Science and Technology committee completes briefings with Department and entities

The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology yesterday completed its round of briefings with the Department of Science and Technology and its entities.

The Committee received presentations on the 2018/19 annual performance plans (APPS) and budgets from the Department of Science and Technology, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council, the National Research Foundation, the National Advisory Council on Innovation, the Technology Innovation Agency, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the South African National Space Agency.

One of the mandates of the committee is to approve the APPs and monitor the performance of the department and its entities on a quarterly basis. The committee thoroughly interrogated the department and its entities over the past few weeks. The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Lindiwe Maseko, said that the transformation and development of the sector must be high on the agenda of both the department and the entities. The focus must be on developing young people to enter the science and technology fields. Professionals within the industry must be enabled to become global players. Entities must look at creating global partnerships to share and learn from each other and more focus must be on research and development.

The committee further encouraged the department and entities to assist emerging entrepreneurs and innovators to work with other departments, such as the Department of Small Business Development, to enter the market place. Research and innovation must be key to addressing the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

As the year progresses, the committee will be monitoring the department and its entities closely to ensure that they achieve their goals as outlined in their individual APPs. Ms Maseko said she is proud that these entities do a lot with the budgets they receive and for that she commends them.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.