Zululand Observer - Weekender
Focus on technology as economic driver
THE roll-out of broadband information and communications technology (ICT) hubs across the province are among the projects that will be prioritised by the KZN Department of Economic Development.
This is part of efforts to respond to the fourth industrial revolution by equipping people with digital skills.
The hubs will provide generic services to communities such as telecentres, desktop publishing, internet connectivity (wi-fi), incubation, business support, innovation support, entrepreneurship and information services.
‘We want to have public areas such as libraries and taxi ranks in townships as free wi-fi spots where our people can connect to the internet with ease.
‘We will run parallel programmes of setting up technology recycling centres, focusing on research on material used and establishing e-waste centres,’ said MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
She delivered the department’s budget speech in the KZN Legislature on Tuesday.
‘This is yet another opportunity for creating new work and new economic opportunities
‘These are all part of plans to create universal internet connectivity.
‘Our ambitious plan is to have wallto-wall internet coverage across the province within the next five years,’ she said.
The department will also establish containers for vendors to sell data, repair handsets and even develop apps.
Auto services hubs will further be rolled out in the uMhlathuze, uMsunduzi and Amajuba districts.
‘These will be in strategically located sites to be operated by disadvantaged auto service providers from townships and semi-rural areas.
‘We believe that through investments in strategic infrastructure, the face of this province will change dramatically.
‘Importantly, the investment is structured in order to create much needed jobs,’ said Nomusa DubeNcube.
The province aims to attract collective investments to the value of R4.1-billion, thus creating 7 000 jobs in all the districts throughout the province.