Science and Technology Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has urged all eligible voters -- particularly the youth -- to exercise their constitutional right and cast their votes on Wednesday.
The participation of voters is central to a well-functioning democracy and renewed hope, Kubayi-Ngubane said on Monday.
The Minister said this after casting her special vote at Khuthala Primary School in Protea North, Soweto.
She was one of the 774 094 citizens who have been approved to cast their special votes on Monday and Tuesday, while the rest of the country will take to the polls on Wednesday.
The Minister went on to reflect on the 25 years of democracy, saying government has consistently worked on improving the lives of all South Africans.
“If you compare Soweto now to 25 years ago, huge improvements have been made. No longer do we have no malls, tared streets and lights. Today we have all these.
“As the Minister of Science and Technology, [I have seen] many young black South Africans are becoming engineers. Many young black South Africans are becoming global players and these are the opportunities brought by a democratic government.”
The doors of democracy, the Minister said, have also opened for youth, who are now technology developers, competing globally.
She highlighted the draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), which was unveiled last September, as one of the achievements of democracy.
The draft White Paper sets out government's long-term policy approach to the science sector and readies the country for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Government developed a new STI White Paper to enable the country to respond fully to the coming global technological, demographic and environmental changes, taking into account the megatrends spanning the geopolitical, economic, social, technological and environmental spheres.
This is intended to address South Africa’s socio-economic challenges and modernise existing industries such as agriculture and mining, and develop emerging industries such as those linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The White Paper will also allow the country to exploit new sources of economic growth such as green industries, improve the quality of life of South Africans, particularly in poor communities, through improved educational and health outcomes, and promote environmental custodianship to safeguard the future. – SAnews.gov.za