The Deputy Minister for National Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Buti Manamela, says South Africa’s migration into digital terrestrial will be leveraged to promote local production of content, creating sustainable jobs and solutions, while in the process moving the country and Africa forward.
He said the National Broadband Aisory Council has been established to ensure that government, private sector, academia and civil society work together to reach the SA Connect targets.
Deputy Minister Manamela was speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the Tipfuxeni Project in Parktown, Johannesburg.
“As government, we are humbled on an occasion such as this when we witness the work of social movements such as Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) and South African National NGO Coalition (SANGOCO) whose impact on the lives of the masses has laid the foundations and provided the inspiration for the programmes of successive administrations since 1994,” he said.
He said the country was a better place today because Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have cultivated active and vocal citizenry.
The Deputy Minister said the National Development Plan (NDP) describes active and vocal citizenry as people who are direct participants in their own development.
He added that the launch of the project reminded citizens of the NDP’s injunctions on active citizenry, which defined active citizenry and social activism as necessary for democracy and development to flourish.
The NDP further says: “The state cannot merely act on behalf of the people – it has to act with the people, working together with other institutions, to provide opportunities for the aancement of all communities”.
“… this has been SANGONet and SANGOCO’s mission over nearly three decades (collectively), and it is a mission that has delivered, among many other outcomes, the Tipfuxeni Project we are launching here today,” Deputy Minister said.
The first phase of the Tipfuxeni Project, which was funded by government’s National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, has entailed the development of an online funding resource – a web platform that enables participating Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs).
The web platform allows NPOs to share content, access funding opportunities, undertake online fund-raising, profile their own work and share best practice models.
“The Tipfuxeni Project recognises that information and communication technologies have a critical role to play in ensuring that NPOs embrace the vision outlined in the NDP’s Vision 2030.
“The project is founded on the belief that access to ICT plays a crucial role in creating conditions for meaningful participation of people in society,” said the Deputy Minister.
He said the Xitsonga word Tipfuxeni, which means Do It For Yourself, is a critical underpinning of national call to action, “Together We Move South Africa Forward”.
The Tipfuxeni Project allows NGOs to broaden networks and resources and exchange insights that will improve the functioning of the NGOs concerned and ultimately enhance the contributions NGOs are making building a more inclusive and equal society.
“Tipfuxeni is an initiative that will deepen our information and knowledge society and foster innovation and invention in sectors of our society that need transformation and opportunity the most,” said the Deputy Minister.
He added that Tipfuxeni is being rolled out at a time when government focused on harnessing ICT more effectively to create an internationally competitive knowledge economy, improve productivity and expand access to new markets and social development.
“For this reason, government is deeply committed to working with non-governmental and non-profit organisations to push back the structural poverty, unemployment and inequality that continues to haunt our society 20 years into democracy,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said the National Broadband Policy [South Africa Connect] seeks to move the country away from over-reliance on mobile broadband and to achieve 100% broadband penetration by 2020.
“Minister Siyabonga Cwele has indicated that in the current financial year, R20 million has been allocated for the finalisation of the first phase of the Broadband Plan. In the medium term, government is looking to connect 580 clinics, 4 444 schools, 182 police stations, and 572 other government offices,” said the Deputy Minister.
“As part of civil society, SANGONet and SANGOCO are key allies – and already, key innovators – in moving communities into the digital age and undoing the perception that ICTs are the preserve of the elites,” he added.
Deputy Minister Manamela said the Tipfuxeni Project will ultimately empower communities better, by strengthening NGOs, “creating individual and collective opportunities and bringing all of us closer to the non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous South Africa we strive for every single day”.
He added that not only NGOs will learn from the project but government as well. “We try to build a capable state and improve the delivery of services and information to our people.” – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za