Home > News > Other News > NSTF eNews: Anticipating and preparing for extreme weather events, NSTF-South32 Awards, plus more...

NSTF eNews: Anticipating and preparing for extreme weather events, NSTF-South32 Awards, plus more...

Written by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 31 May 2019 17:01


No longer "safe as houses"

Message from the NSTF Executive Director, Ms Jansie Niehaus.
About a month after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique in March, the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal experienced disastrous storms. There was loss of life, displacement of many people and much damage to property. We need to think urgently of adaptation to global warming. We should be working hard at anticipating extreme weather events and preventing the devastation that they cause. Good urban planning can play a very important role in achieving this. Read more.


2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards

Announcing the finalists: The finalists for the 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards will be announced in May. Enquiries can be directed to Ms Fulufhelo Gelebe at enquiries@nstf.org.za.
21st NSTF-South32 Awards gala dinner: The winners of the prestigious 2018/2019 NSTF-South32 Awards will be announced at the 21st Awards gala dinner. Book your tables and seats for this event, which will take place on Thursday, 27 June. The theme of the dinner, which will be held in Gauteng, will be ‘Periodic Table of Chemical Elements’. Seating is limited. Contact Ms Kgaugelo Teffo at enquiries@nstf.org.za for information and bookings.

Discussion Forum on sustainable development and the chemical elements

An NSTF Discussion Forum on chemical elements from the perspective of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals will be held in Midrand, Gauteng on 16 May 2019. The event is hosted by the NSTF in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology and Dow Southern Africa.
The UN proclaimed 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019). The UN recognises the importance of raising global awareness around chemistry. This includes chemistry’s role in solving global challenges within the energy, agriculture, health and other critical sectors.
Read the concept document and programme for background information.


Discussion Forum on chemical elements for South Africa’s future: Read all about it

There is a lot of controversy around mining. Mined rare earth elements (REE) are essential for existing and new technologies. Their uses include batteries, glass, fuel cells, hybrid and electric vehicles, wind turbines, and air conditioning.
Read more about the issues around REEs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the potential future of mining for the 4IR, the impact of 4IR on mining technologies and more by visiting the website of the March 2019 NSTF Discussion Forum on Chemical Elements for South Africa’s Future (#IYPT_za).
A media release on mining and the 4IR, the presentations and videos from the event are available on the NSTF’s Discussion Forum website.



Special newspaper supplement on the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements

Business Report, an NSTF Awards media partner since 2010, will be producing a special supplement on NSTF Discussion Forums focusing on the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (mentioned above).
This supplement will be the first partnership with Business Report specifically on NSTF Discussion Forums.  The NSTF annually provides four to six high-level platforms through Discussion Forums.  These Forums facilitate constructive, neutral and inclusive interaction and discussion with government and stakeholders on key priority areas of concern to the science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation community in South Africa. The focus of these discussions are on the latest government policies and research in order to generate feedback and make recommendations to policy makers and role-players. 
This NSTF supplement will increase awareness of the issues raised on the events on chemical elements mentioned above and lobby the outcomes to the broader public. This presents a unique opportunity for stakeholders to advertise in South Africa’s largest daily financial publication, carried in The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times and The Mercury. Contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.org.za for more information.




Change of internal telephone numbers

Some of the internal telephone numbers at the NSTF Secretariat have changed. The switchboard number, (012) 841-3987 stays unchanged. The contact numbers are:
Ms Jansie Niehaus (Executive Director): +27 (0)12 841-3987/2717
Ms Wilna Eksteen (Office Manager): +27 (0)12 841-3987/4995
Mr Matome Mphela (HR and Finance) and Ms Kgaugelo Teffo (Committees Secretary)
+27 (0)12 841-2717
Ms Fulufhelo Gelebe (Outreach, Media and Communications) and Ms Mosima Mabitsela (NRF Intern) +27 (0)12 841-4591
Mr Wiseman Tseisa (Outreach and Data Management) +27 (0)12 841-3349
Ms Koketso Mokolo (SAASTA Volunteer)
+27 (0)12 841-3987


New NSTF members

The NSTF welcomes the following organisations that joined us in April:

·         Capricorn Educational Resource Centre (Civil Societies Sector)

·         Econocom Foods (Business Sector - SMMEs)

·         GreenMatter (Civil Societies Sector)

·         SA Latex (Pty) Ltd (Business Sector - SMMEs)

·         South African Bureau of Standards (Science Councils and Statutory Bodies Sector)

·         Tiziri Advanced Manufacturing Technologies - TiziriTech (Business Sector - SMMEs)

Become a member of the NSTF to support the mission of the NSTF, a non-profit company that provides a consultative forum for influencing the formulation and delivery of SET and innovation public policy in South Africa.



