Jump to content

Cabinet hails SA science progress


Vuilgoed
 Share

Recommended Posts

What exactly is wrong with this?

 

Just like there is nothing wrong with saying Zimbabwe is a world leader in democratic government!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must have missed the part where they claim to be world leaders. I thought that we were only aiming to be a hub for innovation.

 

Their spectacularly poor management aside, the former Armscor companies still produce some good engineering. An independent company like ATE has produced a number of innovations in UAV technology and the are currently trialling an integrated weapons system with Eurocopter.

 

Stellenbosch has designed some satellites and I believe a locally designed mapping/survey satellite was launched for us. SALT in Sutherland is the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. We're one of two contenders to build the Square Kilometre Array, what will be the most sensitive radio telescope ever built.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must have missed the part where they claim to be world leaders. I thought that we were only aiming to be a hub for innovation.

 

Their spectacularly poor management aside, the former Armscor companies still produce some good engineering. An independent company like ATE has produced a number of innovations in UAV technology and the are currently trialling an integrated weapons system with Eurocopter.

 

Stellenbosch has designed some satellites and I believe a locally designed mapping/survey satellite was launched for us. SALT in Sutherland is the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. We're one of two contenders to build the Square Kilometre Array, what will be the most sensitive radio telescope ever built.

 

Edman, I think your positive attitude and view to this is really cool.

Great points here! B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where SA has a good few world leading scientists and a fairly good base of mediocre ones is whereas we have our greatest natural recourse - in the biological sciences. As most people don’t care much for our natural world and don’t realise what these people make for SA money wise and save SA money wise it simply does not get noticed by the public.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly is wrong with this?

 

The fact that you don't see anything wrong with this is wrong on so many levels!

 

Firstly, we are spending millions (read billions if you include the capital expenditure on hardware) to host a tri-country naval excercise with those naval power houses India and Brasil. Exactly what strategic and/or practical benefits could we possibly derive from such an excercise? Oh, and while we're at it, remind me again why we need a navy consisting of anything more than a few cruisers that can intercept illegal fisherman in the first place?

 

Next, what exactly do we need a national space strategy for? Do I hear the sound of tax Rands being flushed down another bottomless toilet (more than likely a toilet belonging to some ZEE group)? Don't you think we should rather be spending time and money on developing beneficiation industries locally - you know, the kind that provide people with jobs and the country with economic growth. Perhaps we should be making use of our strategic advantage of being the industrial powerhouse of Sub-Saharan Africa and further encouraging and stimulating local industries who can generate growth by exporting goods and services (such as engineering services) to the rest of Africa. Instead, our government does its best to alienate the existing talent pool.

 

To top it off, we are planning to change South Africa's economy to a "knowledge based economy"? Is this really something we should be aspiring to? I propose we would first need to ensure that the majority of our citizens get at least some form of decent education and basic services. Oh, and you probably would then still need the private and Model C schools that our tri-party alliance government is trying to get disbanded. Also, most countries that have attained some sort of semblance of this kind of economy went through many different stages of development over hundreds of years. We are currently stuck somewhere between stage 1 (agriculture based) and stage 2 (industrialised economy). I doubt that we will be able to get past stage two any time soon as our work force believes that they should be paid a doctor's wages to do a street sweeper's job. Hence, we cannot compete with other emerging economies such as India and China. In India for example, you find Chemical Engineering PHD's working as plant operators, getting paid R2000 - R3000 per month. The same job in SA is often done by high school drop outs (or in companies like Sasol) by guys with matric for R10 000 to R15 000 per month.

 

All of this sounds very nice on the surface, but it is window dressing - expensive window dressing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What our navy saves us in protecting our fisheries from poachers from other countries may well be worth more that what the navy cost us. I will try get the figures next week and post back. Things are not always as simple as they may seem. Navies also need also need to know how to work with others they may help or need help from later. Any navy people who can comment?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What our navy saves us in protecting our fisheries from poachers from other countries may well be worth more that what the navy cost us. I will try get the figures next week and post back. Things are not always as simple as they may seem. Navies also need also need to know how to work with others they may help or need help from later. Any navy people who can comment?

 

Canaris, aka Mr Chess, aka spookie1, aka dont mess with me(well him)

 

he knows ...... he knows alot ......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vuilgoed so when are you leaving ?

