Posts tagged as: national

TFDA’s Clients Charter Out, Offers Free Phone Service

By Katare Mbashiru

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) has launched its Clients’ Service Charter, 2016 (Third edition) which, among other things, has reduced the number of days for registration of imported medicinal products from 360 in 2006 to 240.

As part of initiatives for improving the standard of service delivery, the charter has also reduced the number of days for registration of low risk food products to 40 from 240 in 2006, and, the registration of high risk food products will now take 50 days.

Under the new charter, the process of issuing import and export permits for registered food, medicines, cosmetics and medical devices, will take a single day, while it took between two and five days previously.

Speaking during the official launching of the charter in Dar es Salaam yesterday, TFDA Director General (DG) Hiiti Sillo said the timeframe for service delivery would be reduced depending on the availability of resources.

“It should be noted that nowadays, much emphasis is placed on efficiency, and so, the number of days may drop to fewer than the ones outlined in the charter,” he said.

According to the DG, the purpose of the charter is to openly show the responsibilities of TFDA to comply with the required quality standards in serving clients.

This, he pointed out, was in line with the National Development Vision 2025, the National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction 2015 and the National Trade Policy 2003 on promotion of the private sector as the engine of the economy as well as being flexible to address the new changes.

According to Mr Sillo, the charter further aims at providing information to clients about TFDA services and strengthens the relationship between the authority and clients in various areas.

Among other benefits, the new charter will help people to know the types of services TFDA offered, and the quality of specific services. The minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, commended TFDA for reviewing the charter in its quest for enhancing services.

In the speech read on her behalf by the Acting Director of Curative Services in the ministry, Dr Doroth Gwajima, the minister said the clients’ charter was a common thing in many countries around the world, as a tool for improving services in various government institutions.

She remarked: “As a country, we need to cherish this as part of the government’s quest to provide services for all in a professional, responsible and transparent manner.” The charter’s launch coincided the Public Service Week which kicked off yesterday.

In another development, TFDA launched the Toll Free Service number where clients can now call to the food and drugs watchdog free of charge to raise their concerns and get feedback by dialling 0800110084.

Many in Hot Water After Magufuli’s Second Minerals Report

By Katare Mbashiru

President John Magufuli has directed the security apparatus to summon and interrogate all officials who were mentioned in the second report on the export of mineral concentrates.

Among them are former cabinet ministers who entered into shoddy Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) with mining companies, occasioning loss to the country in taxes between 1998 and 2017.

Others are former Attorneys General (AGs), their deputies, former commissioners of minerals, directors of contracts departments, lawyers in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and others who participated in the drafting of the agreements, as well as provision and renewal of mining licences.

Speaking at the State House in Dar es Salaaam yesterday after receiving a report from an eight-member team led by Professor Nehemiah Osoro, Dr Magufuli said he endorsed all its recommendations.

The Osoro-led committee also proposed that legal steps should be taken against workers and owners of the biggest mining companies, Freight Forwarders (T) Limited for contravening the country’s laws.

Some of the individuals featuring in the report include former ministers for energy and minerals – Daniel Yona, Nazir Karamagi,Wiliam Ngeleja and Professor Sospeter Muhongo.

Others are former commissioners of minerals Paulo Masanja and Dr Dalali Kafumu, as well as Acting Commissioner of Minerals Ally Samaje. Featured too are former AGs (by virtue of which they were chief state legal advisors) Andrew Chenge and Johnson Mwanyika.

The list also includes former deputy AGs, Felix Mrema and Sazi Salula as well as the heads of the contracts department, Maria Kejo and Julius Malaba.

” I hereby direct intelligence and security officials to summon all the individuals who have been mentioned in this report and interrogate them, as a preamble to taking appropriate legal actions,” he said.

The mining companies that signed vague agreements with the ministry of Energy and Minerals, according to the report, are Bulyanhulu Gold Mines Limited (Kahama Mine Corporation Limited), North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Gold Mine Limited – all of which are under the Acacia Gold Mine Plc as well as Geita Gold Mine Limited (AngloGold Ashanti Limited).

Dr Magufuli furthermore called for a review of the Mining Act, directing lawyers in the ministries of Energy and Minerals, as well as Justice and Constitutional Affairs to work together to make important amendments that will help the country to benefit from the natural resources.

