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SITA Awards Drivers Of Innovation In ICT

Women, youth and small medium and micro enterprises joined large companies and government bodies to celebrate South African innovation at its best at the prestigious State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Public Service ICT Awards ceremony on 30 October.

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Women, youth and small medium and micro enterprises joined large companies and government bodies to celebrate South African innovation at its best at the prestigious State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Public Service ICT Awards ceremony on 30 October.

Based on the quality of nominations and winners announced at the awards gala dinner sponsored by Gijima, which was held at Gallagher Convention Centre, SITA acting chairperson, Z.D. Nomvete, said that he was confident that South Africa housed ample innovation to support government’s “e-strategy” for the country.

The award categories were Youth in ICT Award; Women in ICT Award; ICT Innovation and Service Transformation Award for Larger Companies; ICT Provider Innovation and Service Transformation Award for Start-ups and SMMEs; ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – Local Government; ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – Provincial Government; and ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – National Government. A new category was added to this year’s awards, namely the ICT Contributor of the Year Award which awards the best performer out of all of the seven category winners. 

Related: How To Find Funding in South Africa

Importantly, the Youth in ICT Award promotes the contribution made by young professionals to the local ICT industry, and to the growth and development of the sector as a whole. This year’s winner was Joel Seabi, the deputy director of ICT Security of the Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs’ (CoGHSTA) Limpopo team. He has played an integral role in the development of ground-breaking projects undertaken by the department, to date. Qiniso Mazubane, managing director of Ndiza Information Systems and Communication Technology, was first runner up and Moabi Setshedi, a key member of Mohaba Solutions, second runner up in this category.

The Women in ICT Award, sponsored by Vodacom, aims to promote the industry to all professionals by recognising the contribution that women make to the ICT industry and to the future of the profession. The winner of this category was Mymoena Ismail. As a leader of non-profit organisation, Cape Digital Foundation, she has been responsible for creating a connected economy in the Western Cape. Ismail is also one of the architects for “e-skills” human-capacity development in South Africa and has dedicated herself to the “e-readiness” agenda in the country. Rianette Leibowitz, CEO of SaveTNet Cyber Safety NPC, was the first runner up and Zibuyile Buthelezi, chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Black IT Forum, the second runner up in this category.

The ICT Innovation and Service Transformation Award for Larger Companies recognises the input of companies with turnovers greater than R10-million per annum in improving service delivery to citizens. The impact their projects have had on citizens and improvement of public service delivery are a major consideration. Memeza was the winner of this category as a driver of the Public Community Policing alarms project. Since 2015, more than 1 000 community alarms have been installed into schools, homes of elderly and crime victims, drastically reducing crime in those areas. Huawei was first runner up for building a Smart City for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and BIGRADAP Group second runner up for the design, development and maintenance of an Integrated Multi-Sectoral System.

The ICT Provider Innovation and Service Transformation Award for Start-ups and SMMEs, sponsored by Sentech, recognises companies with turnovers of no more than R10-million per annum that have bettered service delivery to citizens. Consideration is also given to the impact the project has had on citizens and the improvement of, or the potential to improve public service delivery. The winner of this category was A2D24, which developed the RESPONSE software application. It is an innovative dispatch tool for emergency vehicles, using Uber-type technology to automatically deploy critical medical assistance timeously. Mohaba Solutions was first runner up for its Karabo Healthcare Finder Application and Kasana Computer School and Repair Centre third runner up.

The ICT Delivery and Transformation Awards reward the most outstanding service delivery, or a product or service, and/or transformation at the various levels of government.

Related: Small Business Funding In South Africa

Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality was the winner of the ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – Local Government category. The municipality is a driver of a number of important IT initiatives in its jurisdiction, including free Wi-Fi, roll-out of fibre optics, development of a converged infrastructure platform and provision of “eServices”. This five-year project has ensured that the municipality is a responsive, connected and collaborative city. The Department of Government Communication & Information Systems was the first runner up for GovChat and CoGHSTA Limpopo second runner up in this category for its ICT infrastructure, Systems, Governance and Security Project.

The Department of Transport and Public Works Western Cape was the winner in the ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – Provincial Government category for its Fleetman solution. This bespoke fleet management system based on the Oracle server platform manages the entire life-cycle of the asset. CoGHSTA Limpopo was the runner up for its Open Development Engine, or commonly referred to as “CODE”.

The Department of Home Affairs was the winner in the ICT Service Delivery and Transformation Award – National Government category as a driver of the Automated Booking System for Refugee Reception Centres. These countrywide facilities allow for seamless application, processing and issuing of permits to non-citizens who are fleeing from persecutions in their home countries. The Department of Government Communication & Information Systems was first runner up for the Development of a Google Playstore and Apple ITunes store Free Information download and Stats SA second runner up for its Go-Survey Navigation Application.

