The South African government has recognised the need to increase the country’s research and development (R&D) budget. This was stated by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in Pretoria. He was opening the fifth CSIR Conference.
He pointed out that Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor had been continually raising in Cabinet the issue of increasing the R&D budget. “We are heeding her call,” he stated. “The penny has dropped. To move ahead, this is the budget we have to increase.”
He noted that the South African government was working to make the country a preferred destination for foreign science and technology investment. He cited investments made by GE, IBM and Cisco. “We’ve got intellectual capital that we can showcase to the world,” he affirmed.
“Investment in R&D has been an important part of our economic strategy,” he said. “A strong manufacturing sector is also crucial for industrialisation. The CSIR has the capacity and expertise to contribute to the growth of our manufacturing sector.” He affirmed that the CSIR would play a major role in enabling the execution of the National Development Plan, which covers the next 15 years.
“As a country, we commend the progressive contribution made by the CSIR to the development of science and technology. And more than 50% of the people that do the fantastic work here are truly representative of the demography of our country,” he highlighted. “The work of the CSIR is helping transform our society.”
“I’m confident that, with all the work you’re doing here, you’ll make our country successful,” asserted Ramaphosa.