“Our country is endowed with a lot of natural resources but our people are still languishing in abject poverty because of some people who subordinate individual gains to national interests,” he said. He blamed some officials who ignored potential investors who had shown interest to build smelters in the country.

The Head of State said the country needed investors who were ready for conducting business under win-win arrangements and not exploiters who had been siphoning the country’s resources. He asked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, to explore the possibility of squeezing amendments in the law within the ongoing parliamentary budget session.

“Even if this entails extension of the session for an extra week, I am ready to give you the go-ahead and give you full support, to enable us amend our legislation for the benefit of our country,” he added.

Mr Ndugai, who also attended the report’s handing over function, said the House was ready to overhaul the law, adding that he also intended to form a team for overseeing the country’s diamond business as he did relating to Tanzanite.

In an interview with the ‘Daily News’, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, said he would facilitate the amendments of the Mining Act as directed by the Head of State. The president accepted all the committee’s 20 recommendations.

Work, Not Complaints Makes the Perfect Women Police Officer – Vice President Samia

The Vice-President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan has urged women police from Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) to participate actively in various operations taking place in the region as an effective measure to curb criminal acts.

Ms Samia threw this challenge in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the inaugural opening of three-day training session for women police from SARPCCO member states.

She further challenged the women police officers to work hard and dedicate their time, a key element in rising through the ranks– as do their male colleagues at their workplaces- stressing that there was “no time to complain” in order to be promoted; instead, the women officers should also “show their ability and skills at their best.”

“Positions do not just come… we show that our women police can earn promotions and leadership positions in the Armed Forces.

“Promotion and high ranks do not come out of the blue … you have to work hard to fulfill that desire in your life,” she said Regarding the performance of women police, Ms Samia has urged them to make use of the three-day summit to discuss in detail how to overcome such challenges that affect their performance.

Expounding, she said if women police stopped pulling each other down and allowed unity and peace to prevail among them, they would accomplish their goals especially in participating actively in the fight against crimes such as drug abuse.

For his part, Deputy Minister for Home Affairs, Hamad Masauni, said he strongly believed that the training would help to significantly improve the performance of women police.

Masauni also encouraged women who receive the training to pass the knowledge gained to their colleagues SARPCCO embraces 15 member countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

IMF Leader Touts for More Stable Tax Regime

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang has hailed Tanzania for managing to boost tax collection to finance infrastructure development but cautioned the country needs a more stable tax regime to remain an attractive investment destination.

The visiting IMF leader said it was vital to mobilise more private and public resources by strengthening tax collection but unpredictability of tax regime remained a challenge as the country strive to develop an industrial economy as envisaged in the second Five-Year Development Plan.

“So it is crucial to mobilise more private and public resources within Tanzania, especially by strengthening tax collection under a fair and predictable tax regime. This is an area where Tanzania has fallen behind its neighbours,” he said at a public lecture he gave in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

He described Tanzania as a strong performer in terms of economic growth and macroeconomic stability but argued the country needed to strengthen the role of private sector to sustain its impressive growth which has remained strong for over two decades.

He said the second Five-Year Development Plan would succeed if Tanzania would make optimal use of its comparative advantages, particularly the potential from agricultural and mining and possibilities of becoming a trading and logistic hub for East Africa.

Tanzania should also strengthen the business climate for local and foreign firms to attract investments, he said. The business community have been complaining of an unpredictable and complex taxation system which make doing business in Tanzania much harder and as a result discourage investment.

The government has restated its commitment to work on complaints from investors and business people of nuisance taxes ensure the country’s tax system does not stifle the private sector.

Touring industrial exhibitions at Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) grounds in December last year, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango had urged investors and the business community to forward to his ministry their tax recommendations so that they can be evaluated and incorporated into next year’s financial budget plans.

And speaking at a meeting with members of the private sector under the Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC) at State House in Dar es Salaam early this month, President John Magufuli said his government was ready to work with the private sector which he described as the engine of the economy.

The meeting washeld in the wake of reports of weakening investor confidence due to concerns about the economy, policy unpredictability and tax crackdown targeting big companies.

