SA’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector will generate nearly 100 000 new jobs in the next four years, according to research firm, the International Data Corp (IDC).
This will happen as the sector outpaces GDP growth, according Mark Walker, director of the vertical industry practice at IDC Middle East & Africa. Presently, IT contributes 4,3% of SA’s GDP, Walker says.
SA’s technology sector will create 2 300 new businesses and 95 000 new jobs between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013, he says. Job creation will outpace overall job creation in SA by a ratio of six to one.
The research data forms part of a broader IDC study of IT spending in the Middle East & Africa. The study, the IDC IT Economic Impact Study 2009, finds that the region’s IT sector will grow at an average annual rate of 7,3%/year between 2008 and 2013, against average GDP growth of 2,6%.
Walker says the economic cycle has bottomed and predicts that the worst of the recession is over. “Though the business environment is risk averse, the feeling is that confidence is starting to turn slowly.”
The IDC study, which is sponsored by Microsoft, finds that IT spending in SA in 2009 will reach US$11,7bn, growing to $15,2bn in 2013, by which time it will represent 4,9% of the country’s GDP.
The lack of skills in IT continues to be a problem, though returning expatriates has alleviated the problem to some extent, Walker says.
He adds that the biggest problems facing the sector are corruption and poor regulation. Telecommunications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of SA, has proved itself to be “toothless”. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral