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1st Annual DMMA Publisher Conference Increasing ICT competitiveness and usage in South Africa: the Challenge and Opportunity Loren Braithwaite-Kabosha SA Communications Forum. 09 October 2013. Agenda. Introduction of SACF Current Challenges Digital Media Opportunity

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1st Annual DMMA Publisher Conference

Increasing ICT competitiveness and usage in South Africa:

the Challenge and Opportunity

Loren Braithwaite-Kabosha

SA Communications Forum

09 October 2013

  • Introduction of SACF
  • Current Challenges
  • Digital Media Opportunity
  • Issues requiring urgent attention
background of sacf
Background of SACF

- Members of SACF also include numerous small and

medium enterprises in the ICT and broadcasting industries, including electronic manufacturers ( this is only a partial list for the sake of brevity)

  • The SACF is an organisation which pools together high

level technical skills and business expertise in the ICT


- Among South African ICT industry associations, SACF is the association which includes members from across the entire spectrum of the industry, rather than specific silos.

sacf mission
SACF Mission

To be the credible, nationally supported umbrella industry


  • that serves, promotes and protects the interests of SACF members and other ICT associations,
  • to enable the achievement of Vision 2020 and other initiatives,
  • to create an innovative and globally competitive ICT industry,
  • to accelerate national development,
  • by proactively engaging the government and all other stakeholders.
sacf vision
SACF Vision

Unleashing the power of the SA ICT industry to create the

most enabling ecosystem for a universally connected and

prosperous South Africa

SACF Strategic Objectives:

  • To become the unifying platform of the ICT sector
  • To be instrumental in developing the appropriate policy and regulatory ecosystem
  • To provide thought leadership through research and development
  • To coordinate the development of ICT human capital
  • To promote ICT as a means for socio-economic development
  • To further transformation in the ICT sector

This UN recommendation, specific to the Southern African region, suggests how to help reduce the sub-region’s alarming and dangerously provocative income inequalities: SACF recommends consideration of its adoption

Recommended Intervention Areas in Southern Africa

• As part of development policies, public authorities must mobilise urban young peoples’ potentials and energies with proper training in entrepreneur skills and information/ communication technologies, in order to enable them to set up and run their own businesses. Some urban authorities have tried to foster inclusive cities, but none have fully considered children and youth in their service provision and governance strategies. Cities should make more efforts to deliver broadband Internet to all urban neighbourhoods, rather than reinforcing existing inequalities in services delivery.

in this information century is south africa competitive
In this Information Century, is South Africa Competitive?

South Africa: Declining ICT Competitiveness:

minister carrim s priorities
Minister Carrim’s Priorities:

1. Set a firm foundation for a further reduction in the costs of communication. Carrim says the “digital revolution” is “changing very fabric of our society” but that it’s important the poor are not left behind.

2. See realistic progress in broadband becoming more extensive, affordable and speedier. "We intend to finalise the government's National Broadband Policy and Implementation Programme by end of November”, and says his department wants to have an “effective spectrum policy related to broadband” before March next year.

3. Reduce the digital divide between the haves and have-nots. "We are going to place much greater stress on delivering in rural and underserviced areas.The Internet presents a great opportunity for government to provide services to citizens,” Carrim says. “We must reduce, not increase, divides. We have made some progress, but not enough. We are lagging behind our peers.”

minister carrim s priorities cont
Minister Carrim’s Priorities, cont.

4. Stabilise the department of communications; state-owned companies and public entities in the ICT sector and make them more effective.

5. Begin with the roll-out of digital migration before the end of this year.

5. “Locating ICT in the national development plan and broader policies of the majority party”;

6. Finalising government’s ICT policy review.

global perspective 1 fixed broadband price
Global Perspective 1: Fixed Broadband Price
  • Most recent data for Q3 2012. Accessed 20th July 2013
  • Country selection based on availability of reliable information
  • All ADSL prices exclude modem and PSTN line – include ADSL capability rental
global perspective 2 mobile broadband price
Global Perspective 2: Mobile Broadband Price
  • Most recent data for Q3 2012. Accessed 20th July 2013
  • Country selection based on availability of reliable information
  • All services based on 3G/HSPA, lowest published price selected
global perspective 3 high usage mobile data
Global Perspective 3: High usage Mobile data

