South Africa was producing too few doctoral graduates, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said yesterday. Opening debate in Parliament on her department’s R6.47 billion budget, Pandor told MPs the country turned out just over 1 800 PhDs a year. “The National Development Plan sets a target of 100 000 PhDs by 2030, to improve research and innovation capacity. In order to reach this target we need to train 6 000 PhDs a year.” This would cost an additional R5.8bn a year, Pandor said. Research and development had been allocated R3.5bn of this year’s budget. Of that, R1.7bn had been earmarked for research grants and bursaries. On the training of doctoral graduates, she said the country lacked research-supervision capacity, and had too few students. She said the Square Kilometre Array project had awarded grants to many students who now had qualifications. – Sapa