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Word from the President

Preparing for SA Connect

I am excited to share my thoughts on how Black Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) can best position themselves for success in the SA Connect program.
SA Connect, the South African government’s bold initiative to roll out broadband infrastructure nationwide, presents a significant opportunity for Black SMMEs to participate in the country’s digital transformation. However, these businesses must be adequately prepared and empowered to reap the benefits.
Here are some strategic steps Black SMMEs can take to position themselves for success in SA Connect:
  1. Develop a digital skills strategy: Invest in upskilling and reskilling your workforce to meet the digital economy’s demands. This includes training in software development, data analytics, and cybersecurity.
  2. Build strategic partnerships: Collaborate with other Black SMMEs, larger enterprises, and industry stakeholders to share resources, expertise, and risk. This will enhance your capabilities and competitiveness.
  3. Focus on innovation: Develop innovative solutions and services that address specific needs in the SA Connect ecosystem. This could include IoT, AI, or other emerging technologies.
  4. Ensure compliance and certification: Obtain necessary certifications and comply with relevant regulations to participate in government programs and tenders.
  5. Develop a robust online presence: Establish a professional digital footprint, including a website and social media, to showcase your offerings and connect with potential clients.
  6. Engage with industry associations: Join organizations like PBICT to stay informed about industry developments, best practices, and networking opportunities.
  7. Access funding and support: Explore government initiatives, grants, and private sector funding opportunities to support your growth and participation in SA Connect.
  8. Prioritize cybersecurity: Invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect your business and clients from the growing threat of cyberattacks.
By implementing these strategies, Black SMMEs can position themselves for success in the SA Connect program, contributing to the growth of South Africa’s digital economy and creating a more inclusive and equitable ICT sector.
Let’s work together to empower Black SMMEs and unlock the full potential of SA Connect!
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Word from the President

Meta Unleashes AI Assistant: What Does This Mean for Black ICT SMMEs?

In a move that’s set to revolutionize the social media landscape, Meta has rolled out its AI assistant across all its platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. This development has far-reaching implications for Black ICT SMMEs (Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises) in South Africa and beyond.
The AI assistant, powered by the latest image models from Meta AI and enabled by the Llama 3 update, offers a range of features that will change the way we interact with social media. From real-time information retrieval to content creation, image manipulation, and integration with search engines for current data access, this AI assistant is poised to make a significant impact.
But what does this mean for Black ICT SMMEs?
As we celebrate this innovation, we must also consider the potential implications for our sector. Will this AI assistant create new opportunities for Black ICT SMMEs, or will it further entrench existing inequalities?
Some potential benefits include:
  • Access to cutting-edge technology: Black ICT SMMEs can leverage this AI assistant to enhance their services and stay competitive in the market.
  • Increased efficiency: Automation and AI-powered tools can streamline processes, freeing up resources for more strategic activities.
  • New business opportunities: The AI assistant’s capabilities may create new revenue streams for Black ICT SMMEs, such as content creation, data analysis, and digital marketing services.
However, we must also consider the potential challenges:
  • Job displacement: Automation may displace certain jobs, particularly those that involve repetitive tasks or data processing.
  • Dependence on Meta’s ecosystem: Black ICT SMMEs may become reliant on Meta’s platforms and tools, potentially limiting their autonomy and flexibility.
  • Exacerbating existing inequalities: If not managed carefully, this AI assistant may widen the gap between larger, more established companies and smaller, Black-owned businesses.
As we move forward, it’s crucial that we prioritize inclusivity and equity in the development and deployment of this AI assistant. We must ensure that Black ICT SMMEs have access to the necessary resources, training, and support to thrive in this new landscape.
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Word from the President

South Africa Key to Continent’s ICT Development:

