Department of Science and Technology
11 July 2019
The science and technology department’s 2019 Budget Vote is guided by the new White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation.
The higher education, science and technology minister, Blade Nzimande, confirmed this in a statement on the department’s budget vote.
The minister added that the White Paper guides the National System of Innovation going forward.
A new decadal plan on science, technology and innovation for South Africa was also under development.
The plan will set out more specific areas that the department will be focusing on to use science, technology and innovation to deliver equitable social and economic advancement for the South African people.
The plan will play a major role in assisting with the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as the need for adequate capacity-building.
The minister declared that implementation of the policy imperatives of the National Development Plan will continue to take precedence.
“We will also continue to play our role in driving and advocating for increases in gross investment in research and development as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product with the aim of achieving the National Development target of 1, 5%.”
Tax incentives in investment in research and development will also continue to be implemented.
The minister also highlighted initiatives that the department is funding to develop new research and development of industries that could help improve South Africa’s value addition for products including the Mandela Mining Precinct, agriculture and agro-processing sector, Agriculture Bio-economy Innovation Partnership Programme and Quicloc8 focused on the taxi industry that enables taxi owners to track vehicles, trips, routes and passenger head counts in real time via mobile phones.
A new Carbon Capture Storage by using the RDI Flagship Programme has also been initiated that “aims to integrate aspects of digitisation and the circular economy in order to extract chemical elements from waste gases in an environmentally sustainable manner”.
“Furthermore, the programme has the potential to ensure security of supply for selected chemical commodities, while creating new asset classes, new local manufacturing industries, and new export opportunities into Africa and the rest of the world.”