Transforming existing patterns of work and play
Science and technology continue to transform production and associated patterns of work and leisure, and significantly affect society and the environment. On the one hand, science and technology have contributed to human well-being by advancing food production, developing pharmaceuticals, and preventing disease – on the other hand, they have enabled ever greater exploitation of natural resources and increased production of waste. Science and technology thus form critical links with sustainable development.
As a developing country in a rapidly globalizing world that has a looming energy crisis, South Africa must harness science and technology to promote its global competitiveness, create wealth, improve the lives of its people, develop human resources, and work towards environmental sustainability61. Innovationk in research and development (R&D) is crucial in this process. Sufficient funding and competently trained scientists, engineers, and technologists are fundamental to South Africa’s economic and human development.
This section outlines some of some of the key indicators of science and technology in South Africa and their influence on the environment.