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:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Deputy Chief Executive Officer: National Research Infrastructure Platforms.
Group Executive: Finance and Business Systems and (CFO)
Deputy CEO: Research and Innovation Support and Advancement (RISA)
Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations
Group Executive: Strategy Planning and Partnerships
Group Executive: Human Resources and Legal Services
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Collaborative Funding Call
NRF BRICS Call Guideline
DSI-NRF Postgraduate Student Funding for the 2023 Academic Year
Announcement of Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF general masters scholarships for 2022 academic year
Successful Applications for the DSI-NRF Postgraduate Scholarships for 2022 Academic Year
PHILA Awards 2022
2022 JWO Research Grant Applications Now Open
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.
Creating contextually relevant research to tackle issues of sustainability of water resources, wastewater treatment and purification of drinking water in South Africa
As part of the celebration of World Water Day which was commemorated yesterday, 22 March, and South Africa’s National Water Week, which ended yesterday, we are highlighting the work of the DSI-NRF SARChI Chair in Water Quality and Waste Management Research, led by Professor Maggy NB Momba from the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
World Water Day focuses on the importance of freshwater and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. The UN’s theme for 2021, Valuing Water, explores the enormous and complex value of water to our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.
The greatest challenge of sustainable development includes the quality and quantity of water resources. This is among the objectives of improving health and living conditions and ensuring equitable as well as a sustainable use of natural resources and a better life for all.
South Africa is considered a water-stressed country with an average annual rainfall of 495mm compared with the world’s average of 1 033mm. More pressure is exerted on the natural water resources with increasing industrialisation and urbanisation patterns. The situation is further exacerbated by the alarming pollution of the available water sources and the destruction of river catchments. Moreover, the presence of waterborne microorganisms in water bodies causes a heavy burden of diseases in South Africa, especially in rural areas, since waterborne outbreaks such as cholera, typhoid fever and diarrhoeal diseases occur every year.
This scenario will continue to present communities with increasing incidence of water-related diseases and their complications if no adequate understanding of the origin, survival and effect of microorganisms associated with water sources and the protection of water resources are not taken into consideration.
Consequently, an integrated management approach of water and wastewater should be adopted in South Africa to avoid the ripple effect on the environmental, social and economic growth.
For the last eight years, the DST-NRF SARChI Chair for Water Quality and Wastewater Management has addressed the major challenges of sustaining the quality of water sources and the provision of safe drinking water, especially in non-metropolitan areas of developing countries in general and South Africa in particular.
For this purpose, four cost-effective decentralised drinking water treatment systems have been designed, constructed/improved and evaluated for their efficiency to remove pollutants, especially turbidity and microbial pollutants. These include:
Among these household water treatment systems (HWTS), BSZ -SICG and SIPP filters were deployed in the Makwane Village of the Limpopo Province. The implementation of these HWTSs in every household of the Makwane Village produced drinking water free of Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp. and Vibrio cholerae, Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia.
As a result, there was a reduction in the incidence of diarrhoea by 96.2%. With the improved flow rates, both HWTSs achieved the required volume of 25 litres per person per day. What makes this solution even more viable is that all materials used in the manufacturing process of the selected devices are locally available. The full journal article on this experiment is available here.
A Provisional Patent Specification (No 2016/02883) has been obtained for the BSZ -SICG filter. The two other prototype-based water treatment systems have demonstrated their capability to produce safe drinking water by removing pathogenic bacteria and protozoan parasites. They are also considered alternative cost-effective technologies for the disinfection of groundwater and surface water in rural communities.
Furthermore, in understanding the origin, survival and effect of microorganisms associated with water sources, the SARChI Chair has been able to develop strategies allowing for the rapid diagnosis of waterborne infections and their control through the establishment of a state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic laboratory and a number of research activities. These include:
The lack of strategies to contain and track antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and genes (ARGs) of environmental isolates from clinics and healthcare settings motivated the conceptualisation and design of a research project focusing on a “Multidimensional approach to characterisation and tracking of ARB in terrestrial and aquatic environments of South African rural and urban areas”. This has resulted in the development of a computer-iImplemented genome tracking method and system which has also obtained a Provisional Patent Specification (No 2020/04797). This developed Web tool will assist scientists and policymakers in formulating appropriate strategies to combat the transmission of pathogenic ARBs. Additionally, geospatial mapping of ARB genomes will allow for the identification of national and international hotspots of antibiotic resistance and actions for epidemiological containment. The GenoTrack Web tool may also provide baseline information necessary to link the environmental spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to routes of transmission across different environments.
The SARChI Chair has enabled the management of wastewater for the protection of water resources by developing a prototype-based solar radiation-ozonation coupled system for the treatment of wastewater using metal-doped titanium dioxide. Furthermore, indigenous wastewater and mine water microbiomes have been discovered, and these have the potential to assist in the remediation of petroleum-contaminated water and polluted mine water resources.
In conclusion, the Chair has not only made significant scientific contributions in fields of health-related water microbiology; antibiotic resistance bacteria and antibiotic resistant genes; water and wastewater treatment; and bioremediation/biotechnology, but has also contributed to skills development in South Africa’s water sector by capacitating and training Master’s and Doctoral students from South Africa and other African countries. Research activities are internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour and substantially advance knowledge and understanding in these fields.
Rewriting History: Fossil lamprey larvae from South Africa overturn textbook assumptions on vertebrate origins
World TB Day: The Role of Respiratory Viruses in the Control of Pulmonary TB in Children
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