Magufuli dispelled sentiments that his government was “anti-business,” saying he was pro-business, but his administration would not tolerate tax dodging, which was rampant in Tanzania in previous years.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

323 Million/ – Given to Rombo Expected to Accelerate Economic Development

By Queen Isack

Rombo — Rombo District Council has been given some 323m/- for development projects in the 2016/17 financial year, so as to speed up development, it has been revealed here.

Rombo District Executive Director (DED), Ms Agnes John, said the money would be spent on important public projects like water provision, health centres, and ward offices. Speaking to villagers and council officials, Ms John stressed that village and ward officials should manage the projects effectively, a critical aspect being judicious expenditure of funds.

The official emphasized that the people, as the targeted beneficiaries, should keep close track of the projects, by, among other measures, regularly demanding income-andexpenditure records. She furthermore stressed that those who would not comply with government directives would be duly sanctioned.

The DED said the government had allocated 1bn/- for a water project in Ngareni village and 927m/- for construction of roads in Leto village.

The Rombo District Commissioner (DC), Ms Agnes Hokororo, said officials and the people should forge a close alliance in order to facilitate smooth execution of projects and other purposes for which public funds were allocated.

She stressed that the government was determined to elevate transparency and accountability to the peak, since it was only thus that poverty could at best be eradicated, and at worst, reduced.

The Ngoyoni Ward Executive Officer, Mr Isaya Tarimo, said the biggest challenge he faced was little awareness among the people on their importance to contribute willingly and seriously to development projects.

Tanzania

Capital Development Authority ‘Outlived Its Purpose’

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Pius Msekwa has joined an array of patrons supporting dissolution of the… Read more »

Two Judges Resign Under Unclear Circumstances

Two Tanzanian High Court judges, who have been under public scrutiny concerning high-profile cases they were linked to, have resigned.

Judge Aloysius Mujulizi and Lady Justice Upendo Msuya quit on Monday. Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadiki also resigned.

President John Magufuli accepted their resignation, according to a statement from State House released on Tuesday.

Justice Mujulizi was in 2015 accused of receiving Tsh40 million (about $18,000) from James Rugemalira, then owner of VIP Engineering, in unclear circumstances.

VIP had sold its 30 per cent stake in independent power producer IPTL (Independent Power Tanzania Limited) -which was engaged in a legal battle with the state electricity supplier Tanesco – and is reported to have been paid money withdrawn from an escrow account. The account was held jointly by IPTL and Tanesco.

It is alleged that Justice Mujulizi and another, judge Eudes Ruhangisa, were paid from the Tegeta Escrow account, sparking a public outcry in what became a major corruption scandal involving many government officials.

Then president Jakaya Kikwete declined to form a tribunal to investigate the judges even after Parliament passed a resolution for him to do so. President Kikwete said the chief justice would handle the matter.

Bail hearing

In 2011, Judge Msuya granted bail to two Pakistanis accused of trafficking 180 kilogrammes of heroin worth $2.7 million, a ruling that turned out to be controversial.

The two -Abdul Ghan Peer Bux and Shahbaz Malik- jumped bail and fled the country. The incident sparked debate as to provisions of the law. It was argued that the judge had erred in her ruling but the matter was not disputed in court. According to Tanzania’s anti-drug trafficking law, bail is forbidden for suspects detained with narcotics exceeding Tsh10 million (about $4,500) in value.

A member of the National Taskforce Against Drug Trafficking, Rogers Siyanga, told MPs at a seminar in 2011 that Justice Msuya’s ruling was a setback to the fight against the illegal trade.

Mr Siyanga was in February this year appointed the Commissioner for Drug Control and Enforcement Authority, by President Magufuli. After his appointment, Mr Siyanga said he would be review all drug-related cases in order to ascertain whether there were judges or magistrates who may have been biased or influenced in their rulings.

Mr Sadiki was the regional commissioner for Dar es Salaam before being transferred to Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania. Paul Makonda, who took over from him last year, has been conducting a relentless campaign against drug trafficking in Tanzania’s commercial capital which is backed by the president.

By the time of going to press, it was still unclear what the three officials gave as their reasons for resigning.