 

I'm not going anywhere. I still believe I can make a positive contribution to this country. It just gets my knickers in a bunch when I see how far we have to go and how terribly wastefull our government is.

 

I work in the manufacturing industry and I can tell you it is a constant struggle to compete with countries like India, who benefit not only from their own economic climate, but also from the total onslaught our government has against local industry in the form of taxes, restrictive legislation such as AA, etc.

 

I have often thought of taking my two degrees and 15 years industry experience to one of our European factories, but having lived in Europe, I speak from experience when I say that there really is no place like home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact that you don't see anything wrong with this is wrong on so many levels!

A space industry may not necessarily provide a direct benefit, but that is given as just one example of this long term plan. By focusing on this you create an environment that is conducive to other high tech industries.

I do not see the beneficiation industries you describe being able to attract or retain the best talent. Ultimately, there're only so many ways you can design a factory or smelter or the like and most of them have already been done. There is not really any novel design challenge left there. Without new and varied challenges, the top talent will seek other, more stimulating, work.

You are creating a false dichotomy. By having a long-term plan to increase the sophistication of our industry we do not abandon out focus on improving our current economy by, for example, driving the export of goods and services to the rest of Africa.

What happens in ten year's time? Our competitors in the developing world (China, India, Brazil) will have moved on and their economies will likely be far more focused on high tech industries. We have the choice to start planning now and be able to compete with them on a level footing or ignore that area completely and focus on building simple things for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, I doubt China will have abandoned that part of their economy and I don't think we will fare well in competition with high tech production methods coupled to Chinese or Bangladeshi labour pricing.

 

Ultimately, why shouldn't we aspire to be a knowledge based economy? It doesn't preclude the creation of jobs or the encouragement of other industry. The structural problems of a recalcitrant and uncompetitive labour force can be addressed at the same time as we plan for the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A space industry may not necessarily provide a direct benefit, but that is given as just one example of this long term plan. By focusing on this you create an environment that is conducive to other high tech industries.

I do not see the beneficiation industries you describe being able to attract or retain the best talent. Ultimately, there're only so many ways you can design a factory or smelter or the like and most of them have already been done. There is not really any novel design challenge left there. Without new and varied challenges, the top talent will seek other, more stimulating, work.

You are creating a false dichotomy. By having a long-term plan to increase the sophistication of our industry we do not abandon out focus on improving our current economy by, for example, driving the export of goods and services to the rest of Africa.

What happens in ten year's time? Our competitors in the developing world (China, India, Brazil) will have moved on and their economies will likely be far more focused on high tech industries. We have the choice to start planning now and be able to compete with them on a level footing or ignore that area completely and focus on building simple things for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, I doubt China will have abandoned that part of their economy and I don't think we will fare well in competition with high tech production methods coupled to Chinese or Bangladeshi labour pricing.

 

Ultimately, why shouldn't we aspire to be a knowledge based economy? It doesn't preclude the creation of jobs or the encouragement of other industry. The structural problems of a recalcitrant and uncompetitive labour force can be addressed at the same time as we plan for the future.

 

Unfortunately we have limited resources and need to focus our attention and those resources on the problems we can address effectively and that will create benefit (and increase the available resource base) in the short term. I agree that smelters and other similar technologies aren't as exciting as say cutting edge electronics industries, but they work, are reletavile cheap and create massive employment opportunities. Also, they save us money and will allow us to improve the value of our exports, without having to increase the volume of exports.

 

What I was trying to highlight before, is that our government has made a few spectacularly bad decisions in the area of industrial and/or technology investment. Lets use the PBMR project as a case in point. Why dump R9 Billion into a technology that they knew from the onset would never produce an economically viable product?

 

Furthermore, if there really was an interrest in building a knowledge based economy, why would the governement allow so many skilled engineers, scientists and trades people to leave? If I was the one pulling the strings, I'd be trying my best to incentivise these people to stay and I certainly wouldn't have allowed people within my own party to threaten or belittle these highly skilled assests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vuilgoed so when are you leaving ?

So if you're not blindly patriotic de facto "you need to leave"? I thought that the paying of tax allowed one to criticize! No?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

Settings My Forum Content My Followed Content Forum Settings Ad Messages My Ads My Favourites My Saved Alerts My Pay Deals Help Logout