16:30-17:00 A Competent Scientist

Prof Khathutshelo Nephawe,South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions


South African Council of Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) is a statutory Council established by the Natural Scientific Professions Act (No. 27 of 2003), for the registration of professional scientists in different fields of practices. SACNASP is administered by the Department of Science and Technology. With over 11 000 registered scientists, it represents a human resource of great value to the National System of Innovation (NSI) to address poverty, unemployment and inequality. Scientists registered with SACNASP play a key role in ‘shaping systems of knowledge creation and diffusion’ through the activities of its scientists organised into voluntary associations (VAs). With 26 Higher Education Institutions in South Africa, interpreting the competency of natural scientists has resulted in disparities in terms of knowledge and skills in the natural sciences. Although these degrees meet requirements of the Council On Higher Education  (CHE) in terms of quality levels, questions always arise whether scientists are competent or not? Professional registration and regulation authority independently need to evaluate scientists in terms of training and work experience for professional registration. The importance of continuing professional development needs to be addressed. The employment sector, represented by government and industry, also needs to outline their views of a competent scientist. A key deliverable is to identify gaps in ensuring a competent natural science workforce for South Africa.

Prof Khathutshelo Nephawe,South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, South Africa

Prof Nephawe is the Vice-Chairperson of the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP). He is a Professor and Head of the Animal Science Department at Tshwane University of Technology, and a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher. Previously, he worked as a Scientific Manager at the Limpopo Department of Agriculture and formerly as a Senior Researcher at the Agricultural Research Council. He holds a PhD in Animal Breeding and Genetics (University of Nebraska, USA) under the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Moreover, he holds a Master’s in Business Leadership (UNISA’s Graduate School of Business Leadership), MSc (University of Free State) and BSc (University of Limpopo). His research focus is mainly in Animal Breeding and Genetics with a specific emphasis on the integration of quantitative and molecular genetic technologies for sustainable livestock production in South Africa. Prof Nephawe has an outstanding scientific publication and postgraduate student’s supervision track-records. He has been a recipient of prestigious Awards for his scholarly contributions both locally and internationally. He has also serves in councils, boards and committees at various institutions. Moreover, he is a member of Pool of International Experts for Food and Business Applied Research Fund (ARF) of NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, Netherlands.