Department: Science & TechnologyThe DST strives toward introducing measures that put science and technology to work to make an impact on growth and development in a sustainable manner in areas that matter to all the people of South Africa.

This includes focused interventions, networking and acting as a catalyst for site2016 in terms of both productive components of our economy, making it competitive in a globally competitive liberalised environment, and also in respect of the huge development backlog existing among the poorest components of our society. The goal of realising this vision is underpinned by development and resourcing strategies for the formation of science, engineering and technology, human capital, democratisation of state and society, promotion of an information society and ensuring environmental sustainability in development programmes. Read more on the DST's Vision, Mission and Corporate Values

How does the DST facilitate the flow of scientific knowledge into South Africa? How does the DST deal with new frontiers in science and technology, such as biotechnology? Read the answers to these questions in the DST's programmes section. You can also familiarise yourself with the DST's structures by using our interactive organogram.

The Programme conducts the overall management of the DST and provides centralised support services to ensure that funded organisations comply with the strategic focus of the NSI; and to monitor and evaluate the science councils. XXX

It has three sub-programmes:

  • The offices of the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Executive Committee
  • Corporate Services is responsible for finance, human resources management, legal services, information technology systems and support and internal auditing.
  • Property Management covers functions and funds that have been devolved from the Department of Public Works.

This programme aims to lead and support other government departments in sector-specific  research and development, technology and directed human capital programmes.

It has three sub-programmes

1. Science and Technology for Economic Impact


2. Science and Technology for Social Impact

3. Science and Technology Investments

Presentations available from this website are provided in Portable Document Format (.PDF) only.  Should you wish an alternative format, please contact the webmaster in this regard using the feedback facility.

Articles that have appeared in the Media -


The National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) has become a regular feature of South Africa’s science and technology landscape.

The Survey is conducted annually by the Human Sciences Research Council’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

This site and the attached, downloadable documents, cover the methodology employed and the results for the five sectors covered in the two Surveys. The 2001/02 Survey constituted the first official survey since that of 1997/98.

Following the Frascati Manual, the survey covered business enterprises, government, higher education institutions, not-for-profit institutions and science councils.

Conceptual framework
Frascati Surveys have been carried out internationally for more than 40 years, but common understanding to what properly constitutes R&D remains somewhat problematic.
The Frascati Manual definition of R&D is as follows: "Research and Experimental Development (R&D) is creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock knowledge to devise new applications."
As much care as possible is taken to develop a common understanding with the respondents of what properly constitutes R&D.
The Frascati Manual is extensive and complex, and considerable effort was invested in developing a User Guide, and supporting the sector participants in completing the questionnaires as fully and accurately as possible The Frascati Manual, however, provides a set of guidelines, not prescriptions.
It is noted that the survey time series was both interrupted (no data in 1999/2000) and subject to methodological variation, since it was executed by different agencies between 1991 and 2001.
This Survey confronted the dual role of conducting the Survey in parallel with capacity building.

Measurement design
The work of the Surveys entails the development of appropriate sector sampling methodologies (covered in the Survey Management and Results System database). The sampling methodology and measurement design were reviewed and approved by the DST Reference Committee.
Breaking down of R&D performers into five sectors represents a deliberate choice. In many OECD countries it is common practice to combine some of the five sectors. It was decided to avoid confusion by surveying the sectors separately as has been previous practice in South Africa
More information on the various sampling frames for the five sectors and survey instruments can be obtained by downloading the 2001/02 Report.

Disclaimer: Survey data may be freely used, subject to the acknowledgment of its source. Any interpretation or further analysis is the responsibility of the third party.




The National Research and Technology Foresight Project

The National Research and Technology Foresight project was one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Department of Science and Technology's predecessor, the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, as part of its mission to review and reform South Africa's science and technology system. Interest in foresighting in South Africa has received special emphasis in the July 1993 Mission Report on science and technology policy sponsored by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. The intention to carry out such an exercise was announced by the Ministry of Arts, Culture Science and Technology in mid 1994, shortly after the establishment of the new Ministry.