Mzansi Bright Sparks

Mphoentle Piliso is studying medicine at the University of Cape Town. Despite growing up without parents and being diagnosed and hospitalised with asthma in her matric year, she was one of South Africa’s top matric learners of 2017. She is one of the 2018 first-year students who were recognised in the 2017/2018 NSTF Brilliants Programme for her outstanding marks in physical science and mathematics in the National Senior Certificate examinations.

You are not here in this world to be average, you are here to be your best and to be awesome.

This service is sponsored by the Fuchs Foundation.


Bursary Directory

The following bursaries in science, engineering and technology (SET) are currently available in the NSTF Bursary Directory:

·         Shoprite Bursaries (Closes 30 June)

·         IDC Bursary Programme (Closes 31 July)

·         Allan Gray Fellowship (Closes 02 August)

·         SAPPI Bursary Programme (Closes 30 September)

·         PSG Bursary Programme (closes 30 November)

·         GAST Bursary Programme (Open all year)

·         FMCSA Ford Bursary (Open all year)

·         Power Group Bursaries (Open all year)

This service is sponsored by the Fuchs Foundation.



Featured SET policy: Building safer communities (Chapter 12, NDP)

In a series of articles, the NSTF is unpacking the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. This section focuses on building safer communities. Read more.
Click here for the complete document of all the previous NSTF summaries (Chapters 1-12).

SET-related policies currently open for public comment

Policies open for comment allow the science, engineering and technology (SET) community to keep track of the changing regulation environment.

·         International Trade Administration Act: International Trade Administration Commission: Sunset review of anti-dumping duties on disodium carbonate: Comments invited (Comment by 27 May 2019)

·         Standards Act: Standards matters: Comments invited (Comment by 28 May 2019)

·         Pharmacy Act: Good pharmacy education standards: Comments invited (Comment by 31 May 2019)

·         Electronic Communications Act: Draft: Consumer advisory panel amendment regulations: Comments invited (Comment by 7 June 2019)

·         Tourism Amendment Bill: Tourism Amendment Bill: Comments invited (Comment by 11 June 2019)

·         Tourism Amendment Bill: Draft (Comment by 15 June 2019)

·         Medical Schemes Act: Regulations: Amendment: Comments invited (Comment by 28 June 2019)

·         National Health Act: Office of health standards compliance: Enforcement policy: Comments invited (Comment by 12 June 2019)

·         National Forests Act: Intention to declare State Forests Properties as Forest Nature Reserves under section 8(1) of the Act: Comments invited (Comment by 12 July 2019)

·         Animal Diseases Act: African horse sickness: Comments invited (Comment by 25 July 2019)

·         Accounting Standards Board: Exposure Draft of the proposed Directive on the Application of Standards of GRAP by Public Entities that Apply IFRS Standards. Comments invited (Comment by 31 July 2019)

SET-related policy news

·         Standard Bank withdraws funding of new coal IPP projects in SA (ee.co.za)

·         Finance model for energy projects in Africa needs to change (bizcommunity.com)

Environment and climate change

·         Why South Africa needs an independent water regulator (mg.co.za)

Medicine and health

·         Are foreigners stealing your jobs and healthcare? (bhekisisa.org) 

4th Industrial Revolution and technology

·         Government puts spectrum framework on ice (itweb.co.za)

·         Internet of Things helps feed the masses (ngopulse.org)

·         Occupational Health and Safety Trade Exhibition: Johannesburg, 14-16 May 2019

·         Securex South Africa: Johannesburg, 14-16 May 2019

·         Seminar on Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID): Protection of intellectual property for grassroots innovation: Pretoria, 21 May 2019

·         Road to registration for mentors, supervisors and HR practitioners: SAICE Midrand, 21 May 2019

·         2nd International Annual Congress on Controversies on Cannabis-based Medicines: Barcelona, Spain, 23-24 May 2019

·         Mental Health Symposium: Pretoria, 30 May 2019

·         Road to Registration for Mature Engineers, Technologists and Technicians: SAICE Durban 4 June 2019

·         Getting acquainted with water resource management: Cape Town, 11-12 June 2019

·         1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa: Nairobi, Kenya, 18-21 June 2019

·         Small Business Indaba: Johannesburg, 26 June 2019

·         Manufacturing Indaba: The role of manufacturing in Africa, Johannesburg, 25-26 June 2019

·         Launch of Manufacturing Indaba’s Black Industrialist Forum: Johannesburg, 25-26 June 2019. Email: info@manufacturingindaba.co.za.