Mymoena Ismail was also the worthy winner of new category added to this year’s awards, namely the ICT Contributor of the Year Award. Ismail was considered the best performer out of all of the seven category winners, in terms of her contribution to the ICT industry in 2016, sending a very strong motivation to other women in industry at large!

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Top Sectors For SMEs In 2019

“As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”

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While the South African economy has been underperforming for a number of years, the first positive signs of turnaround started to become visible by the second quarter of 2018, and by the end of the third quarter, data supplied by Statistics South Africa showed that the economy had indeed grown by 2.2 percent, compared to the previous quarter. This uptick is expected to have a positive effect on business confidence in 2019.

This is according to Jeremy Lang, regional general manager at Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that certain business sectors have already seen an increase in opportunities for small businesses and start-ups.

“While these sectors will not be without challenges, the following four industries are likely to offer the best opportunities for small and medium enterprise (SME) owners to grow their enterprises in the coming year.”

Tourism

The World Travel and Tourism report 2018, revealed that the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to South Africa’s GDP has been projected to rise from R136bn in 2016 to R197.9bn by 2028 – set to make up a total of 3.3 percent of the country’s total GDP, says Lang.

“Although this sector experienced some setbacks in 2018, such as the drought in the Western Cape and stricter visa regulations for children entering the country, both the water restrictions and visa regulations  have been relaxed and the sector is once again poised for growth,” he says.

Related: Government Funding And Grants For Small Businesses

Manufacturing

Statistics South Africa has credited this industry with being the biggest driver of growth in the country’s GDP, having expanded by 7.5 percent in September 2018, says Lang. “To bolster this, Government has made a concerted effort to stimulate small business growth in this area with initiatives such as the Black Industrialist Programme and the SA Automotive Masterplan.”

He adds that businesses in the manufacturing sphere could therefore likely see significant opportunities in the form of outsourcing contracts and new partnerships with large corporates.

Agriculture

“The debate around land expropriation has occupied most of the discussions surrounding the agricultural sector in 2018, with some questioning growth prospects of this sector. However, this industry has a lot of growth ahead of it, as demonstrated by its 6.5 percent growth over the last three months of 2018,” explains Lang.

“Further to this, the industry is also already taking significant advantage of seven climatic regions in South Africa, with the export of a wide variety of high quality fruit and vegetables increasing substantially,” he points out. The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease that has resulted in the suspension of the country’s FMD-free status will however significantly impact meat exporters.

In terms of opportunities for SMEs, he says that these may most likely be found in the rural and underdeveloped regions, where the need for resources like efficient transport, state-of-the-art cold storage, better irrigation and private power generation will be key to making agriculture projects more productive and competitive in the export market.

Data and information technology

Connectivity and information technology infrastructure are both crucial to business and employment growth in South Africa, says Lang.

“With many municipalities and the Western Cape government committing to providing all of its residents with free data as part of a plan to expand public Wi-Fi network access, it is clear that this is also becoming a high priority on a state level.” 

Related: 9 Ways To Elevate Your Small Business To The Next Level

It has also been reported that South Africa is awaiting the arrival of three international data centres, and large players in the communications sphere, including Vodacom, Telkom and Vumatel, are making huge strides in drastically growing the country’s fibre optic backbone, he adds. “As such, SMEs in the construction, communications and electrical fields are all likely to benefit from supply and sub-contracting agreements over the coming years.”

In conclusion, Lang says that as South Africa’s economic growth has started to turn around, business owners should keep their ears to the ground as 2019 is highly likely to be a year of opportunity.

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Herman Mashaba To Talk On City Of Jo’burg Job Creation Initiative

Herman Mashaba to talk on City of Jo’burg job creation initiative at 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit.

