In addition to the challenges the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) presents to South Africa, the country must be aware of the changing global environment, especially the increasing importance of economic security as a component of national security. Technology will increasingly become a key component in the quest for global competitiveness and hence also a basis for industrial competition. Furthermore, technology's role in social issues such as health, housing, education and the environment is escalating. The importance of technological considerations underlying major business decisions will thus gain greater prominence. Global technology-based competition is being intensified by the rapid pace of technological change and accelerating product life cycles, as well as major increases in the emergence and commercialisation of new technologies.