·         ESSA & ZSSA Combined Biennial Congress: CSIR ICC, Pretoria, 3-7 July 2017

·         SA GeoTech 2019: Unlocking economic value with geotechnologies: Ekurhuleni, 22-23 July 2019

·         Species on the Move 2019 International Conference Series: Kruger National Park, South Africa, 22-26 July 2019

·         8th ExtruAfrica: Potchefstroom, 30 July - 2 August

·         International Palaeohistology Meeting 2019: Cape Town, 31 July – 4 August 2019

·         Getting acquainted with water resource management: SAICE Midrand, 22-23 August 2019

·         Road to registration for mentors, supervisors and HR practitioners: SAICE Johannesburg, 27 August 2019

·         ICT Infrastructure Conference and Expo: Ekurhuleni, 28-29 August 2019

·         SAAFoST Congress 2019: Johannesburg, 1-4 September 2019

·         Road to registration for mentors, supervisors and HR practitioners: SAICE Cape Town, 3 September 2019

·         13th International Conference on Paleoceanography: Sydney, Australia, 2-6 September 2019

·         XVII International Triple Helix Conference: Cape Town, 9-11 September 2019

·         12th Annual SA Innovation Summit: Cape Town, 11-13 September 2019

·         The International Society for Ecological Modelling Global Conference 2019: Salzburg, Austria, 1-5 October 2019

·         EduTECH Africa 2019: Johannesburg, 9-10 October 2019

·         International Conference on Financial Services: The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Financial Services: Durban, 9-10 October

·         World Pulses Day: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has established 10 February as World Pulses Day to recognise the importance of pulses as a global food. You can prepare to celebrate this day in 2020 and find many inspiring ideas by visiting the website of World Pulses Day 2019.

·         Africa Energy Indaba: From Transformation to Transition: Cape Town, 3-4 March 2020





Members of NSTF in the proSET (Professional Societies) sector are featured in every newsletter. This month the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers and the South African Academy for Science and Arts are profiled. Both the organisations were established in 1909.

·         Formed in 1909, the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) has grown to the extent that there are approximately 6000 members on its membership roll. Members are professionally engaged in the full range of engineering activities, including academic research, manufacturing, electronics, telecommunications, measurement and control, mining, and power infrastructural services. They make meaningful contributions of the quality of life to the community and to the steady advancement of technology. Learn more about the mission, objectives and work of the Institute by visiting their website.

·         The South African Academy for Science and Arts (Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns) was founded in 1909. The organisation’s mission and general objectives are the advancement of science, technology and the arts, as well as the promotion of Afrikaans usage and the maintenance of good linguistic standards. It also aims to deliver a service to the community. This multidisciplinary organisation serves the interests of all South Africans and strives to uphold excellence, fairness and exemplary scientific, moral and democratic values. Read more about this organisation on their website.

·         SAICE announces online CPD platform
The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) announced its new CPD platform with the launch of Read the Journal papers for CPD. Read more.


A guide to government funding for SMEs

The South African government offers a number of funding instruments for small businesses. SME South Africa has compiled a handy guide to this government funding, ranging from grants to incentives, with each offering some form of financial support for entrepreneurs.
Read more about the full or cost sharing grants, incentives and equity funding in this guide.

Universities and higher education

·         First accredited Automated Weather Station unveiled at TUT campus (iol.co.za)

·         How to approach the revolution in scholarly publishing (theconversation.com)

·         Rhodes students’ idea puts them in line for $1m international prize (engineeringnews.co.za)

·         UWC-based initiative exploring how to clean up SA’s filthy cities (infrastructurenews.co.za)

Science Councils and Statutory Organisations

·         Landmark ASSAf Study on Research Publishing Launched (assaf.org.za)

Medicine and health

·         Diseases deal massive blow to productivity in Africa (scidev.net)

·         How we are developing immunotherapies relevant to Africa (theconversation.com)

·         First population dataset to track South Africans' health and wellbeing (dst.gov.za)

·         UN report warns of disastrous consequences of antibiotic resistance (groundup.org.za)

