Tag Archive | department of science and technology

New biotechnology strategy on the way

Biotechnology and aspects of economy….

A new South African biotechnology strategy, with a focus on the economy and how biotechnology could be used to create a positive socio-economic impact would soon be launched, department of science and technology (DST) has said.

This has now been cleared by cabinet but very little is known on the actual document being prepared by DST other than it will focus on co-ordination between the various government departments dealing with biomass, bio technology, energy and the environment.

Creating jobs

On the subject of creating biofuels and biomass, the department of energy has told parliamentarians that the main objective of any such exercise, if it was undertaken in the agriculture industry, would be to create jobs.       However, such a move towards the use of biomass would not take place if national food or water security was jeapordised in any way.

This answer was given to the portfolio committee on energy by Muzi Mkhize, chief director hydrocarbons, department of energy (DOE), when briefing parliamentarians on DOE’s current strategy towards biofuels.  He said that in the South African context, a specific requirement of the biofuels strategy was to create a link between first and second economies and the focus was not only on jobs but specifically on creating employment in under-developed areas.

No document on the subject at this stage has reached Parliament.

Earlier articles on this subject:
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/doe-talks-biofuels-and-biomass/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/biofuels-development-stays-in-limbo/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//cabinetpresidential/energy-resources-doing-it-better-and-quickly/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//energy/doe-talks-biofuels-and-biomass/

Posted in Enviro,Water, Facebook and Twitter, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, LinkedIn, Special Recent Posts, Trade & Industry0 Comments

Hanekom to protect SKA win from fracking fallout

Protecting the Square Kilometre Array

In answer to a parliamentary question on the subject, the new minister of science and technology Derek Hanekom has confirmed that a report is to be undertaken by the department of science and technology and the SKA project team on any possible negative effects of shale gas fracking in the Karoo.

Mineral resources minister, Susan Shabangu, earlier told the media in a press media meeting that government “will approach fracking in the Karoo in a sensitive and responsible manner”.    At this meeting she made public to all the report on investigation of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Karoo.

Minister Hanekom’s recent response to MPs questions stated that findings of the research will focus on any negative impacts during the exploration phase and will also be used to inform measures to be put in place “for the exploitation phase.”

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Energy, Fuel,oil,renewables, Land,Agriculture, Public utilities, Uncategorized0 Comments

Cutback in nuclear is not in critical skills, says minister

The Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, in responding to questions in Parliament on South Africa’s reserve of critical skills in the nuclear energy field said that any retrenchments in this area were in the light of the fact that the Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) had made a commitment to the unions that the retention of critical skills would be a priority, should such retrenchment processes be inevitable.

She said that the department of energy (DoE), in partnership with the department of science and technology (DST), were both investigating possible plans for the retention of skills critical to South Africa’s nuclear build programme.

It became apparent recently that in order to meet the reduced appropriations in the current budget vote there was a pending retrenchment of 250 on the Necsa staff role but the Minister stated in response to the question that the department was working with the DST on a skills strategy for the nuclear programme in order to “balance risks of excess skills and skills shortages”.

In the response to the budget vote, Necsa indicated that it employed 2 179 workers, including 115 scientists, 69 engineers, 430 skilled workers, 328 semi-skilled workers, 139 management staff, 38 unskilled workers and had 23 directors. Earlier this year, as reported by ParlyReport, Necsa chairperson Sisa Njikelana told the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that insufficient funding for the nuclear body in terms of the 2012/2013 budget vote placed South Africa at risk when it came to nuclear oversight in terms of its mandate. Necsa is set to receive R554m, less than its previous budget.

Parliament, in making its recommendations on the budget vote to the minister as a result of DoE presentations, reminded the minister that in their view both Necsa and the energy regulator, NERSA, were underfunded.

 

Posted in Cabinet,Presidential, Electricity, Finance, economic, Fuel,oil,renewables, Mining, beneficiation, Public utilities, Trade & Industry, Uncategorized0 Comments


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