Committee Supports Department’s drive to invest in Science and Technology Projects

MAY 7, 2015

The Select Committee on Communications and Public Enterprises was impressed by a professional presentation from the Department of Science and Technology on its strategic plan for 2015-20, and its annual performance plan for 2015/16 fiscal year.

Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Ellen Prins, welcomed presentation by the Director-General Dr Phil Mjwara on the department’s commitment to build, grow and strengthen a national system of innovation that is productive and providing clear indication to be responsive to national priorities. The Committee was happy with the department’s assurance to engage public entities and universities to enhance efforts of transformation and the building of a strong knowledge economy for the country.

Dr Mjwara said the department had formulated institutional plans to accommodate and support young researchers to replace retiring researchers in the field of science and technology. He added: “The department aligned itself with the National Development Plan objectives by developing and enhance planning, analytical and evaluation capability with the vision to increase the wellbeing of our people through science and technology.”

Committee members reminded the department that as NCOP members, they were representing provinces and would be very happy if the department could provide the Committee with details of all the projects on science and technology piloted and conducted in their respective provinces. This, they said, made it easier for them to understand, interrogate and have constructive engagement with their respective provinces.

Committee further advised the department to expand geographic locations of science and technological projects so that they can reach out to deep rural areas. Ms Prins said she acknowledged the department’s ambition to product 5 000 science and technology doctoral graduates in five years. She added that the Committee would fully support such initiative that would invest in science and technology knowledge to grow the country’s industrial capacity in order to produce South Africa’s science and technology inventions.

 

Photo Caption: South African Science and Technology Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara. IMAGE supplied by www.biznisafrica.co.za