Pretoria – South Africa needs to reduce its reliance on coal and place confidence in other sources of electricity generation as well as promote research and technologies in these sources, says Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.
“We have to reduce our reliance on coal and place greater confidence in solar, wind and nuclear power. Across government, but particularly in the Department of Science and Technology, we are promoting renewable energy research and technologies,” said Pandor on Tuesday.
She was speaking at the South African Institute of Tribology International Conference at the University of Pretoria.
“South Africa has a profile in the renewable energy industry, coming in at number 19 in terms of investment in this sector. At the heart of our new growth path there are ambitious targets for boosting electricity generation through renewable energy technologies,” she said, adding that this will contribute to job creation.
Pandor said South Africa was experiencing a shortage of engineers. “Not enough engineers graduate each year. Each year there are 1 400 BSc Eng and B Eng graduates from our universities. Only half of those 1 400 go on to practice as engineers – a lot of them go on to work in banks and other financial institutes,” she explained.
More women engineers are also needed. “Government is particularly focused on improving the quality and quantity of education, and particularly on the importance of boosting the numbers of science, engineering and technology graduates from our tertiary education institutions.” – BuaNews