Department of Communications
23 May 2019
Improving data privacy and security is one of the key areas that the communications department plans to focus on in response to the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The deputy minister of communications, Pinky Kekana, highlighted this during an address at the Microsoft Annual Digital Summit in Sun City.
Microsoft has developed two data centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
According to the deputy minister, the data centers are an “invention and an investment that will not only jolt South Africa into a new era, but also enrich the lived experience of many South Africans. It is an affirmation to South Africans, that the impossible is achievable if we all come together, as the government, the private sector and civil society”.
Other areas that the department hopes the Presidential 4IR Commission and the Digital Economy Summit planned for June will garner policy input on includes:
• Promoting a culture of generating intellectual property that responds directly to the
• country and continent’s needs;
• ensuring that South Africa’s standards are harmonised with international standards;
• investing in public sector innovation via public procurement policies to support local developers; and
• developing strategies to open up the use of advanced technologies.
The deputy minister also declared that artificial intelligence in South Africa will “certainly create new areas of economic opportunity and to some extent it will create new categories of employment, this includes but it is not limited to software developers, networking and cyber-security experts”.
The department’s vision is for every South African to master modern technologies and include them in social activities such as education, delivery of services and economic activity.
“This will enable South Africa to exploit market opportunities in areas such as future wireless technologies, e-inclusion, green ICT, geospatial applications, biomedical sciences, smart infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, asset management, e-health, e-services, education, outsourcing and payment solutions.”