Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana has announced that she will be launching an application that will assist content producers to distribute content in the country and beyond borders.
Addressing the Digital Transformation Congress on Thursday in Midrand, she said more details about the initiative, which is aimed at supporting the digitisation of content from producers and creatives, will be available in August.
The Deputy Minister encouraged delegates to make sure that the digital explosion does not make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
“History shows us that from the first industrial revolution right to the third, the gap between the rich and the poor widened,” Kekana said.
She said despite rising levels of education, women and people with disabilities continue to be underrepresented in the paid workforce, especially in high potential sectors and high status jobs.
According to the latest data from the World Economic Forum on average globally, women have less than two-thirds of the economic opportunity than men, and the rate of progress is stalling, with current forecasts to economic parity at 170 years.
“If we are alive to these issues, we must act now by using this Thuma Mina moment as an impetus for tackling long overdue reform on education, gender and work. We not only have an opportunity to stem the flow of negative trends but to accelerate positive ones and create an environment in which all South Africans can live up to their full potential,” she said.
Kekana emphasised the need to ensure that young girls are encouraged to experiment with information and communications technologies (ICTs) from an early age.
“In essence, a four-year-old girl in rural Eastern Cape or KwaZulu-Natal must be encouraged to become a programmer or a computer scientist.
“A black female farmer in the Free State should be able to use the modern equipment to access markets for their produce. That’s the digital divide that we have to close,” she said.
Kekana said digital transformation must address the challenges in health education and other critical sectors.
“Let us use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to drive socio-economic change. The time is now. A prosperous South Africa needs all of us government and the private sector to move in sync,” the Deputy Minister said.
Obama White House Digital Leader Tom Cochran advised delegates on how to survive digital transformation in the workplace.
He encouraged leaders in organisations to establish credibility.
“If you want to have positive, long lasting change, it’s important to connect with people who you work with. Make sure you have the right tools and technology to do the jobs. Make sure you give the people the right tools and technology to do their jobs.
“We can’t expect teams to be successful at what we ask them to do if we don’t supply them with the tools,” Cochran said. –Courtesy SAnews.gov.za