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Government and industry challenged to use innovation for social good
​Head of IT at DUT Professor Progress Mtshali, Acting Director  of
Inqubathe at UKZN Charlotte Mashaba, Head of IT at MUT Dr Vikash
Jugoo and ATU Lead at Microsoft Ayanda Ngcebetsha during the
Technology and Innovation In Service Delivery Seminar at Moses
Mabhida Stadium.

According to the Economic Impact  of Information Technology and Microsoft in South Africa report , cloud computing will create 112 000 net new jobs in the next five years while Microsoft could service will create 165 000 net new jobs by 2022.

The good news were revealed by Ayanda Ngcebetshana who is an ATU Lead at Microsoft South Africa during a three day Technology and Innovation In Service Delivery Seminar that was held at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

However, Ngcebetshana was quick to warn that  the society and the industry was not changing fast enough  to an extent  that some bad elements were using technology against society and the industry.

‘While we are celebrating these numbers, we must mindful of the fact that criminals are using the skills that we have developed and the technology that is sitting on our platforms against us,” he said.

As way of example, Ngcebetshana told the seminar that a Game Park in the Eastern Cape have been trying to figure out of how criminals have precision of where the Rhinos are.

“They use machine learning coupled with algorithmic that scans through social media for rhino pictures.  Once a picture have been found, the criminals looks for metadata on the picture and in that way they know exactly where the rhino are,” he explained.

He went on to challenge the industry and government to counter what criminals are doing by using technology for social good.

The Head of Information Technology at Durban University of Technology Professor Progress Mtshali echoed the sentiments of   Ngcebesthana saying that one of the ways to respond to challenges and opportunities facing the technology and Innovation Sector in South Africa was for government to blanket cities with WI-FI.

“The cost of data in South Africa is very high and it hinders innovation. It is not a secret that many of our young people they start having access to WI FI when they get to university.  If we were to bridge the skills gap and for the stakeholders to influence and  drive change, let us start with the basics, access to WI-FI and cut the cost of data,” said Mtshali.

Sakhile Nkabinde, the Senior Manager: Enterprise Architecture at the Municipality’s Information Management Unit added that the corporate governance of ICT in the public sector was key in achieving some of the above objectives.

simphiwe.dlamini@durban.gov.za

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