The National Research Foundation was established as an independant government agency, through the National Research Foundation Act [Act No.23 of 1998].
The NRF receives its mandate from the National Research Foundation Act (Act No 23 of 1998, as amended). According to Section 3 of the Act, the object of the NRF is to contribute to national development by:
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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EVALUATION AND RATING – 2024
Announcement: Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) call on Democracy, Governance and Trust (DGT)
Call for Applications: Globalink Research Award Thematic Call
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2024 Academic Year
Invitation for Nominations for Professional Development Programme (PDP) Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2023
2023 iThemba Labs Physics Summer School Call for Applications
Bi-annual Progress Reports: Postgraduate Scholarships 2022 – Mid-Year Reports
Announcement of Successful Applications for General Honours Scholarships 2023_July
Announcement of Successful Applications for the 2023 NRF Scarce Skills Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Take Charge of your Future: Apply for a Pan-African University Scholarship today!
Call for Proposals: Japan Science and Technology Agency / Japan International Cooperation Agency Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development
Africa’s leading research facility for accelerator based science. Probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter; Advancing the understanding of condensed matter; Impacting the Societal need through provision for the health and environmental sector
The iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences is the continents' biggest facility for particle and nuclear research.
The SAAO is a national facility of the NRF and the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.
SAEON is a national platform for detecting, translating and predicting environmental change.
SAIAB provides unique skills and infrastructure support in marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems research, molecular research, collections and bioinformatics.
SARAO is a national facility of the NRF and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, (HartRAO) in Gauteng...
South Africa’s innovation revolution must assist in solving our society’s deep and pressing socio-economic challenges. Global competitiveness, shrinking resource availability, and the requirements of a skilled labour force mean that, increasingly, an awareness and understanding of why science and research are critical to our lives is essential for developing an innovation culture.
Within the next five years, the aim is to begin to more fully embed engagement in and with science in the core NRF missions of supporting and promoting new knowledge and growing new knowledge workers. This is led by the formulation of an acceptable NRF position on engaged research which will guide the NRF approach…
NRF | SAASTA is the NRF business division tasked with leading and coordinating the science engagement programme across the NRF and beyond. The NRF is equally committed to ensuring that the science engagement leadership and national coordination role…
The NRF provides leading-edge research infrastructure platforms that ensure that the national research enterprise has the requisite infrastructure to undertake globally competitive discovery science, train the next generation of researchers, support engagement with science by and with the public and promote innovation that positively impacts society, the environment, the economy.
The annual NRF Awards recognize and celebrate South African research excellence. The awards presented to researchers are in two categories, the ratings linked awards and special recognition awards.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) conducts its procurement of goods, services, and works in accordance with its Supply Chain Management Policy in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost-effective
The National Research Foundation (NRF) is guided by its Supply Chain Management Policy in its procurement of goods and services. The Policy sets out the prescripts issued by National Treasury with the exact note referenced in the footnotes. The Supply Chain Management policy adheres to the National Treasury’s prescribed supply chain system framework.
The NRF’s Supply Chain Management Policy and the conduct of supply chain management at the NRF seeks to give effect to section 217 of the South African Constitution which requires that all procurement of goods and services must be done in a manner that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.
The National Research Foundation bid awards and contracts. Below is the latest award.
“We need to campaign and promote the idea that people must eat fruits and vegetables, including the indigenous foods. The consumption of fruits and vegetables, let alone the indigenous foods, is very low in the country. There’s a thing about meat that we need to get out of the people,” says Professor Xikombiso Gertrude Mbhenyane, DSI-NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Food Environments, Nutrition and Health, highlighting that interventions are needed in South Africa to ensure food security, and also the consumption of foods with health benefits. She tapped into her rich research to mark World Food Day.
Based at Stellenbosch University where she heads the Division of Human Nutrition and Research Chair in Food Environments, Nutrition and Health, Prof Mbhenyane is a leading scholar in research areas of indigenous foods; nutrition and the prevention of non-communicable diseases; food and nutrition security; and child and maternal nutrition.