Tanzania

States Split On Funding Mechanisms to Bail Out EAC

East African Community (EAC) partner states are divided on the proposed financing mechanisms to bail out the… Read more »

Nyeri Jubilee Nominees Say Independent Candidates Rebels

By Joseph Wangui

Jubilee Party nominees in Nyeri County have launched a scathing attack on independent candidates terming them as rebels.

The 39 candidates said the “rebel” politicians who ditched the party will be treated as part of the opposition.

Senatorial aspirant Ephraim Maina, who is the group’s spokesman, disclosed that there was an agreement amongst the party aspirants before nominations that losers in primaries will support those who win.

“I am surprised that those who we were competing with have defaulted on this agreement and we are therefore urging voters to completely reject them. In Nyeri they are part of the opposition for defying President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said.

WORKING WITH NASA

Governorship candidate Wahome Gakuru claimed that independent candidates are working with Nasa and should therefore be denied a chance to hold elective positions in the county and also in the entire Mount Kenya region.

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said electing independent candidates would be harmful to the Head of State in the National Assembly.

He said that elected independent lawmakers will find it hard to operate in parliamentary committees and even sit in the Business Committee that sets the House agenda.

The MP observed that it is likely the current independent candidates will side with either majority or minority sides in parliament, which is contrary to the behaviour of independent candidates as stipulated in the Constitution.

CAMPAIGN FOR UHURU

The politicians further resolved to campaign together for President Kenyatta’s re-election and ensure he gets more than 460,000 votes in Nyeri County.

Mr Maina also said they decided to forget their past political differences to strengthen their newly-agreed political resolve.

He said that the infighting amongst them will only affect the re-election of President Kenyatta, adding that they must now have a working synergy to ensure that the worst does not happen.

“Before nominations, most of us were pulling in different directions but this Jubilee ticket has literally forged a common front for us. Going forward, we shall work together for the sake of our President,” he said.

Among those vying as independent candidates in Nyeri include current Governor Samuel Wamathai, Women Representative Priscilla Nyokabi and Nyeri businessman Dan Wamahiu who is vying for the senate seat.

The independent candidates are, however, insisting they are supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid adding that they lost the party’s ticket unfairly.

Kenya

Former President Kibaki’s Bodyguard Sues For 2002 Accident

A bodyguard involved in a road accident with former President Mwai Kibaki has alleged in a court case he was mistreated… Read more »

Uganda: Residents Demonstrate Over Road

By Alex Tumuhimbise

Kakumiro — Residents in Igayaza Trading Centre along the Kakumiro-Hoima road in Birembo Sub-county, Kakumiro District have protested against the proposed diversion of the road from Igayaza Trading Centre to Kisija, which is about 2km away from the trading centre.

The trading centre is located along the Kakumiro-Buhimba road, which is among the several oil roads earmarked for tarmacking ahead of oil production in 2020 in the Albertine region.

Police from Kakumiro dispersed off a few residents last Tuesday who had been incited by some local leaders.

However, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has down played the demonstration, saying it was unnecessary because there is no any confirmation of diverting the road yet.

An official who spoke to Daily Monitor and did not want to be disclosed because she is not the agency’s official spokesperson, said experts are still carrying out surveys to establish the route of the road adding that people should remain calm and avoid being misled by self-seekers.

The official warned residents against politicising the road project by people who fear missing out on compensation of their property in case the route is diverted.

Ms Hanifah Lubega, the social cooperate manager in charge of Western region, UNRA, recently led a technical team from the authority in a meeting with different stakeholders and said experts in environment and other key areas in early March started surveying the areas, which will be affected by the road project.

The road will be crucial in the construction of a pipeline from Hoima to Tanga port in Tanzania.

She said the Kakumiro-Buhimba road will be tarmacked using funds from the EXIM Bank of China.

Two companies which are yet to be disclosed have already expressed interest in the tender of constructing this road.

While marking the 31st NRM anniversary in Masindi District in January, President Museveni said critical oil roads must be strengthened in order to allow the oil refinery equipment and pipeline sections to be transported smoothly.

These roads are Kigumba-Masindi-Hoima-Kagadi-Kyenjojo, which are already under primary construction stage.

Mubende-Kakumiro-Kagadi-Ndaiga which is also under construction. Others are; Kakumiro-Nkondo-Nalweyo-Buhimba, Hoima-Butiba and Rusarila-Kabamba-Ntutsi-Sembabule road.

