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The research community is in for tough times

27 July 2009
Millions are spent on building stadiums for 2010 World Cup, while budgets for research is being cut.

Millions are spent on building stadiums for the 2010 World Cup, while budgets for research are being cut.

It is a worrying phenomenon for the research community that research is apparently being put on hold to fund the World Cup, especially given the already dampened global economic climate.

An article by Cornia Pretorius in the July edition of the Mail and Gaurdian’s Higher Learning supplement, states: The National Research Foundation (NRF) recently canned a joint project involving researchers from South Africa and Spain, citing a diversion of public funds to preparations for the 2010 World Cup and the global economic crisis as the primary reasons for cancellation.  

 This is ironic in the context that the World Cup is premised to build the South African economy, boost job creation and promote further opportunities for international interest and collaboration. Key researchers and academics, quoted in the article, believe this decision has far-reaching, negative consequences for the South African research community.

 Legislative and policy gaps remain a hindrance to South Africa as a developmental state. Research is necessary to inform policy structures and implementation, but if budgets are cut, where will this leave South Africa?

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