.

The presidency published Proclamation 9 in Government Gazette 43015.

President Ramaphosa assented to the act in May 2019.

The bill was published for comment in 2016 and tabled in parliament in October 2017.

Parliament passed the bill and sent it to president Ramaphosa for assent in December 2018.

The act seeks to amend the National Research Foundation Act of 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;
• provide for the liquidation of the Foundation;
• delete certain inappropriate or obsolete provisions; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the act, the aim of the Foundation is to support, promote and advance “research and human capacity development, through funding and the provision of the necessary research infrastructure, in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including humanities, social sciences and indigenous knowledge”.

Other objectives include developing, supporting and maintaining national research facilities; supporting and promoting public awareness of, and engagement with science and promoting the development and maintenance of the national science system and support of government priorities.