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Source: Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science And Technology
Title: B Sonjica: Launch of HSRC's Human Resource Development
ADDRESS BY MS B SONJICA, DEPUTY MINISTER OF ARTS, CULTURE, SCIENCE
AND TECHNOLOGY, ON THE OCCASION OF THE HSRC LAUNCH OF THREE NEW
BOOKS ON HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, 23 March 2004
The Programme Director
Dr Mark Orkin, CEO of the HSRC
Dr Andre Kraak, Executive Director of Research Programme at the
Professor Hugh Lauder, our international guests from the Bath
University, United Kingdom
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a great honour and privilege to be asked to address the
launch of the HSRC's HRD Review 2003, a handing over ceremony of
all the research outputs that have been produced over the past
As the Department of Science and Technology, we would like to thank
the HSRC for contributing to this project of great importance not
only to our Department but to the country at large.
A word of appreciation goes especially to the editors who must have
spent endless hours putting the work of many talented people
together into a coherent whole without loosing the essence of the
The release of the HRD Review 2003 could not have come at a better
time and the timing is just on target.
This is the time when we are focusing on tying the loose ends in
the consolidation of our democracy. This is the time when we are
reviewing the ten years of democracy; when we are celebrating the
successes and looking critically at the failures and challenges to
ensure that the second decade of democracy addresses more
effectively the remaining challenges.
The findings of the research, according to Dr Andre Kraak, are that
dynamic growth in HRD demands large-scale investment in education
and training institutions, in research and development (R&D)
facilities and networking activities across all sectors through
I also agree fully with the submission that is being made by Dr
Kraak that for an HRD policy to succeed there has to be a
partnership that involves the state, private sector and the civil
The human resource capacity and the skills base remains an area of
great challenge that faces us all as South Africans.
The two main objectives of the National R&D Strategy is the
need for our government to deliver increased economic growth and an
improved quality of life.
The National R&D Strategy identifies the need to pay greater
attention to human resources as a wealth and employment creator; to
bring innovation to the fore in all activities of the Department
and facilitate Science and Technology performance across
I have not had an opportunity to go through the HRD Review 2003 but
I want to assume that even though it might not be giving us
concrete proposal on how to address the challenge of skills
scarcity but the research surely provides a starting point that
will assist the nation. We trust that the well argued and
informative collections of works of the contributors have cogently
substantiated their analysis, conclusions and opinions.
We are very grateful to those South Africans, including the HSRC's
contributors, who continue to play the role of fact gathering and
analysis that gives government the basis for assessing alternative
options and facilitate informed policy decisions.
It is true that in recent years significant strides and major
policy changes have taken place both within the education and
labour sector. These policies without a doubt represent progress
but the key question is "is it enough?" Some will argue 'yes' and
some will argue 'far from it'.
Let me suggest that we avoid being bogged down by these opposing
assertions but diligently observe the outcome of the policy
interventions. Let us relentlessly pursue the promotion of all
South Africa's people to higher levels of knowledge and skills,
learning at each stage from both our successes and mistakes.
Finally, this is without a doubt a day of celebration and I want to
specially thank the HSRC for these valuable products. A special
thanks to Dr Orkin. Sir, your leadership has enabled this
achievement. Dr Kraak and your research team which I will not
attempt to mention individually, congratulations for a project well
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you an enjoyable day.
Issued by: Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science And Technology
23 March 2004