The National Research Foundation (NRF), which was instituted by an Act of Parliament in 1999, administers the South African ISC Secretariat as part of its science liaison responsibilities. The NRF’s mission is to ensure the affordable and balanced provision of human resources and expertise in science, engineering and technology through the support of research and education for economic growth and social advancement of the nation.
The NRF provides support and grants for research, expertise development, education, training, cooperative research, bursaries, national and international scientific liaison, and administers five national research facilities – Themba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (formerly the National Accelerator Centre), SA Astronomical Observatory, Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (formerly the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology), and Hermanus Magnetic Observatory. Per recent ministerial proclamation by way of notice in the Government Gazette, the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology was incorporated into the NRF. ISC activities in South Africa are coordinated through the ISC National Board of South Africa and National Committees, which in turn make recommendations to the NRF, other research organizations, universities, scientific societies, and government departments.