Astronomy and space science

·         SA reaches for the stars - but at what cost to mining? (bizcommunity.com)

·         Vibrant young South African community poised to use MeerKAT telescope (www.ska.ac.za)

·         SKA Consortium completes design of Science Data Processor (www.ska.ac.za)

Environment, climate change and energy


·         Online tool to simplify environmental sensitivity screening (ee.co.za)

Climate change

·         Scientists see fingerprint of warming climate on droughts going back to 1900 (phys.org)

·         Global food systems are failing humanity and speeding up climate change: New report from 130 national academies issues wake-up call to leaders on eve of COP24 (assaf.org.za)


·         Africa’s only nuclear plant to get a major revamp (techcentral.co.za)

·         Re-imagining waste-to-energy for micro-generation (bizcommunity.com)

·         The critical role of buildings in the green energy transition (ee.co.za)

·         Absence of load-shedding signals positive outlook for business – index (polity.org)

·         Kathu plant adds to South Africa’s CSP capacity (ee.co.za)

·         Hybrid energy storage systems boost hybrid renewable energy systems performance (ee.co.za)

·         Renewables assisted SA to avoid stage 5 and 6 load shedding (csir.co.za)

·         Concrete contribution to solar energy (infrastructurenews.co.za)


·         Assessing the effectiveness of private finance blending in ensuring that small-scale farmers are not left behind (polity.org.za)


·         Eskom attributes load-shedding-free period to improved plant performance (engineeringnews.co.za)

·         Cost to repair infrastructure after KZN floods estimated at R 658 million (infrastructurenews.co.za)

Technology and the 4th Industrial Revolution

·         South African anti-poaching technology to go global (techcentral.co.za)

·         Implementing artificial intelligence in industrial manufacturing (ee.co.za)

·         Tech won't kill the contact centre, it'll make it more powerful (bizcommunity.com)

·         SA, World Economic Forum sign accord to establish 4IR affiliate centre (dst.gov.za)

Science Communication

·         2019 #FameLabSA Winners: Congratulations to Keneilwe Moropa from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Tshwane University of Technology for winning FameLab SA 2019. Close on her heels were runners-up Charmaine Tshangana – from UNISA’s Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit and Matia Makuma, a food scientist from Stellenbosch University. Read more about FameLabSA.


·         The Department of Science and Technology (DST) calls for nominations for the 2019 South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA). Closing date for nominations: Friday, 31 May 2019.

·         Entries for the Winetech Pitching Den will be accepted until 9 June 2019. Finalists will go through to the Winetech Pitching Den which will take place on 12 September at the 2019 SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town.

·         Imvelisi Environmental Entrepreneurship Ideation Initiative: Call for application of entrepreneurs younger than 35 who have matriculated, are living in South Africa, can communicate comfortably in English, and have a business idea/concept that speaks to natural resource management, climate change, food security, water security, biodiversity conservation and social innovation. They should also be available to attend a five-day ideation bootcamp in Gauteng from 1-5 July 2019. Deadline for applications: 20 May 2019.

·         ANDZA Entrepreneur Competition: SA’s top start-ups to compete for R10m in investment funding & acceleration. Entries close on 19 July 2019.

·         Nka’Thuto, a member of the NSTF, offers graduates in STEM fields the opportunity to engage with young minds in the STEM fields by being part of the Science Innovation Expo as a volunteer judge. Read more.

·         The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), and therefore respective universities, recently advertised for the fifth annual intakes into the new Generation of Academics Programme (nGAP). The programme is aimed at transforming both the composition and the size of teaching and research staff at the universities. Priority is given to young black and women doctoral graduates, and postgraduate students (SA citizens) who are then supported for a period of six years under the programme with guaranteed tenure at the end of the six-year period. Direct enquiries to Ms Mandisa Cakwe at: cakwe.m@dhet.gov.za


The South African Astronomical Observatory Celebrates the life of an Astronomy Giant, Professor Michael William Feast (saao.ac.za)


Send us your news

The NSTF invites all our members, as well as all SET and innovation role players, to send us information on meetings, conferences and activities of interest to the broader S&T community. Please send us your news by the 20th of the month, for distribution at the beginning of the following month, to enquiries@nstf.co.za


If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter, please e-mail the NSTF Secretariat at enquiries@nstf.co.za 


About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.



The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.


Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.


For more information

E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF



Last updated Tuesday, 13 August 2019 12:06