Showcasing local science, technology and innovation

May 30th, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT

Cape Town’s Iziko Museum w the backdrop for the 2018 Department of Science and Technology Budget Vote exhibition showcasing the department’s latest scientific innovations.

This year’s Budget Vote was held under the theme, “Advancing the legacy of Mama Albertina Sisulu through people-centred science and technology”. The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, delivered her first Budget Vote speech on Wednesday, tabling a R7,8 billion budget.

Several activities were held on the day to mark the occasion, including an exhibition demonstrating how science, technology and innovation are contributing to the country’s development and to everyday life.

More than twelve exhibits were on display. Exhibitors included DST entities such as the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as well as stakeholders and projects funded by the department through these agencies.

Visitors learned about the construction of the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the development of hydrogen as an alternative energy source, and an initiative to establish vaccine manufacturing capacity in the country, among others.

Startup AgriProtein (, funded by the department through the TIA) drew attention for how they convert insect-based organic waste into protein for commercial use in the animal feed industry. The startup processes more than 8-billion flies to produce 250 tonnes of waste a day. Also displaying their work was Beedale, a company that has developed a new hive platform to meet the demands of the modern beekeeper. The SmartHive incorporates a variety of functions that are integral to daily beekeeping operations, including a solar power supply input, battery condition monitoring, hive temperature monitoring and GSM-based backhaul communications.

At another stand, a company showcased the work it is doing at the new Mandela Mining Precinct in Johannesburg. The precinct functions on the hub-and-spoke model, with the precinct at the centre connecting to mining companies and institutions through collaborations. Partners involved in this initiative include the Chamber of Mines, the DST through the CSIR, the Departments of Mineral Resources and Trade and Industry and the universities of Wits, Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Contact Veronica Mohapeloa, DST, Tel 083 400-5750, veronica.mohapeloa@dst.gov.za