work of our country’s scientists can be used by any of us to improve
Department for Science and Technology says government projects include
science to help people turn their skills and knowledge into small
businesses or work which enables them to earn an income.
workers in the
have made the most of the ‘Hands-on’ aquaculture project. For this
project, the Department of Science and Technology partnered with the
University of Stellenbosch to train over 150 local wine farm workers
to become fish farmers and businesspeople.
farmers operate from 13 small-scale trout farming projects. They use
their new skills to run a small trout-farming business. By December
2005, they began to supply a company in Franschoek processing trout
ensure that the project keeps growing, the Hands-on Fish Farmer
Co-operative Limited was formed. It helps member farmers with start-up
funding and busioness.
12 fish farming projects should come into operation in 2006.
Projects like this help build skills of local people and create
opportunities in low-cost technology to create jobs.
Holden, Director: Science and Technology for Social Impact explains:
“We continuously identify opportunities for the development of local
communities to address poverty. In partnership with academic and
research institutions, we can help communities to gain the skills they
need to make the most of these opportunities. The Department’s funding
is the ‘start-up’ capital for projects which, if successful, will not
only provide jobs but could also attract private investors in the
Limpopo, the Department has helped local people use their
knowledge of indigenous plants. The Hi-Hanyile Mosquito Repellent and
Essential Oils Project, started by the DST in 2001 in partnership with
the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), provides
jobs to 67 locals. They have been trained to farm plants and to
extract essential oils, using simple scientific processes. It was
during this phase of the project that researchers from the Scientific
and Industrial Research worked with traditional healers in the area to
develop effective mosquito-repellant from oils of an indigenous
2005, the Department funded the building of a factory in Giyani where
this oil could be used to make mosquito-repellant candles and local
people were trained to operate the machinery. The candles are being
sold in South Africa and there are plans to market them
internationally along with the essential oils farmed through the