By Mark van Ameringen
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Additional info for Building a New South Africa : Volume 3 (Science and Technology Policy)
According to government observers, much of the AEC’s work is in response to external sanctions and government-defined “security needs,” which entirely ignore the commercial viability of processes being developed. As sanctions are • removed and a new government redefines South Africa’s needs and priorities, a re-examination of the country’s commitment to a nuclear program will be imperative. Given the existence of one successfully operating nuclear plant, South Africa will have long-term nuclear obligations to fulfil, but that does not mean that all elements of the Commission’s program should be subsidized in perpetuity.
This is not a simple process, given the substantial cultural differences that almost invariably exist between the members of the disadvantaged community and the highly trained researchers. Strong emphasis must be placed on understanding the social aspects of a community before planning any technological intervention. Successful research on poverty requires substantial time to develop truly interdisciplinary approaches; this would facilitate an accurate assessment of needs and the translation of those needs into technological research objectives.
Among the members of the mass democratic movement, it is seen as part of the state’s military– industrial complex; in many parts of government, it is viewed as a huge drain on resources. The Mission was able to piece together the following information, which may be germane to a future government wrestling with decisions about resource allocations: • • • • • • • The AEC’s current budget is apparently about 700 million rand, which is about 70 percent of the annual budget administered by the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs.
Building a New South Africa : Volume 3 (Science and Technology Policy) by Mark van Ameringen