The aim of the Foresight project was to help identify those sector specific technologies and technology trends that will best improve the quality of life of all South Africans over the next 10-20 years. The project encompassed technologies that impact on social issues and wealth creation through product or process development. In particular it seeked to:

  • identify those technologies and latent market opportunities that are most likely to generate benefits for South Africa;
  • develop consensus on future priorities amongst the different stakeholders in selected sectors (industrial, socio-economic or service);
  • co-ordinate the research effort between different players within selected sectors;
  • reach agreement on those actions that are needed in different sectors to take full advantage existing and future technologies.

Equally as important as these outcomes, was the foresight process itself, which brought together government departments, industry, science councils, higher education, organised labour, professional organisations and other stakeholders, who previously related to each other in a highly fragmented way.

The following sector specific reports were generated during the foresight exercise:


The Department of Science Technology (DST) is supporting a number of exciting projects that intend to use science and technology to reduce poverty through job creation, the development of small and medium enterprises, economic growth and improved quality of life.


For this reason, the Department’s Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme, which the Department launched on 17 September 2010, is supporting the following projects with nearly €30 million in untargeted budget support from the European Union over four years:

  • Aquaculture – establishment of abalone hatcheries
  • Beneficiation of waste streams from primary processing operations: development of BIOMIN as a soil ameliorant; and Chemcity.
  • Beneficiation of farmed produce into finished products – development of herbal products
  • Community Wireless Mesh Network
  • Demonstration agronomy – establishment of an African ginger nursery
  • Demonstration agronomy – indigenous leafy vegetables
  • Demonstration agronomy – new essential oil species
  • Demonstration agronomy – Damask rose (Rosa damascene)
  • Expansion of demonstration grow-outs to commercial scale in Pella, Onseepkans and KwaNobuhle.

Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme

The Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the European Union’s (EU) Sector Budget Support Programme (SBS). (;sid=13271&tid=20046). The SBS supports the use of science and technology (S&T) and innovation to develop small and medium enterprises in rural areas to contribute to improved quality of life.  The focus of the Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is on:

  • the creation of jobs through science, technology and innovation interventions
  • the establishment of sustainable livelihoods through small-scale science and technology-based agro-processing and aquaculture industries in line with that sector’s bioeconomy objectives
  • enhancing human settlements through appropriate technologies for such things as access to clean water, information and communication technologies and renewable energy
  • supporting small and medium enterprises with demonstration technology
  • improved access to online government services and science and technology knowledge through the application of information communication technologies
  • developing and improving global environmental science and responses
  • strengthening the science sector in South Africa.

The European Commission

The European Commission ( is the European Union's ( executive body. It proposes and enforces legislation and represents and upholds the interests of Europe as a whole.

Sector Budget Support

The European Commission defines budget support as the transfer of financial resources of an external financing agency to the national treasury of a partner country. These financial resources form part of the partner country’s global resources, and are consequently used in accordance with its public financial management system.  Sector budget support takes the form of a transfer to the national treasury in support of a sector programme. This kind of support seeks to accelerate progress towards the partner country’s sectoral goals.

The sector approach assists collaboration between government, development partners and essential stakeholders mainly with the aim of improving both government and national ownership of public sector policy and decisions about the allocation of resources. This means coherence between policy, spending and results. It also reduces transaction costs.

The first project to benefit from the SBS-funded Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Programme is the Community Wireless Mesh Network (WMN) project. This large-scale technology demonstrator project has progressed significantly since its inception. By the start of 2011, R40 million had been allocated to the WMN project.

Other SBS beneficiaries include agro-processing projects to the value of R38 million.  Select appropriately from the list below for more information concerning a particular project.

site2016s to the R&D Tax Incentive Programme

Government has made site2016s to the law under which companies performing research and development (R&D) qualify for incentives.

