THE information and communications technology sector (ICT) holds the key to South Africa’s economic growth and the creation of thousands of jobs, a senior ruling party official said.
African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe, was speaking at the end of the party’s first National Executive Committee (NEC) Lekgotla (Assembly) for 2015 at a local hotel in the capital city of Pretoria.
“Information Communication Technologies, particularly broadband, have the potential to propel our economy to higher levels of growth, opening opportunities for new industries and modernizing the delivery of social and economic services,” he said.
As such, he said, the Lekgotla has directed the finalization of the digital migration process to support broadband roll out.
“Government must move with the necessary speed to meet the deadline of 15 June 2015,” Mantashe said.
South Africa’s ICT sector contributes about 8,2 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC), the country’s ICT sector contributed 15,2 percent to South Africa’s GDP in 2013, making it the third-largest contributor to the nation’s economy.
SAECC further estimates that South Africa’s ICT total market was estimated at $42,6-billion (about R468.4-billion) in 2013 alone with IT accounting for $15,08 billion (about R164-billion) while communications generated a whopping $27,18 billion (aboutR297.4-billion).
South Africa has an estimated mobile telecom network coverage of 99,9 percent.
Apart from identifying ICT as key economic driver for South Africa, Mantahse said the ANC Lekgotla also resolved to sustain and expand key infrastructure programmes aimed at ensuring focused attention to strengthening the agricultural, mining and manufacturing sectors.
He said these would form part of the country’s industrialization drive.
Source : CAJ News Agency