Her widely cited research has demonstrated, among other things, that there is a low consumption and sale of indigenous plants in the country, despite their health benefits and a problem of inadequate access to food among the country’s poor. A journal publication that she co-wrote with fellow researchers, Zoe Nomakhushe Nxusani and Mthokozisi Kwazi Zuma, stressed that “…commercial farming, research, and development have significantly ignored these foods, making them less competitive than established major crops”. The study is entitled A Systematic Review of Indigenous Food Plant Usage in Southern Africa.
Some of the crops that are indigenous to Africa include cowpea, Amadumbe, Okra, Cucurbuta (traditional pumpkin), Amaranthus, Corchorus (“delele” in Tshivenda; “thelele” in Sepedi; “gushe” in Xitsonga) and Cleome gynandra (African cabbage, “murudi” in Tshivenda; “morotho” in Sepedi; and “bangala” in Xitsonga).
“If people ate more of indigenous vegetables we would be protected because they have phytochemicals that will make your body able to resist when your organs are not working properly. Phytochemicals can prevent the fat from clogging and causing problems for people who prone to heart diseases. They do a lot of good things in our body,” Prof Mbhenyane said in an interview with the National Research Foundation (NRF). “In the past, the elderly would tell you that they used this plant to prevent disease or to treat it. These indigenous foods are also good for disease prevention. They contribute to food security, but they can also protect us from various diseases.”
Many other countries have kept their indigenous foods, partly because of the health benefits known for hundreds of years. Said Prof Mbhenyane, “If you go to the US, they’ve got a lot of greens. If you go to Thailand, India they are commercialised. Everywhere else in the Mediterranean, local foods are commercialised. The Mediterranean diet, because it consists of a lot of local food, it’s very good for the prevention of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”
The non-commercialisation of indigenous foods in South Africa has meant that their sales have been limited to informal traders in select parts of the country. People who consume them often have to go out of their way to purchase them. The non-commercialisation also meant that indigenous crop farmers had limited access to the market.
“We still eat the indigenous foods, but not as much as we eat other foods because of access. You should be able to buy indigenous vegetables where you buy any other food. But now you have to make an effort to get them,” said Prof Mbhenyane.
She applauded the Agricultural Research Council’s projects intended to assist small-scale indigenous crop farmers to enter the market.
“But to get people to consume it regularly will take a lot of campaigning and nutrition education. Eating habits develop much early in life, so it needs to start at school. In subjects where applicable, there needs to be an emphasis on the role of fruits and vegetables,” said Prof Mbhenyane.
Such campaigns would also have to motivate people to create small gardens at home. “You need land and you need water to be able to produce your own food,” Prof Mbhenyane pointed out. “These days we also promote urban gardens. People are planting in their spaces, but it is not as much as we would like it to be.”
She added, “If all of us had tomatoes in our gardens, the price of tomatoes in the market would go down. Food production is very important, but I don’t think we have campaigned the message enough to people to understand. If we did produce a little bit in our small gardens, whether it’s spinach, tomatoes, etc. we’d influence the prices in the market.”
World Food Day 2023 is held under the theme of Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) pointed out that the theme highlights the critical role of water in growing and preparation of food. “You can’t separate water and other food,” said Prof. Mbhenyane. “Water is an essential nutrient for food to be utilised, and therefore water scarcity will affect utilisation of food. We find that where there’s water shortage there’s also food shortage.
“Also, you need water to be able to utilise food properly. That is why the health professionals, particularly dieticians, would recommend people drink six glasses of water per day. You need water. You need to stay free of dehydration, or you won’t be able to utilise food appropriately. Water is essential in the way that the body uses food,” she concluded.
NRF/SAAO SMWE/11/2023-24- SAAO
New Biodiversity Research Project Launches in South Africa
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