These site2016s have been made to the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No. 58 of 1962), and appear in the Tax Laws Amendment Act, which was promulgated on 10 January 2012, affecting section 11D of the Income Tax Act. Read more


The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentives Programme encourages the private sector to invest in research and development activities. The R&D Tax Incentives are an indirect approach to increasing national R&D expenditure and complements government's expenditure in this regard.

For more information, please contact Ms Dimakatso Mokone at +27 12 843 6560 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Select relevant material as appropriate -

Scientific and Technological Research and Development Tax Incentive Application Form

Final drafts and comments should be inserted in the word document and sent to the DST on or before 15 August 2012. Comments should be forwarded to the unit’s e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



The German-South African Year of Science Exhibition will be open to the public.


Monday, 16 April to Tuesday, 17 April 2012

09:00 – 16:00

First floor, Ball Room East

Cape Town International Convention Centre


Entrance free

Visit the joint website at



Year of Science 2012/2013





The Department of Science and Technology  and the National Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs, hosted a three days national conference on Global site2016. The conference took place at Birchwood Hotel and conference Centre, Boksburg, 26-28 November 2012. The central theme of the first Global site2016 conference was: “Understanding Global site2016 for Innovation towards a Resilient Society”. Click here for more infor:



South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate site2016 (UNFCCC), and therefore a member of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC.

The COP established the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) with the aim of facilitating developing countries' access to environmentally sound technologies for low-carbon and climate-resilient development. The CTCN does this by stimulating technology cooperation and enhancing the development and transfer of technologies to developing country parties at their request.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) is South Africa's National Designated Entity (NDE) for the CTCN,ensuring national coordination and communication with all relevant stakeholders on matters related to the CTCN. Among other things, the NDE serves as a national focal point for CTCN activities, supports the articulation and prioritisation of requests and proposals, and manages the process of submitting technical assistance requests to the CTCN.All technical assistance requests from South Africa must be submitted through the NDE.

For more information.please contact Dr Henry Roman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 012 843 6434, or visit

About the CTCN

The CTCN is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and is supportedby a consortium of partners that are engaged in activities related to climate technologies in over 150 countries.

The CTCN facilitates the transfer of technologies through three core services, i.e.

  • at the request of developing countries,providing technical assistance to accelerate the transfer of climate technologies;
  • creating access to information and knowledge on climate technologies;
  • fostering collaboration among climate technology stakeholders via the Centre's network of regional and sectoral experts from academia, the private sector, and public and research institutions.

Through these services, the CTCN helps to create an enabling environment for

  • reduced greenhouse gas emissions and climate vulnerability;
  • improved local innovation capacity;
  • increased investment in climate technology projects.

CTCN documents

The closing date for the current call for CTCN requests is Wednesday 28 February 2018.

Other documents

Information-sharing presentations


      Click here for: PRIAP Webpage

       Permanent Register for Interested and Affected Parties (PRIAP)



Schools competition

The aim of the competitions (for primary and high schools)is to inspire curiosity among South African learners in the MeerKAT and the bid to host the SKA, as well as to attract learners to careers in science, engineering and information technology. All learners in grades 4 to 11 are eligible to enter the competitions in which, by answering five easy questions,they could win themselves prizes like  laptops, printers, digital cameras and organised tours of their nearest astronomy observatory.

RAA Awareness Campaigns


RAA African VLBI Network

RAA Human Capital Dev

RAA High Perfomance Computing CoC




SKA Promotion


The Department of Science and Technology  and the National Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs, hosted a three days national conference on Global site2016. The conference took place at Birchwood Hotel and conference Centre, Boksburg, 26-28 November 2012. The central theme of the first Global site2016 conference was: “Understanding Global site2016 for Innovation towards a Resilient Society”. Click here for more infor:

Switchboard: +27 12 843 6300
DST Building (Building No. 53)
(CSIR South Gate Entrance)  
Meiring Naudé Road,
Private Bag X894
South Africa

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