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Science Minister Nzimande outlines govt plan to boost scientific research in SA

His department has so far spent R69.4 million funding COVID-19 research and innovation. About 21 projects are sustained through this investment.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande at a media briefing on 18 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, has outlined a number steps taken by government to boost scientific research on home soil.

His department has so far spent R69.4 million funding COVID-19 research and innovation.

About 21 projects are sustained through this investment.

Nzimande addressed these interventions on Wednesday as part of a virtual panel discussion geared at dispelling myths and misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Some of these projects include plant-based manufacturing of antibodies for COVID-19 and this study aims to facilitate the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutic antibodies and diagnostic reagents."

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently tasked the department to lead efforts in establishing mechanisms for local COVID-19 vaccine development.

Nzimande said that they would also look into developing other vaccines.

"We also have a further opportunity as South Africa to host the Brics vaccine centre, which is another important platform for our scientists to showcase themselves in terms of developing the necessary vaccine that only just our country but for the African continent in particular, require."

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