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Manamela sets out South Africa’s science priorities for 2021

Image: South African Government

Deputy minister vows to tackle gender and race imbalances

[SFSA2020] South Africa’s deputy science minister rounded off this year’s Science Forum South Africa by vowing that his department would tackle gender and race imbalances in research in the coming year. 

Stating that “science begins with and depends on people,” Buti Manamela promised that the DSI will “redouble” its efforts to support the next generation of South African researchers and innovation.

“[We will be] paying special attention, as highlighted during the Forum, to addressing gender imbalances and advancing transformation,” he said. 

In his closing address on 11 December, the deputy minister said the Department of Science and Innovation would “continue to work for and invest in the development of human capability”.  

“[The department] is committed to harnessing science and innovation for South Africa, building a capable state, and working responsively and proactively to address the needs of its citizens,” he said. 

“We will also continue to support South Africa’s role as a responsible partner in the community of nations, working for equitable and truly sustainable global development,” he added.

Efforts to grow South Africa’s research enterprise will “benefit significantly” from discussions held at the three-day science forum, he said. 

However, growth on its own was not enough, he added. “We must ensure that knowledge is applied to enhance economic growth and advance inclusive social development. This will be at the heart of our Department’s work in 2021.”