If a single word could sum up the focus of the world today, I think it must be “resources”.  Our lives are dominated by the need for water, land, food, energy, minerals, health and other resources — and by our decisions on how to expend those resources through technology, medicine, transportation, governance, business, education, commerce and other sectors. As we await the national budget announcement there is one SA resource that is often overlooked, but is so essential to our nation that it has life-or-death implications. That resource is SA research.

Research capacity is the asset that can help South Africans make the optimum use of our other limited resources. Building our knowledge and expertise through research is the best investment SA can make towards the future of this country. Alternatively, by not investing in research we run the risk of repeating the mistake our previous government made in allowing foreign companies to mine our geological riches. Because those agre...

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