Department of Science and Technology to meet business on research and development tax incentive

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will meet with the business sector in Pretoria on Friday, 2 March, to outline progress made in improving the research and development (R and D) tax incentive programme.

The improvements are being implemented in response to recommendations made by a task team established by the Minister of Science and Technology to address bottlenecks experienced by businesses accessing the incentive. Administrative delays, the complexity of information, and limited access for small and medium enterprises and start-ups were among the problems encountered.

The Director-General of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, will address the breakfast seminar, which will be attended by R and D managers, finance and tax executives of R and D performing companies, and tax consultants that assist companies to access the incentive.

Government set up the R and D tax incentive programme in 2006 as an instrument to stimulate private sector investment in R and D and innovation in South Africa.

By undertaking R and D, companies enhance their innovative capabilities, and are better able to create new products, processes and services, and to improve existing ones.

The latest data indicates that general expenditure on R and D as a percentage of GDP, which is a key indicator of R and D intensity in the economy, was 0,80% in 2015/16. The South African government wants to raise this to 1,5% of GDP. Increasing R and D will improve the country’s economic competitiveness.

Source: Department of Science and Technology