SITA counts down to GovTech 2019

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 14 Oct 2019

From 27 to 30 October, the Durban International Convention Centre will stage the annual State IT Agency (SITA) government technology conference, GovTech.  

Now in its 13 year, the conference takes place as there has been an amplified focus on the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) both locally and across the globe.

The 4IR calls on the future workforce to have specialised skills. Locally, government and private sector players have ramped up efforts to address the country’s digital skills gap, and this year’s GovTech will also shine focus on the next era of the digital revolution.   

In his conference foreword, Ntutule Tshenye, SITA acting CEO, says the annual event is hosted under the themeDigital Transformation: Gearing Towards the 4IR and Beyond”.

Tshenye elaborates: “Through GovTech, the country and its people are anticipative of the rapid changes in the digital technology space and to the manner with which government (and the society) need to respond to the milieu as the state continues to gather, collect, store, analyse and unleash the ever-increasing (big) data to plan for, prepare, execute and implement policies, programmes and projects aimed at fostering economic growth, building social capital, generating communal wealth and creating employment for a prosperous society.

“Over the years, the format and content of the conference has been refined to bring about an annual event that is relevant, specific and outcome-based; intended to move the state and the country one step closer to attaining the ideals of the fourth industrial revolution which in the South African context are articulated as the key seven priorities to turn the country and its economy around. This is the essence of GovTech and 2019 will be no exception.”

Meanwhile, minister of communications and digital technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams used her foreword to say government, through the Presidential Commission on the 4IR, is assuming leadership and laying concrete foundations for the national response to the fourth industrial revolution.

“It becomes important therefore for the public sector to be mobilised, knowledgeable and competent so as to make valuable input, essentially making SITA and GovTech completely relevant to the national dialogue currently trending.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams also notes this year’s event takes place against the backdrop of a heightened focus on digital transformation and 4IR, saying this calls on all the attendants to leave no stone unturned in their quest to position the public service as the pioneers in the realisation of the ideals enshrined in the National Development Plan Vision 2030 and the National ICT Policy White Paper.

“Digital skills development as an output of the programme needs to come out strong to address the question of digital access. For this reason, government welcomes the element of hackathons and other community initiatives within GovTech to encourage innovation and build a digital skills base. As a nation, we have lofty targets to meet in creating digital skills sets pertinent to the 4IR and digital economy.”

To register for the event, click here.