Communications minister Roy Padayachie has unveiled a draft framework aimed at using information and communications technology (ICT) to help develop rural areas and encourage job creation.
The minister detailed the draft ICT rural development strategic framework at a “multi-stakeholder forum” called by the department in Midrand this week, with the hope that participants at the forum would contribute to the strategy.
Padayachie says that as the global economy begins to recover, the ICT sector is poised for growth. “We believe that this sector has a potential to create more than 1,5m jobs over the medium- to long-term. This will also increase the contribution of the sector to the GDP,” he says.
To do this, Padayachie says government will enable an environment that will allow the private sector to start generating jobs in rural areas.
The framework has been supported by a steering committee that includes the departments of rural development & land reform, public works, arts & culture and science & technology as well as the Universal Service & Access Agency of SA.
The objectives of the framework are to bring universal access and connectivity to rural areas, which in turn will help develop those communities.
The communications department will create an industry-wide working group to help facilitate the implementation of the framework.
“Taking advantage of the jobs fund announced by President [Jacob] Zuma in February this year, we must exploit these resources for the betterment of the lives of our poor communities,” says Padayachie. — Staff reporter, TechCentral