The Department of Science and Technology will spend R7.5 billion on its activities this year, including channel funds towards research, development and technological innovation.

This was revealed by Science and Technology minister, Naledi Pandor, in her Budget Vote speech delivered in Parliament today, in which she outlined her department’s budgetary plans for the 2017/18 financial year.

“There is growing appreciation of the contribution of science, technology and innovation (STI) to socio-economic transformation and the achievement of government imperatives,” Pandor said.

“Internationally, science, technology and related innovations are recognised as future sources of economic growth, with the potential to create new types of jobs, and provide new solutions to problems trapping people in poverty, such as poor health and water shortages.  The Department has therefore sharpened its focus on the ways in which its work and the work of the broader national system of innovation can contribute to addressing South Africa’s most pressing challenges.”

With the 2017/18 budget at R7.5 billion, the department will maintain a clear focus on human capital development and the continuous modernisation of research infrastructure.

The budget will be divided between the department’s five main programmes, which are as follows:

  • Research, development and support receives R 4.3 billion
  • Socio-economic innovation partnerships receives R1.6 billion
  • Technology innovation receives an allocation of close to R1.1 billion
  • International Cooperation and Resources receives an allocation of R128.7 million
  • Administration receives R383,7 million

Parliamentary grants for entities reporting to the minister are as follows:

Pandor said the department will also ensure that at least 80% of postgraduate students receiving support through the National Research Foundation (NRF) bursary programme are black, 55% are women and 4% are people with disabilities.

[Source – Department of Science and Technology]