South Africa has been urged to take a more prominent role in international ICT diplomacy to shape global policies and standards that align with the country’s and continent’s interests. This call was made by John Omo, secretary-general of the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), during a virtual address at the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies’ celebration of 30 years of collaboration and growth in the ICT industry.
Omo emphasized that South Africa has been a key player in the ICT sector, not only in Africa but also globally, and has made significant contributions to international ICT forums. However, he stressed that the country needs to scale up its efforts to ensure that its voice is heard and its interests are represented in global ICT diplomacy.
“The world is increasingly becoming digital, and ICTs are at the heart of this transformation,” Omo said. “As a major player in the global ICT landscape, South Africa has a critical role to play in shaping the future of ICTs and ensuring that they are harnessed for the benefit of all.”
Omo highlighted the importance of international cooperation and collaboration in addressing global ICT challenges, such as cybersecurity threats, data privacy, and the digital divide. He emphasized that South Africa’s experience and expertise in ICT development make it an ideal candidate to take on a more prominent role in international ICT diplomacy.
“South Africa has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in ICT development, and it is essential that this expertise is shared with other countries, particularly in Africa,” Omo said. “By taking a more active role in international ICT diplomacy, South Africa can help shape global ICT policies and standards that are inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.”
Omo’s call for South Africa to scale up its role in international ICT diplomacy was echoed by other speakers at the event, who emphasized the need for the country to take a more proactive approach to global ICT governance. They highlighted the importance of collaboration and cooperation among governments, industry players, and civil society organizations to ensure that ICTs are harnessed for the benefit of all.
The event was held to celebrate 30 years of collaboration and growth in the ICT industry in South Africa and to reflect on the sector’s achievements and challenges. It brought together industry players, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss the future of ICTs in South Africa and the continent.
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Word from the President

30 years of ICT Revolution

“Viva, comrades! Today, we’re celebrating 30 years of incredible growth and collaboration in South Africa’s ICT industry. From humble beginnings to a thriving sector worth R320 billion, we’ve come a long way! We’ve seen mobile subscriptions soar, internet access increase, and innovative projects like SA Connect and digital migration.
However, we still face challenges like the need for more agile policies, inclusion of SMMEs, and cheaper data costs. We must work together to address these issues and ensure no one is left behind in our digital transformation journey. The future holds immense promise, and with collaboration and flexible policies, we can build a vibrant and inclusive digital economy that benefits all. Let’s continue working together to drive growth and empowerment in our sector!”
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Word from the President

A Pot of Gold for a Brighter Future

We are facing a serious state of bankruptcy as a country. Recently, SARS has started targeting SMMEs. We must play our part and ensure that we pay the tax, man.

We believe that connecting our people can crank open the digital economy, and our people will find ways of bringing money from abroad. We can pull the $6 trillion industry to South Africa. The only thing standing between us and saving grace is connectivity. Our people can not afford data and, as such, are shut out of the digital economy and its trillions of dollars.

I genuinely believe that SA Connect rolled out right with the right intention and strategy, can Crack open the pot of gold for this country. We have a golden goose, and it is SA Connect.

Let’s hope DCDCT, BBI, and Sentech are up to the challenge and that they put all differences aside, be patriotic by putting the country and its people first, and do the right thing. Get our people connected, and the rest will follow.

Only SMMEs are creating new jobs in the country today. The digital economy is the only one hiring today, and the future jobs are those crested by the digital space. Tomorrow is all about cyberspace converging into the physical. Jobs are for robots and Ai. We must accept that and start building a better world of coliving with machines and Ai. That world is tomorrow, but today, let’s get everyone and everything connected.

DCDCT, BBI, and Sentech can save the country today, and they can create the foundation for the future South Africa.

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Word from the President

Gatekeepers Must Fall: A New Era of Support for Black SMMEs

As the PBICT, we are excited to see a glimmer of hope for black SMMEs in South Africa. With SEFA now being transformed to help black SMMEs with purchase order funding, we have a fantastic opportunity to be supported in delivering our projects with a partner who cares.

