South African finance minister Tito Mboweni, during the 2019 Budget Speech, says budget spending has to focus on getting the country ready for technology, and doing this requires fixing the country's education system.
Mboweni made these comments during the 2019 National Budget Speech in Parliament in Cape Town on 20 February 2019.
Noting the five tasks set during president Cyril Ramaphosa's recent State of the Nation Address (Sona), the finance minister stressed the need to improve the education system and develop skills needed now and into the future.
During the Sona, Ramaphosa prompted plans to revamp South Africa's education system by equipping every school child with digital workbooks and textbooks on a tablet device over the next six years.
Ramaphosa and his administration have dedicated attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how to equip citizens with the necessary skills to thrive in a digital society.
Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, minister of science and technology, says the #Budget2019 was tabled under difficult conditions. She adds that the 2019 budget speech also highlighted the importance of responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Mboweni also emphasised the government's focus on a maths, science and technology grant.
In his address, Mboweni says
The first is the rise of technology. Twenty-five years ago, the budget was prepared on reams of paper, carefully stapled together. I reviewed this speech on my tablet, and you can keep track of the speech on Twitter right now. By the way, it is at #RSABudget. Who knows how the budget will be prepared in twenty-five years’ time?
Our budget spending has to focus on getting our country ready for technology. The first step is to fix the education system. Government is rolling out a maths and science grant. The Governor of the South African Reserve Bank is driving an ambitious fintech programme, together with colleagues from the other financial-sector regulators.
Budget review document reveals that over the medium-term, the maths, science and technology grant has been allocated R1.2bn to help train teachers, and provide equipment and software to schools.
The maths, science and technology grant resulted from the merging of the Dinaledi schools grant and the technical secondary school's recapitalisation grant.
The grant, now in its fourth year, has increased the provision of ICT, workshop equipment and machinery apparatus to schools around the country, states the document.