Data for Q3-2012

  • South African price based on 24 GB limit; Brazil on 10 GB; Russia on 30 GB
  • These high end user broadband services are critical for multimedia learning
  • Generally unaffordable for the majority of South Africans
global perspective 4 low usage mobile data
Global Perspective 4: Low usage Mobile data

Data for Q3-2012

  • South African price based on 1 MB limit; Brazil & Russia 100 MB; China 120 MB
  • Target low end social media and email users: Affordable but of limited use
  • Too costly and capacity limited for learning and work-related usage
economic implications
Economic Implications

International Implications of high Communication Costs

  • Global investment decisions target countries with lower communication costs;
  • South Africa losing more than competitive advantage – also losing position as favoured investment destination and ICT gateway for the continent;
  • Example: Numerous global ICT companies including IBM, Google and Intel companies locating their African headquarters in Kenya – higher ICT growth, Lower ICT prices

National Implications of high Communication Costs

  • High costs restrict and limit significant engagement with the tools and resources available through the internet for a majority of South Africans. Even those who have limited access (Facebook and Twitter) do not become fully fledged Digital Citizens able to utilise the maximum benefits of ICT for human development
  • South Africa is among the nations with the highest income inequality in the world. High costs means large percentage of population shut out of Knowledge Economy; stuck in quagmire of poverty; and utilise a larger percentage of income for communications costs of basic needs.
  • Overall drag on economic growth as access and implementation of ICT is an enabler across all industries.
the opportunity
The Opportunity:

Source: PWC, Informa Telecoms & Media

the opportunity1
The Opportunity:

Source: PWC, Informa Telecoms & Media

a complex compendium of issues
A Complex compendium of issues

Weak ICT utilization

Failure to recognise mutual needs

Weak USO enforcement

Weak ICT policy design & implementation

Capability gaps

Overly techno-centric focus

Public sector

Differing expectations

National/Corporate Interest Conflicts

Disruptive technologies suppressed


Regulatory Deficiencies

Ad hoc or philanthropic initiatives as CSR

Private sector

Limited recognition of value

Bottom line focus

Vertical “Silo” structures in conflict with Convergence

National scale market failure

Mass access not part of business value proposition

Attempting to solve one component in isolation will lead to failure

transformation model
Transformation Model

Where we want to be

ICTs driving Nation towards a Knowledge-based Economy

How we get there


Deep Consultation for National Consensus & Understanding

Creative solutions


Focus on Core Values, Objectives, Principles


Integrated Coordinated Action


Shared Values and Vision


Compliance driven

Illusive Knowledge Economy

Constrained solutions

Business as usual

Fragmented Interventions

Pervasive socioeconomic divides

Incoherent Policy

Declining global competitiveness

Conflicting Interests

Adversarial relationships


Growing environmental threats

Bottom line focus

Missed national growth targets

Where we are now




final thoughts the millennium challenges
Final thoughts: The Millennium Challenges
  • The purpose of all Human Endeavour is to improve its life-circumstances:
    • Health; Wealth; Security; Sustainability; Comfort; Happiness;
    • All summarised as Human Wellbeing
  • The Principal Tool for doing this is Human Knowledge;
  • The Principal Tools for Managing, Distribution, and Sharing Knowledge are the ICTs;
  • The links between Each and All Global Challenges

Concluding recommendations:

  • The high cost to communicate; infrastructure deficit in rural and underserviced areas; lack of capacity of important stakeholders in bridging the digital divide and other factors damages economic development generally and negatively influences inward investment decisions;
  • The PCC, Department of Communications, ICASA and the national ICT industry, including the DMMA, should collaborate to agree on the flaws in South Africa’s ICT ecosystem and solutions going forward
  • It is vital that every actual, perceived or nuanced impediment to reducing the national cost to communicate be analysed meticulously and integrated into corrective processes acceptable to, and implemented by all stakeholders, in a time-bound process;
  • These impediments examined must include policy, regulatory and industry-specific issues.

Ke a leboga Dankie Ngiyathokoza

Ke a leboha Thank you

Siyabonga Ngiyabonga

Inkomu Ndo livhuwa Enkosi

Loren Braithwaite Kabosha

011 315 0590

083 267 2768