DST Invests in Innovation and Development
THE DEPARTMENT of Science and Technology (DST) is in the process of investing R78 million in connectivity for six remotely-located higher education institutions.
During her budget speech, science and technology minister, Naledi Pandor, said the department connected 150 schools in the Nkangala District Municipality, in Limpopo, using a wireless mesh network for broadband connectivity.
The DST received a total of R4.96 billion for the 2012/13 financial year, of which 53% (R2.6 billion) is allocated to the seven public entities including the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Human Sciences Research Council (NSRC), the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the Africa Institute of SA (R33 million), and the Academy of Science of SA (R13 million).
Of the remainder, R1.94 billion is allocated to research and development projects implemented by the various institutions on behalf of the department, and R397 million is set aside for the running cost of the department.
This financial year, the treasury introduced a new science and technology spending category, which adds together the DST’s budget and the budgets of all government research councils, and amounts to R34.2 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), of which R10.7 billion is allocated in 2012.
The department is using a donor-supported grant of R144 million to build the capacity of priority district municipalities to be in a better position to manage technology and innovation in meeting the challenges of service delivery.
The department has now established six new centres of excellence, devoting R734 million over the MTEF to the equipment programme and national facilities, extending the life-span of the Astronomy Desk for up to three years, and spending an extra R110 million in the 2012 MTEF on the internship programme.