The South African IT sector is expected to contribute about R77 billion to the SA economy by 2010 and Cape Town must position itself - especially its poorer communities - to take up the many thousands of jobs that will be created
This is the view of Cllr Simon Grindrod, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic and Social Development and Tourism, who committed the City to supporting the growth of the sector- especially among poorer communities.
Grindrod said the foundation, in terms of training and entrepreneurial support, needed to be laid now. And this is exactly what the Cape Information Technology Initiative [CITI], partly funded by his Department, was doing.
Grindrod said CITI had also launched a series of initiatives to help its members grow from local start-up operations into mature global companies. Cape Town is fast becoming the information technology (IT) capital of Africa with the highest number of success stories on the continent.
According to CITI the growing interest in the Western Cape as an IT hub was demonstrated by the increasing number of high caliber international delegations to the province.
In its report to the City of Cape Town's Portfolio Committee for Economic, Social Development & Tourism, CITI noted that the South African IT sector was growing at a rate of 8,5% per annum, expecting to reach R77 billion by the year 2010.
CITI is a joint venture between the City of Cape Town, the Provincial Government and the private sector, with a mandate to develop the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector in the Western Cape.
As a networking and cluster development organisation, its goal is to promote Cape Town as a global IT hub and gateway into Africa.
Cape Town is fast becoming the information technology (IT) capital of Africa...
The experience of many SMMEs is not that they have failed to navigate the changing global landscape, but simply because the changes happen so quickly," said Viola Manuel, Executive Director: CITI.
"Our "Think Global" theme for the coming year is to encourage SMMEs to be on top of industry changes. The major challenges are in selecting international markets and ensuring that SMMEs have the confidence to export their products and services," said Manuel.
During the past year alone, CITI facilitated IT training for 12 000 female learners at 23 schools, provided incubation and entrepreneurial support to 13 female-owned IT business owners, and assisted 15 emerging companies through dedicated mentors.
"As national government looks increasingly to provinces to help fulfill growth and transformation mandates, CITI is now recognised as a leader in the field of cluster development," says Manuel.
Grindrod said: "My Department is committed to supporting these and other initiatives that create work for our people and hope for our future generations."
Communication And Marketing
City of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 2201
Fax: 021 957 0023
Councillor Simon Grindrod
Tel: 076 782 5154
Cape Information Technology Initiative
Tel: 021 409 7000