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“Smart” Province Hosts GovTech 2016

This year’s State Information Technology Conference (GovTech) 2016 is being hosted in Gauteng, a stellar example of government’s “e-strategy” which aims to improve service delivery for all citizens.

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This year’s State Information Technology Conference (GovTech) 2016 is being hosted in Gauteng, a stellar example of government’s “e-strategy” which aims to improve service delivery for all.

GovTech 2016 is being hosted by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), a major driver of “e-government”, together with the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

The Honourable David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng, participated with a number of representatives from state in a high-level plenary, marking the opening of GovTech 2016 on 31 October at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

Related: 5 First Technology Buys For Your Brand New Business

The premier said that he was proud of the progress Gauteng had achieved in positioning itself as a “smart” province that was being administered by a “smart” government.

“E-government initiatives in the province are tearing down walls of ‘red tape’ and improving access to state for citizens. It is making government transparent and accountable to its citizens, rooting out inefficiencies,” says Makhura.

He said that the province would continue to invest in information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, having already harnessed the power of ICTs to improve accessibility to education and healthcare.

Makhura also praised the municipalities of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni for the role that they had played in rolling our free Wi-Fi for citizens and their ongoing drive towards transitioning into “smart” cities.

The province is already host to about 1 500 kilometres (km) of fibre-optic cables and 900 free public Wi-Fi hotspots. He reported that his government was well on track to boosting this to 2 250 km of fibre-optic network and 1 550 free public Wi-Fi hotspots.

He said that his Province understood that access and connectivity were essential to retaining Gauteng’s competitive economic position, making up as much as 35% of the gross domestic product of South Africa and 10% of the continent’s. Gauteng is also considered the ICT hub of sub-Saharan Africa.

Related: Fintech: Fusing Finance And Technology

“We understand that access to broadband is of the same value as water and electricity for any properly-functioning city region. We also acknowledge that we are in the midst of an industrial revolution and need to ensure that the poor and marginalised are included as we move forward. Our ongoing focus on positioning ourselves as a smart province needs to create black industrialists, develop small, medium and micro enterprises and start-ups in all sector of Gauteng’s economy,” said the premier.

Makhura also pointed to the important role that youth have to play in this new economy that had been “disrupted” for the better.

“This is an area where the youth already have ample experience, and will therefore be able to add significant value in government’s e-strategy,” he said.

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Off The Beaten Track

What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.

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This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.

The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.

“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.

“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.

Related: Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan

According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”

Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.

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FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development

First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.

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First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.

DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.

Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”

FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.

“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.

Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways To Fund A Start-up

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A Conversation With Yourself Could Change Your Life

Thami Buti is a 24-year-old South African actor. He is amongst the 46% of South Africans between 20 and 50 years, who have no savings at all. He’s probably one of 90% of people who will retire with less than 50% of their income.

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Except none of this is true for Thami, because he’s had a conversation with himself – at six different ages – in Sanlam’s new educational campaign.

In Sanlam’s Conversations with Yourself campaign, Thami gets transformed into a 20, 30, 50, 65 and 80-year-old (actor Hlumelo Mzimkulu plays the 10-year-old) called YOU. And over a series of conversations, these characters in their different age brackets sit and share wisdom on life’s ‘what ifs.’ Disrupting the traditional approach to ‘finance talk’, the central idea is this: what if you could learn everything you need to know about life, from yourself? What if 65 year-old you could tell you – at age 20 – to stop buying so many cappuccinos and to invest more into an RA? And 30-year-old you could ask you at 80 how many kids you have – and how you afford to give them the lifestyle and opportunities you want for them?

Sonja Sanders, Head of Marketing and Client Experience at Sanlam Personal Finance, says each of the seven Conversations with Yourself films uses humour and insight to broach a different topic – and presents the accompanying product solve. “For example, the Conversation on Life and Retirement tackles retirement in a completely new way. Planning for retirement is often not a priority when you’re young. But what if you knew only 6% of South Africans are able to cover their monthly expenses once they retire? And what if you could ask your 65-year-old self whether you are one of the 6%? Would 20-year-old you still take that year off? Would you at age 30 still buy that flashy car?”

Using banter to bring home the fact that today’s decisions will define life when you’re older, the script takes a notoriously low-interest topic and makes it relatable.

The same goes for the highly sensitive topic of death, which no one wants to talk about — undoubtedly a problem in a country with an average age of death that stands at 64 years, and where 40% of the workforce is more likely to have cell phone insurance than life insurance.

Sanders says, “Conversations with Yourself takes an idea we’ve all had to the next level: The wish to fast-track into the future to see if our lives worked out the way we expected. Ultimately, you are your own partner in life. Everything you do now either benefits your future or jeopardises it. It’s often too daunting to imagine one’s future-self. But Conversations with Yourself connects the future to the present, and makes the experience real and impactful.”

Related: How To Start Saving Money Today

South Africa’s problematic savings culture has been well documented. In the retirement space, Sanlam’s Benchmark research has identified millennials as the generation most at risk of having insufficient savings, mainly due to their DIY approach to money matters, their mistrust of financial service institutions and the fact that they don’t identify with retirement as a goal. It’s a generation known for overconfidence despite their poor financial literacy. Millennials prefer self-directed advice – so what better way to deliver it than through a ‘conversation with yourself’?

“As WealthsmithsTM, Sanlam wants to empower people with the knowledge and tools to enable them to make positive financial decisions today. This should set them up for success both now and into the future. Conversations with Yourself helps people to appreciate that the planning they do today has significant implications for their future self. Ultimately, the campaign uses progressive storytelling to share a story to which any generation can relate. The story of you,” concludes Sanders.

Visit Conversationswithyourself to watch the films and start your own conversation.

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