The democratic breakthrough witnessed in South Africa heralded tremendous evolution and growth of the science system in a manner that is well aligned to global best practice. In the interest of forging appropriate regional and international linkages for the enhancement of scientific development and innovation, South Africa is a home to a number of scientific facilities and programmes. The success of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid has been a profound demonstration of confidence by the international scientific community in the South African science system as well as the strengthened resolve and capacity to undertake massive projects comparable to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe. As a valued member of the global community of nations, South Africa is destined to play a prominent role in instilling competitiveness in the global knowledge economy in order to reassert its standing as a reputable science hub.
South Africa is poised to provide key scientific leadership in tackling socio-economic challenges afflicting Sub-Saharan Africa. Many bilateral collaborative agreements seeking to promote global cohesion between South Africa and the global community have been forged and are already paying dividends in several key areas of cooperation. This presentation navigates the interesting history of scientific endeavour in South Africa with a particular focus on the threats and opportunities facing the physics community. Significant milestones have been achieved in relation to the revitalisation of the physics discipline and this augurs well for the provision of a solid foundation to ensure future growth by unlocking the creative potential of young people in line with frontiers of human development.