Africa’s leading research, development and innovation organisation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has reached a major milestone, as today, 5 October 2020, marks 75 years of its existence.
Established in 1945, the CSIR has, for seven and a half decades, dedicated its resources to improving the quality of life of South Africans through ground-breaking research, development and innovation.
The organisation’s mandate has remained the intrinsic guiding force over the years, with the focus having been refined to respond to the global and local context. A refined focus resulted in, for example, the spin out of a number of institutions and the establishment of science councils, such as the South African Bureau of Standards, National Research Foundation, National Metrology Institute of South Africa, and the Human Sciences Research Council.
The CSIR is collaborating with Mobile Agricultural Skills and Development Training (MASDT), a non-profit company that assists small and medium enterprises in the agricultural sector, to introduce an accessible and affordable mobile food safety testing facility for commercial and small rural farmers in the South African rural agro sector.
“Many farmers (commercial and small-scale) in South Africa’s rural areas battle with access to food safety testing facilities for their farm produce. This is mainly because they are located far from laboratories and the transport of samples to these laboratories are challenging. The process of handling and transporting samples also compromises the quality of the samples. This challenge results in the farmers losing out on lucrative export opportunities because they cannot provide the required food safety proofs required by rest of the supply chain,” says Inocent Makuwaza, Acting CEO of MASDT.
The COVID19 pandemic has greatly affected the activities of waste reclaimers. Under the level 5 lockdown regulations, their daily earnings were impacted by the restriction of movement. Since the lifting of these restrictions, they have been risking their lives and safety as the pandemic continues to generate new types of hazardous infectious waste that could be contaminated by the virus.
Simon Mbata, a leader of a waste reclaimers group at the pilot integration site at Vaalpark under SAWPA, explained that many waste workers could not afford PPE and could therefore not go back to work. “We are not employed and are not provided with PPE by any specific party,” he explained.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, has been collaborating with small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the chemicals, agro-processing and biotechnology industry to translate research into market-ready products.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation, donated over 3 000 masks to schools, orphanages and old age homes in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on 21 and 22 July 2020.
The CSIR, an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) – in collaboration with a number of local partners – has completed work on a local ventilator to be rolled out nationwide to patients showing respiratory distress in the early phase of COVID-19 infection.
The development forms part of government’s National Ventilator Project (NVP) under the auspices of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), and is supported by the Solidarity Fund. The first batch of ventilators will be provided to state hospitals around the country that are currently experiencing pressure due to the unavailability of equipment to deal with the pandemic.
Young scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have called on their peers to be more careful and responsible when sharing information regarding COVID-19 on social media, in order to combat the rise of misinformation (fake news), which may be harmful to the society.
They were speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, organised as part of Youth Month celebrations, to showcase the significant role played by young scientists in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19. The young researchers shared their research in cybercrime activities and the spread of misinformation during the pandemic.
A senior researcher from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is among the many dedicated young South African scientists who have rolled up their sleeves to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
Katekani Ngobeni (34) from Ka’Ndengeza outside Giyani, Limpopo, has worked in the field of infection prevention and control locally for nearly 10 years. Ngobeni is using her experience to provide scientific advice and training countrywide in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased focus on the socio-economic benefits of broadband, including providing channels to distribute education services; enable e-governance services, including health data analytics; and provide entertainment during a period when at least a third of the world is under different levels of lockdown.
The most notable development in the local telecommunications sector is the temporary licensing of available International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum and the authorisation to use Television White Spaces (TVWS) during the state of disaster. The authorisation of TVWS also came with the request, by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to make its Secondary Geo-Location Spectrum Database (S-GLSD) platform available to the licensed operators.