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Moshebi Investments signs BEE deal with leading Linux training provider

In what is believed to be the first BEE deal in the Linux training sector, black-owned investment holding company, Moshebi Investments has acquired a 26% stake in leading Linux training provider Smartsource Corporate Training for an undisclosed amount.

Moshebi Investments is headed by Dr. Vincent Msibi, chairman of African Renaissance Holdings Limited and general executive chairman of Phodiso Holdings Limited. Msibi also sits on the board of Marconi, Premier Fishing and the Diamond Trading Corporation, Bulktrans and Sapphire Logistics.

Msibi says his company chose Smartsource Corporate Training for their strong management and wide training offering, which would position them to meet the technology skills challenge South Africa faces. "Smartsource Corporate Training's preferred partnership agreements with Novell, IBM and RedHat puts them in a position to be able to transfer skills to a new generation of technology workers and help grow the South African IT sector. It also makes them the ideal partner to fit into our broader strategy of investment in sustainable job creation and economic growth," says Msibi.

The deal follows the South African government's launch of the Open Source Centre late last year to simulate the Open Source market by promoting the adoption and use if OSS (Open Source Software), thereby facilitating the growth of a home-grown South African ICT industry.

Msibi says the growing trend in government and corporate IT departments to move towards Open Source Software, coupled with the benefits of Open Source, have made him a strong believer that Linux will play a key role in helping make South Africa a top technology provider.

"The government is the single largest buyer of computer technology in South Africa, so the State IT Agency's recent move to declare government as an Open Source zone is a major step towards legitimizing the Open Source movement in South Africa. The move has also resulted in a sudden and urgent need for Linux skills," says Matthew Costello, MD of Smartsource Corporate Training. "With the help of Dr. Msibi and our existing partners we plan to address this shortage through skills development initiatives, such as learnerships."

Costello says some of the benefits of the deal will be immediate, "In particular, we will be partnering with Novell as part of their drive to train black certified Linux and Novell engineers. Dr Msibi will play a key role in driving such initiatives and will be providing us with the guidance we need in this area to help achieve our common vision of job creation and economic empowerment through technology."

Smartsource Corporate Training provides practical and customized training services. It is one of the largest Linux training companies in South Africa with a network of delivery centers throughout the country and preferred partnership agreements with Novell and IBM. The course offering includes Novell, SuSE, Linux, Red Hat Linux, Unix and Network Security, as well as a host of development languages.

Editorial contacts

Smartsource Holdings
Matthew Costello
(021) 799 4233
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