This is a significant development, as it means that black SMMEs will no longer need to rely on middlemen to get access to the funding they need. This is a major step forward in the fight against corruption and gatekeeping, and it will open up a world of new possibilities for black-owned businesses.

We know that some opportunists will try to wedge themselves between us and SEFA. However, we must not fall victim to their greed. We must stand together and demand that gatekeepers fall.

This is a message for not only black SMMEs, but for all South Africans who are committed to building a more just and equitable society. We must all work together to ensure that black businesses have the support they need to succeed.

The Importance of Supporting Black SMMEs

Black SMMEs play a vital role in the South African economy. They create jobs, drive innovation, and contribute to economic growth. However, black SMMEs have historically faced significant challenges, including access to finance, mentorship, and markets.

The transformation of SEFA is a positive step towards addressing these challenges. By providing purchase order funding to black SMMEs, SEFA is helping them to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to growth.

The Benefits of SEFA’s Purchase Order Funding

SEFA’s purchase order funding provides a number of benefits to black SMMEs. First, it allows them to access the funding they need to fulfill orders, even if they do not have the upfront cash flow. Second, it helps them to build relationships with new customers. Third, it reduces their risk by providing them with a guarantee that they will be paid.

How We Can Ensure That Gatekeepers Fall

There are a number of things that we can do to ensure that gatekeepers fall and that black SMMEs have access to the support they need.

First, we must all work together to raise awareness of the challenges faced by black SMMEs and the importance of supporting them. We can do this by talking to our friends and family, sharing information on social media, and supporting black-owned businesses whenever possible.

Second, we must hold our government and businesses accountable for supporting black SMMEs. We can do this by writing to our elected representatives, attending public meetings, and boycotting businesses that do not support black SMMEs.

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Word from the President

PBICT Takes a Stand for Black SMMEs in Battle Against ISP Bullies! #Internet4All”

The PBICT honoured an invitation by ICASA to deliberate on SMME Development. It is sad today that some organisations are discussing shutting down black SMMEs operating in black areas as ISPs. We are committed to our #Internet4All programme and will not allow any bullies to shut our SMMEs down. We are calling on ICASA to use the penalties fund for bridging the digital divide by empowering our SMMEs in the telco space by funding them. No gatekeeping will stop us from connecting our people. The PBICT envisions a future where communitism is the economic model and wealth is distributed amongst all. We will not rest until such time that we have achieved total inclusivity where the majority control the economy of this Country.

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Word from the President

PBICT Rises from the Ashes: Igniting Hope for Access & Ownership in South Africa’s Digital Revolution

The PBICT has been through the toughest time over the last two years. The spirit of our fallen Cdes can not be ignored, and their contributions must not be in vain. We reaffirm our commitment to the struggle and the fight for #Access&Ownership. Today, we go back to 2015 and remember that we said yes to the duty of furthering the progressive national democratic revolution. We identify ourselves with the leader of that revolution, the ANC unapologetic. We are facing the 4th Industrial Revolution that has cracked open the digital economy. Our people are not skilled enough to access the opportunities served on the buffet, so they are left out. Cdes, the time for talking is over. We must start doing this. We serve the people and lead the industry transformation. Let’s re-ignite the flame of PBICT so we can once again build hope to shine the light into the future of the sector in our Country. Cdes the PBICT leads the progressive agenda of the sector. Let’s act on our call to duty.

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Word from the President

Breaking the Chains: South Africa’s Quest for Technological Independence with PBICT

South Africa remains digitally colonised and enslaved to serve the masters that hold the keys to our chains. We are a large consumer of foreign technology as we have little trust in our abilities. We have produced the greatest innovators in our time, yet we are here. The progressive forces of the PBICT believe in a transformed state where we, as South Africa, are counted amongst the best producers of technology and drivers of new innovation. It is our time to awaken the new generation and help them stand up in the interest of their future and future generations. WeArePBICT the revolution of change. It’s time to change the world.

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