Meeting

Ms Hanifah Lubega, the social cooperate manager in charge of Western region, UNRA, recently led a technical team from the authority in a meeting with different stakeholders and said experts in environment and other key areas in early March started surveying the areas, which will be affected by the road project. The road will be crucial in the construction of a pipeline from Hoima to Tanga port in Tanzania.

Uganda

Are Police Harbouring Criminal Syndicate Within the Force?

Some weeks ago, President Museveni made a candid statement about the police, which I believe most Ugandans applauded.… Read more »

South Africa: Minister Eyes R20 Billion in Med Scheme Tax Credits for NHI Fund

Cape Town — Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, says the tax credits that are being earmarked for the establishment of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Fund amount to R20 billion.

The Minister said this when he tabled the Department of Health’s Budget Vote in the Old Assembly Chamber in Parliament on Tuesday.

This comes after former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his February Budget Speech that government was looking at setting up a NHI Fund and that in setting up the proposed fund, a number of options would be explored, including possible adjustments to the tax credit on medical scheme contributions.

“… The tax credits mentioned in the February 2017 Budget Speech by Treasury is a whooping R20 billion. Yes, R20 billion that in 2015 and annually will leave the fiscus through the SA Revenue Service [and] back to the pockets of people simply because they are members of a medical aid scheme (sic),” the Minister said on Tuesday.

Addressing Members of Parliament, the Minister said returning these tax credits back to medical aid schemes, instead of using it for universal health coverage, did not make sense.

The Minister said the time has come to use the fund to level the playing fields and provide services that would benefit the less privileged.

“This is the worst form of social injustice committed in the name of the cream of the South African society with our full participation… We believe the time to change and move towards economic equity as O.R Tambo had declared, has now arrived.

“We are proposing that the first step towards implementation of NHI is to pick up those who are outside the system of medical aids and provide services for them through the NHI Fund, which must be created from, among others, the R20 billion tax credits,” he said.

What the NHI can be used for

Minister Motsoaledi said, meanwhile, that in a massive reorganisation of school health during the first phase of the NHI pilot, the department has completed the screening of 3.2 million school kids for physical barriers to learning, including eyesight, hearing, speech and oral health.

He said a total of 500 004 school kids were found to have several problems. This includes 8 891 children with speech problems that will need a speech therapist; 34 094 children with hearing problems that will need an audiologist or maybe hearing aids; 119 340 with eyesight problems that will need an optometrist, ophthalmologist or maybe spectacles, and 337 679 children with oral health problems that may need a dentist, dental therapist or oral hygienists.

Minister Motsoaledi said the NHI Fund will, once established, be used to help the 500 000 children that have been screened.

“We will provide free antenatal care in the form of eight visits to a doctor to each of the 1.2 million women who fall pregnant annually. We would also provide them with family planning, provide for breast and cervical cancer screening as well as treatment where appropriate,” he said.

The Minister said through the fund, the department would also be able to provide better services for mental health users including screening and subsequent services.

The elderly would also benefit by being given assistive devices like spectacles, hearing aids and wheelchairs. The department would also be able to provide assistive devices to people living with disabilities.

“We will also deal with the backlog of blindness caused by cataracts. The backlog is now 270 000 elderly people who are presently blind and are awaiting cataract removal.

“We can perform 90 000 operations a year for the next three years to clear the backlog. This to us will be the beginning of revolutionising the way healthcare is provided in our country,” Minister Motsoaledi said.

South Africa: Minister Naledi Pandor – Media Briefing Ahead of Science and Technology Budget Vote 2017-18

press release

Media Statement by the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, ahead of the Science and Technology Budget Vote debate in Parliament on Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Members of the media

The theme

Our theme for this year’s budget vote is “The Oliver Tambo legacy – positioning the national system of innovation for the future”. Government announced the celebration of O.R Tambo this year, as it would have been his centenary had he lived.

OR Tambo wasn’t just a luminary of our struggle for freedom; he was also an outstanding mathematics and science teacher. As part of honouring OR Tambo, we will, soon, be hosting a round-table discussion on Mathematics and Education, in the East Rand of Johannesburg.

