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White Paper on Science and Innovation Under the Spotlight

September 8, 2021

Department of Science and Innovation

Digitization remains an important component of the science and innovation department’s strategies moving forward.

Speaking at the 27th Annual Price Waterhouse Coopers Education Conference, the higher education, science and innovation minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, added that robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and data analytics are central to the White Paper on Science and Innovation.

The minister declared his intention to position the science and innovation department to “play a leading role in data analytics, especially within government, but also interacting with other sectors of South African society”.

Plans are also afoot to align the skills and innovation strategies with the government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The minister also announced that, via the Innovation Fund, the department intends doubling investment into research, development and innovation, “from the current, and clearly inadequate, level of 0,8 percent as a percentage of our GDP, to at least 1,5 percent by 2030”.

In terms of gender-based violence (GBV) and the higher education sector, the minister referred to the set of instruments released at the end of August 2021 designed to strengthen the realization of the sectoral GBV Policy Framework launched in July 2020.

Instruments include the Implementation Procedural Guidelines on GBV, Sexual and Gender Related Misconduct in PSET Institutions; the Implementation Protocol on Rape and Sexual Assault Cases in the PSET campuses and the Implementation Protocol on the PSET Code of Ethics.