DATE:  12 August 2016

National Science Week (NSW), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is a countrywide annual celebration of science involving various stakeholders and role players conducting science-based activities during that week. NSW is hosted in all nine provinces and is currently running from 06 – 13 August 2016.

A different theme is chosen each year and activities are offered around the theme to the target audiences. The theme for 2016 is “Science for Sustainable Development and Improved Quality of Life”.

During the launch of NSW at Necsa, Dr Kelvin Kemm, Chairperson of Necsa BoD, emphasised that learners must come up with African solutions to African problems. He added that the challenge of energy security for African is huge due to the vast landscape of our country and continent. He also talked a lot about what scientists and engineers do on daily basis and encouraged learners to take up careers in maths and science.

CEO of Necsa, Mr Phumzile Tshelane said that Necsa’s intended goal is to stimulate public awareness on nuclear and other forms of energy, in line with the Energy Policy. “This year Necsa has targeted various schools in Gauteng and Limpopo, namely Serokolo Secondary , Soul Ridge Secondary, Light House Secondary, Lompec Secondary, Rebone Secondary, Ribane Laka Secondary, Hofmeyr Secondary, DH Peta Secondary, Letlhabile Secondary, Gatang Secondary, Fusion Secondary, Flavious Mareka, J Kekana Secondary and  RS Sedibane, Necsa aims to be one of the most valuable national contributors towards alleviating the national shortage of skilled personnel in the science and engineering sectors of the economy, to encourage a positive approach in informing and educating the general public and students, on government’s Nuclear New Build Programme and, to create awareness on peaceful uses of nuclear.”

‘Edutainment” activities organised and conducted by Necsa and its subsidiaries, NTP Radioisotopes and Pelchem during the NSW, were aimed at providing a platform for scientists to engage with maths and science learners, attract learners to science, engineering and technology (SET) careers (including research) as well as a possible career within Necsa. When asked about their best experience in the week, students always highlighted the show with experiments, especially the riveting foam party using general household material. NSW is an ideal platform to expose learners to science-based careers, particularly to those from the disadvantaged sections of the population.

NSW is run in all nine provinces simultaneously at multiple sites per province. South African Agency for Science And Technology Advancement (SAASTA) has been appointed by the DST as the implementing agency and play the role of the National Project Manager for the National Science Week.

For more information on Necsa, contact the Necsa Visitor Centre, visitorcentre@necsa.co.za or call 012 305 5676

Shaun Chetty

Communication & Media Liaison

South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa)

Tel: +27 12 305 4452

Fax: +27 12 305 4451

Cell: +27 78 803 5569

E-mail: shaun.chetty@necsa.co.za