Strategic overview

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

STI is acknowledged as an important contributor in government’s Operation Phakisa and other initiatives. Further STI is recognised as a cross-cutter in government’s Nine-Point Plan.

At a policy level, the importance of STI is highlighted in South Africa’s National Development Plan (Vision 2030). The National Development Plan (NDP), notes that developments in STI fundamentally alter the way people live, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic growth and development.

Science, technology and innovation are key to equitable economic growth, underpinning economic advances and improvements in health systems, education and infrastructure.

The NDP argues that countries that are able to tackle poverty effectively by growing their economies are characterised by strong capabilities in STI, and acknowledges the role that STI can play in addressing the interlinked challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

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.

The DST adds value to the efforts of the rest of government and industry to implement the NDP by providing cutting-edge science and technology to enable effective decision-making.

The department’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan identified the need to provide decision support to improve government services or functions, and an audit undertaken in 2016/17 identified at least 19 services or functions where the investments of the DST and its entities are providing decision support.

The 2017/18 financial year is the third year of implementation of the DST’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. The plan is dominated by several specific strategic interventions intended to increase the capacity of the national system of innovation and its contribution to South Africa’s economic growth.

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. Already these efforts have resulted in enhanced knowledge production, growth and the transformation of the pool of knowledge workers, as well as the exploitation of knowledge for development.

This work relates directly to the Medium Term Strategic Framework’s Outcome 5 (A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path).

A considerable degree of the work and research that the DST undertakes supports the Medium Term Strategic Framework’s Outcome 2 (A long and healthy life for all South Africans) as well as Outcome 4 (Decent employment through inclusive growth).

The department also contributes directly to Outcome 6 (An efficient, competitive, and responsive economic infrastructure network) through its investments in research and development, promoting innovation, and building the country’s knowledge economy to improve productivity, health systems, education and infrastructure.

This will include research infrastructure grants to researchers and institutions across the innovation value chain (e.g. for pilot plants, technology demonstrators and specialised facilities); the establishment of new technology service platforms, such as a bioinformatics service platform to service the life science sector; and agro-innovation hubs to connect researchers and rural communities.

Sustainable growth in South Africa will require a transformed and fully utilised human capital base. To this end the department will 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.

Guidelines are in place to achieve this through the bursary and research support programmes, and the efficacy of these guidelines will be monitored and evaluated annually to ensure the realisation of these goals.

Some key priorities in 2017/18

The Research Development and Support Programme will transfer R 693 million to the NRF to ensure the completion of the MeerKat, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) demonstrator project.

The SKA will be the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Key economic benefits from this investment will be the leveraging of foreign direct investment from the SKA Organisation for constructions costs of phase 1 of SKA.

The National Development Plan acknowledges that economic growth is a long-term project and that the role played by innovation should see an incremental increase. The department will focus on South African innovation for energy security, poverty alleviation and health care funded through the Technology Innovation Programme, which has been allocated R1.1 billion.

In line with the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, 2008, the department will ensure greater economic and social returns from intellectual property generated from innovation activities using public funds.

The department will transfer R 36 million to the National Intellectual Property Management Office, to ensure that publicly funded intellectual property is used to create products, processes and services that contribute to quality of life in South Africa.

The department aims to position bio-innovation as a mechanism for achieving government’s industrial and social development goals, guided by the department’s 2013 Bio-economy Strategy. Under the Technology Innovation Programme, R156 million, is allocated for bio-innovation in the health, agricultural and industrial biotechnology sectors.

The budget

The DST’s total budget for the 2017/18 financial year is R 7.5 billion, which is divided between the Department’s five main Programmes. They represent various core focus areas, as follows;

Research Development and Support receives R 4.3 billion

The Programme plays a leading role in increasing knowledge generation and is a key source of research funding for higher education institutions. In 2015/16, 4 315 researchers were awarded research grants through programmes managed by the NRF/DST.

This figure is expected to increase to 4 500 in 2017/18. The Research Development and Support Programme is also the custodian of high-level human capital development.

In 2017/18, no fewer than 32 792 pipeline postgraduate students will be awarded bursaries through NRF/DST-managed programmes. Work will continue to ensure that South Africans have access to internationally comparable research and innovation infrastructure.

