Meeting SummaryThe Deputy Director-General: Socio Economic Partnerships and the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Science and Technology briefed the Committee on the 2008/09 Annual Report. The presentation included an outline of the four key objectives and five strategic programmes of the Department. Details of the performance targets set, achievements reached and service delivery highlights of each of the programmes were provided. The Department utilised 99.5% of the budget of R3.721 billion and received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General.
Members asked questions on the efforts made by the Department to encourage learners to obtain higher scientific qualifications, the target date for the migration from analog to digital television broadcasts, the limited number of research chairs, the availability of the Advanced Fire Information Service to municipalities, the beneficiation of titanium in the country and the development programmes for the youth.
The Committee approved a shortlist of 25 candidates for appointment to the South African National Space Agency Board. The Committee Report on the shortlist of candidates was approved.
Briefing by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on the 2008/09 Annual Report
Ms Marjorie Pyoos, Deputy Director-General: Socio Economic Partnerships, DST briefed the Committee on the Department’s Annual Report for the 2008/09 financial year (see attached document).
The presentation included a summary of the four key objectives and five strategic programmes developed by the Department in accordance with the White Paper on Science and Technology, the National Research and Development Strategy and the Ten-year Innovation Plan. Details of the performance targets and achievements for the Corporate Services and Governance, Research, the Development and Innovation, the International Cooperation and Resources, the Human Capital and Knowledge Systems and the Socio-Economic Partnership programmes were provided. Details of the demographical representation of the personnel employed by the Department were included.
Ms Malekgoloane Malapane, Chief Financial Officer, DST presented the financial performance of the Department. The total budget for the 2008/09 financial year was R3.721 billion, of which 99.5% was utilised. The percentage of budget and the amount allocated for each of the five strategic programmes were provided. The Department received an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General.
Ms L Jacobus (ANC) asked what the Department did to encourage learners to obtain higher education qualifications, for example Master’s degrees. She wanted to know which African countries were involved in the joint projects referred to on slide 16 of the presentation document.
Ms Pyoos explained that the Department had programmes in place for the development of the youth. She suggested that a further meeting was arranged for the Department to brief the Committee on this subject. Joint projects with other African countries included
Mr PF Smith (IFP) had heard that an award was announced but was unsure if the DST was involved. He requested clarity on slides 5 – 7 and asked for further information on the number of targets that were set and how many were achieved by the Department. He wanted to know what the status was of the migration from analog to digital television broadcasts.
Ms Pyoos explained that the award referred to by Mr Smith was sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry. The award was given in support of the programme for industrial innovation. She apologised if the slides on the targets set and achievements were confusing and said that the Department intended to have future reports compiled by the accounting and auditing firm KPMG. She advised that the target date for full migration from analog to digital broadcasts was 2011. The international target date was 2018.
Ms MR Shinn (DA) wanted to know why only ten research chairs were supported by the Department and if financial constraints were the reason for this.
Dr Phil Mjwara, Director-General, DST, explained that the limited number of research chairs was caused by the lack of suitably qualified persons to occupy the positions. The Department had an objective to recruit qualified retirees to return for the purpose of training the younger generation.
Mr LN Mkhize (ANC) requested further details of the number of graduates referred to in slide 20 of the presentation. He wanted to know what progress had been made on adding value to the titanium produced by the country. Referring to the Advanced Fire Information Service mentioned on slide 25 of the presentation, he asked if the information was made available to all municipalities.
Ms Pyoos advised that 92 unemployed graduates were taken on by the Department as interns. 124 young persons were involved in the youth development programmes. She confirmed that the Advanced Fire Information Service was available to all municipalities but the municipalities were not in a position to pay for the service. The Department was investigating how many provinces were currently making use of the service.
The Acting Chairperson congratulated the Department on achieving an unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General. She wanted to know why there was no programme for the beneficiation of titanium. She suggested that the Department met with the Departments of Education to ensure that potential scientists were encouraged from an early age. She remarked that satellite launching facilities would be required for future upgrades to satellites. She encouraged Members of the Committee and the Department to ensure that ordinary people understood the role played by the DST. The reminded the representatives from the DST that a further meeting with the Committee was scheduled for the following week.
Consideration of shortlist of candidates for appointment to the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Board
The short-listed candidates for appointment to the SANSA Board were discussed during the meeting of the Committee on 21st October 2009. The Department of Science and Technology was requested to include a person with disabilities in the shortlist of candidates. The Department duly consulted with Disabled People of South Africa and recommended Mr Vincent Gore in the place of Ms Justine Limpitlaw, who had withdrawn her candidacy for personal reasons. A shortlist of 25 candidates was submitted for consideration by the Committee. A Member of the Committee was concerned that a new candidate had been added to the list after the closing date. There were no objections to the candidates on the shortlist.
The Committee’s Report on the shortlist of candidates was accepted (see attached document).
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.