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Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, and one of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Herman Mashaba, will be one of the presenters at the 2019 Business Day TV SME Summit which will be taking place at The Empire Venue in Parktown on 7 March 2019.
Now in its third year, the Business Day TV SME Summit provides an opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs, incubators, franchisors, investors, as well as suppliers to the SME sector to come together and engage with experts in the business, technology, marketing and investment fields.
Having founded the now iconic hair-care brand, Black Like Me, more than thirty years ago during the apartheid era and on the back of a R30,000 loan from a friend, Mashaba’s experience in establishing an entrepreneurial enterprise holds great value for small and medium-sized business owners in South Africa. Mashaba will also be highlighting the City of Johannesburg’s innovative drive to stimulate inner city opportunities and job creation.
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Managing finances and obtaining funding and expansion capital are challenges many entrepreneurial businesses face as they look to grow their footprint in the market. Darren Segal, Personal and Business Banking Innovation executive at Standard Bank – one of the partners of the SME Summit – will present advice on negotiating funding and finance, to ensure effective cash flow management.
Complex tax issues will also be covered by a representative from the office of the Tax Ombudsman.
Taryn Westoby, Head of Tiso Blackstar Events which manages the SME Summit and curates the speaker line-up says: “We work alongside Business Day TV to meet the requirements of those engaged in the SME sector, so that the content of the Summit aligns to some of their most pressing concerns and needs. The line-up of speakers includes experts in the fields of business scaling, marketing strategy, intellectual property (IP) rights, and risk mitigation.”
As such, Graham Mitchell from GROW has been engaged to share insights into the leadership required to scale a winning management team.  Vishen Pillay, partner at Adams & Adams and an authority on copyright, patents, and trademarks, will provide guidance on protecting IP. Therusha Bhagarette of Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Ltd will expound further on the do’s and don’ts of risk management. The full line-up of expert speakers and topics will be published on www.smesummit.co.za.

International perspective

An international perspective to entrepreneurship will also be provided through Business Day TV’s The Big Small Business Show and a pre-recorded session with Uri Levine: renowned serial entrepreneur and founder of Waze.  Levine was recently in South Africa as a guest of Tiso Blackstar to deliver the keynote presentation at the prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards to an audience of CEOs from the top-performing companies on the JSE.

Leading organisations at the SME Summit

Once again, leading organisations have committed their participation at the Business Day TV SME Summit, recognising it as one of the most effective platforms for SMEs to engage professional insights and facilitate knowledge-sharing in support of much needed entrepreneurial development in SA.
This year’s headline partners are Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation of Africa Limited, SAICA, and Standard Bank. Other partners include BDO, Adams & Adams, Liberty, Payfast, GROW, The Tax Ombudsman, W&R Seta, Telkom, Santam and The Little Green Number.
For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities:  Stephen Horszowski – stephen@tisoblackstar.co.za
Delegates who wish to purchase tickets for the full day event (07h00 – 15h00) at R995:  Lucy Johnson – johnsonl@tisoblackstar.co.za or visit  www.smesummit.co.za

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SME Insurance Checklist For New Year

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers, advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies.

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Business owners who are planning for the year ahead should not overlook the importance of reviewing their insurance policies to ensure they are adequately covered against insurable risks.

Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, every year businesses face unique challenges ranging from credit and market risks, technological disruptions, compliance, operational and regulatory risks, amongst others. As a matter of precaution, insurance policies should at least be reviewed or updated once a year.

He advises SMEs to consider the following factors when reviewing their policies:

  • Employee movements – if there are any employees who have left or joined the company, ensure that your policy is updated accordingly.

This type of cover normally depends on the role and contribution of the employee to the business. For instance, directors may be covered for Key Person Insurance and Directors & Officers Liability insurance.

  • Protest Actions – this year is the national election year and leading up to elections we can expect to see an increase in the frequency and severity of protest actions, riots and strikes. Thus, it is essential to ensure that adequate special risks cover is in place from the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA).

SASRIA provides cover to both individuals and businesses against special risks like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism at affordable premiums.

  • Cyber risks – it is essential to communicate with your insurer or broker and find out if there are any new risks that your business should be protected against. Cyber incidents continue to be a major risk for businesses especially in the SME sector. Over the last couple of years there has been a major increase in the number of reported cyber incidences.

Related: I would like to start an insurance business. What are the basic guidelines?

More businesses are now facing increased cyber threats due to their increased dependency on technology, relating to their internal and customer data being compromised by fraudsters. It is therefore essential to have some form of cyber risk insurance cover and/or enhancement of data security protocols.

  • Regulatory changes – every year there are a number of regulatory changes that impact businesses directly or indirectly, which may result in fines and penalties for non-compliance.
  • Natural catastrophes – the increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions, coupled with intensifying natural catastrophes will continue to have a significant impact on businesses.

Businesses should ensure they are adequately protected against these risks to avoid incurring sever financial losses.

  • Business changes – should a business consider moving to a new location, purchasing new premises or venture into new business activities, these types of changes could have a major impact on its risks profile. As a result, the policy needs to be updated accordingly.
  • New and Enhanced products – An innovative culture has taken over the insurance industry and ever so often we see the introduction of new products or the enhancement of existing products. Get in touch with you broker to advise you on any new products that might add value to your existing insurance portfolio.

“Reviewing your policy regularly gives you peace of mind knowing that you can focus on running your business effectively, without worrying about unforeseen risks,” concludes Maupa.

Related: Insurance For Small Businesses: What Should Be Covered?

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