‘Between 2017/18 and 2019/20, 90 new research infrastructure grants will be awarded in response to the needs across the innovation value chain (that is, from equipment for fundamental research to high-end technology infrastructure), and the total available broadband capacity provided through the South African National Research Network (SANReN) will be increased to 3 500 Gigabits per second (or 3.5 Terabits per second), which will assist in providing more efficient transmission of data to all research and academic institutions and national projects’.

Socio-economic Innovation Partnerships receives R1,6 billion

The programme will spend this allocation on supporting the development of science and technology-based innovations for tackling poverty, including the creation of sustainable jobs and sustainable human settlements, and the enhanced delivery of basic services.

The programme provides policy, strategy and direction setting for the research and development-led growth of strategic sectors of the economy, and support for the transition to a green economy.

It leads in and supports the development of indicators and instruments for monitoring investments in science and technology and the performance of the national system of innovation, as well as ways of strengthening policy in relation to the system.

Finally, this programme funds technology and innovation development programmes to advance strategic medium and long-term sustainable economic growth and sector development priorities, as well as public service delivery.

Technology Innovation receives an allocation of close to R1,1 billion

This will be spent on leading, informing and influencing policy development in strategic focus areas; coordinating and supporting research and skills development in space science, renewable energy and the bioeconomy; and promoting the development, commercialisation and legal protection of scientific research and development outputs, processes and services. Some of these objectives are carried out through the Technology Innovation Agency and the National Intellectual Property Management Office.

International Cooperation and Resources receives an allocation of R128,7 million

This allocation is to be used for increasing the flow of international resources into the country for science, technology and innovation-based socio-economic development; increasing the exposure of South African researchers and students to global knowledge and STI networks; supporting capacity development in Africa to develop the continent’s knowledge-based economy; contributing to the global STI discourse and policy through regional, continental and global initiatives; and increasing the participation of South Africans in international human capital development opportunities.

Administration receives R383,7 million

It is responsible for the overall management of the department and to ensure that organisations funded by the DST comply with the standards of good corporate governance and align their activities with the strategic focus of the national system of innovation.

Parliamentary grants for entities reporting to the Minister of Science and Technology (In addition to the parliamentary grants, the DST entities implement additional projects using project funding.)

The National Research Foundation (R926 million) supports and promotes research through the funding of human resource development and the provision of facilities to enable the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge systems.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research receives R916 million to foster industrial and scientific development, particularly through multidisciplinary research and technological development, either by itself or in cooperation with public and private sector institutions.

The Human Sciences Research Council (R305 million) undertakes, promotes and coordinates policy-relevant, problem-oriented research in the human and social sciences, including research projects for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies in partnership with researchers all over the world, but particularly in Africa.

The Technology Innovation Agency (R397 million) stimulates and intensifies technological innovation in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans. The Agency is key to ensuring the translation of the research and development outcomes of higher education institutions, science councils and public entities into commercial technology products and services, thus intensifying the impact of innovation on the economy and society.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (R25 million) comprises an assembly of excellent scholars from many disciplines who are well networked both nationally and internationally and ASSAf has a mandate of promoting innovative and independent scientific thinking; promoting the optimum development of the intellectual capacity of all people; and providing effective advice and facilitating appropriate action in relation to the collective needs, opportunities and challenges of all South Africans.

The South African National Space Agency (R131 million) promotes the use of space and cooperation in space-related activities, while fostering research in space science, advancing scientific engineering through developing human capital, and providing support to industrial development in space technologies.

Today’s Lunch Programme

Over the years, we have made it a tradition to invite prominent role-players within the National System of Innovation (NSI) to give a lecture on various aspects of our work.

I am pleased to announce that Prof Michael Kahn has agreed to be our guest speaker at our event today. Prof Kahn is a policy analyst and evaluator of research and innovation. He is currently Professor Extraordinaire at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University.

His lecture will be on the performance of the National System of Innovation and takes place at Iziko Museum at 11h00, this morning.

Exhibitions

We have also mounted an impressive display of our work at Iziko Museum. I invite all of you and members of the public to go and see for yourselves, some of the work my department produces. A particular focus in this year’s exhibition, has been to profile grassroots innovations.

Issued by: Department of Science and Technology

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