Pandor upset over unchanged science and tech budget

Cape Town – The department of science and technology needs more than the R7.4bn set aside in the budget for South Africa to stay abreast of global innovations, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.

"I am really quite distressed about our budget for 2016/17 – it is exactly the same as 2015/16," she said at a media briefing ahead of the department's budget vote.

She suggested that any "padding" in other departments' budgets be sent over to the science and technology department.

Evidence showed countries that invested in science and technology during a global downturn did better than others when conditions started improving, Pandor said.

But the South African government, unlike Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, was stuck in old ways when it came to science and technology funding, and would lose out on opportunities if it did not act soon.

"Otherwise we are going to lose people to countries that are marshalling resources in innovation," she warned.

The sector was important, not only for the Square Kilometre Array and MeerKAT telescope projects, which are attracting researchers from around the world, but it also played a part in finding alternatives to pressing needs in communities, especially on alternative power supply and sanitation technology.

The total budget includes parliamentary grants split between:

- The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - R872m;
- The National Research Foundation - R883m;
- The Human Science Research Council - R290m;
- The Technology Innovation Agency - R382m;
- The SA National Space Agency - R125m; and
- The Academy of Science of South Africa - R23m.








ZAR/USD
16.72
(+0.29)
ZAR/GBP
21.01
(+0.48)
ZAR/EUR
19.07
(+0.04)
ZAR/AUD
11.67
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.46)
Gold
1809.01
(+0.39)
Silver
19.23
(+0.66)
Platinum
827.48
(+0.14)
Brent Crude
42.17
(-1.20)
Palladium
1967.50
(+0.38)
All Share
55531.05
(-1.19)
Top 40
51235.09
(-1.23)
Financial 15
10528.08
(-1.64)
Industrial 25
75515.64
(-1.81)
Resource 10
53219.66
(-0.20)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 2070 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2676 votes
My finances have been devastated
35% - 4041 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2894 votes
Vote