Government still committed to R&D spending goal – Minister

The South African government is still firmly committed to increasing spending on research and development (R&D) to 1.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), despite a decline in R&D spend as a proportion of GDP stretching back to 2018, writes William Brederode for News24.

This according to Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Dr Blade Nzimande who was speaking at the National Research Foundation awards ceremony on 31 August. He said spending on R&D was critical for developing the economy. Science, technology and innovation are critical to have a competitive and sustainable economy and for addressing the many societal challenges we face as a country and a continent.

Each year, the Department of Science and Innovation, in collaboration with Statistics SA, releases an R&D survey where the proportion figure is released. There has been a steady decrease in the proportion of GDP allocated to R&D from 2017-18 where 0.83% of GDP was spent on R&D to 2020-21, the latest period where data is available where R&D spending stood at 0.61% of GDP.
Full report on the News24 site