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Keynote Address by Deputy Minister – Hon. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

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SPEAKING NOTES FOR THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES, MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS AT THE ICT YOUTH BOOTCAMP
15 NOVEMBER 2017
The 4th Industrial Revolution in the South African context and the role ICT Youth SMMEs need to play
 
Programme Director,
Leadership of Abuti Rams Consultancy
Distinguished guests,
Members of the media,
 
I extend warm greetings to you this morning.
 
It is indeed a pleasure to be in the presence of young people, captains of the ICT industry, who are congregated during this Global Entrepreneurship Week, to explore ways on how to grow your respective brands through digital platforms; and compete both locally and globally.
 
Programme Director,
The era of the 4th Industrial Revolution is dominated by trends related to mobile technologies, cloud computing, smart connected devices, cyber physical systems and robotic technology; amongst many others.
 
It has seen the emergence of new energy supplies and technologies, Internet of Things (IOT), advanced manufacturing and 3D printing and artificial intelligence (IA).
 
The 4th Industrial Revolution presents opportunities to developing countries has the potential to raise global income levels, thereby improving the quality of life for people and opening up new markets due to improved technological innovation and.
 
As we move towards this industrial revolution, it is imperative to note that new technologies and digital platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with government by voicing their opinions in a coordinated manner, which will circumvent the supervision of public authorities.
 
The 4th Industrial Revolution will profoundly impact the nature of national and international security, affecting both the probability and nature of cyberspace and cyber-warfare.
 
In terms of business, it will invariably force big companies to re-examine the way that they conduct business by aligning with local innovators.
 
For communities, the 4th Industrial Revolution will not only change what society and people are used to doing daily but also of who they are; challenging cultural practices and traditions.
 
Inevitably, people will be required to have new sets of skills to access employment opportunities and career advancement.
 
Distinguished guests,
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has been tasked to facilitate a country approach on the 4th Industrial Revolution with all the relevant stakeholders.
 
In this respect, government has prioritised the development of SMMEs as a crucial milestone for employment, wealth creation, development of innovations and contribution to economy. This is supported by legislative and policy frameworks that support the development of SMMEs and cooperatives.
 
This includes, amongst others, the National Small Business Act which provides an overall legislative framework on the development of SMMEs across various sectors of the economy.
 
Programme Director,
My Department has further developed the National ICT Integrated White Paper Policy, which provides the new policy framework for the ICT sector and specifically addresses barriers to entry for SMMEs to participate in the sector. This policy was approved by Cabinet in September 2016.
 
On the 1st November 2017, Cabinet also approved the ICT SMME Development Strategy, which is a sector specific intervention to address challenges facing SMMEs operating in the ICT sector.
 
The strategy proposes interventions to accelerate the development and growth of small enterprises in the ICT sector, whilst facilitating an increase in the levels of uptake and usage of ICTs by the general small business sector.
 
These interventions include, opening up of both the telecommunications and IT sectors for SMMEs to effectively participate and compete on providing ICT services.
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
My department, through partnerships with relevant key stakeholders, will also focus more on relevant skills development initiatives to respond to the 4th Industrial Revolution opportunities.
 
Such identified skills include: ICT and e-literacy, software and applications development, e-commerce, cloud computing, website development and web hosting, business and financial management skills.
 
We have also committed to forge partnerships with municipalities and key stakeholders to establish ICT Hubs in townships to support rural enterprises. This is in appreciating the need to decentralise services so as to benefit all citizens of the country.
 
However, as we forge ahead on this quest, it is worth noting that government continues to experience challenges in the rollout of SMME development programmes due to a lack of an integrated national database of SMMEs in the ICT sector.
 
There are many SMME groups including associations which are currently fragmented and are at various levels of development. The Department has responded to this challenge by creating a single integrated database of all SMMEs in the ICT sector so as to enable harmonisation and coordination of ICT SMME initiatives.
 
These are some of the interventions introduced by the ICT SMME Development Strategy, which aims to support start-up ICT enterprises, strengthen existing enterprises and extend support to potentially viable SMMEs.
 
I therefore urge you to read this important ICT Sector SMME Development Strategy.
 
As we embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution, we need to move towards diversified economies driven by productivity. Our economy need to develop more tech-savvy entrepreneurs who will be able to respond to technological developments as introduced by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
 
It is important to also leverage on opportunities presented by this technological revolution to address the socio-economic challenges that South Africa is facing. As entrepreneurs, let us remember that our primary motive is to solve problems in our community. As ICT entrepreneurs, let our drive be to use ICT technologies to provide solutions to our people through innovation.
 
With this being said, allow me to conclude by congratulating the programme organisers – Abuti Rams Consultancy – as this Bootcamp further serves as the official launch of digiTAAL – a training programme to support SMMEs in townships and rural areas who have minimal ICT Skills.
 
Let us continue to use ICT technologies to create jobs and reduce poverty in our country, and further improve and strengthen our township economy through innovative means.
 
I thank you.

ICT Youth Bootcamp

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Abuti Rams Consultancy (ARC) in partnership with the Standard Bank Incubator and Geekulcha will host an ICT Youth Bootcamp during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) for rural and township SMMEs on 15 November 2017 at the SB Incubator in Rosebank. The objective of the Bootcamp is to provide a platform for A-Level influencers within the South African ICT industry, government and its agencies, youth ICT innovators, young professionals and youth-owned SMMEs to explore through discussions and workshops strategic ways on how they can grow their brands through digital platforms to compete both locally and globally.

The Bootcamp will also serve as an official launch of digiTAAL – a training programme to support SMMEs in townships and rural areas who have minimal ICT Skills. The 6-month programme is a five-phased ICT intervention to combat the day-to-day business challenges that SMMEs face. This includes ICT Youth Bootcamps, ICT Skills Pre-Assessment, Capacity Building Workshops, Ongoing Online Mentorship Programme, Progress Check Workshops and the ICT Skills Post-Assessment.

The carefully selected 150 SMMEs and professionals will benefit from the various highly relevant, multi-focused presentations, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, workshops and opportunities to network with policy makers and thought leaders with the ICT industry.

The ICT Youth Bootcamp key pillars of discussion include workshops and presentations on:

  • Skills Development: e-business, e-literacy, e-practitioner and e-government-user skills development;
  • International best practice exchange: African countries’ ICT success stories;
  • The 4th Industrial Revolution in the South African context and the role ICT Youth SMMEs need to play;
  • ICT SMMEs Business Opportunities and process plans to support SMMEs; and
  • Cyber Security threats and solutions.

Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) Honourable Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will deliver a keynote address at the Bootcamp. Workshops will be conducted by our partners which include: MTN Business, CSIR, AD Dynamo, Standard Bank, NEMISA, Geekulcha, IBM, Microsoft, DTPS.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Time: 8:00am – 5pm

Venue: Standard Bank Incubator, Rosebank

Email: events@abutirams.co.za

Phone: 012 771 4705

Registration: http://www.abutirams.co.za/event/ict-youth-bootcamp/

Abuti Rams congratulates Pule Sir on his new appointment

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It is with great honour to announce that one of our own leaders Mr Tshepang Pule better known by thousands as Pule Sir who joined a Brits North West community station – Madibeng FM as both content producer and presenter for “The Early Birds” show from 3-6 in the morning.

It was 2013 when I told Mr Pule that he has an incredible voice for radio and that his talent and passion to inspire and inform definitely belongs on the radio waves. Pule Sir never took that for granted, he worked hard to better his craft and today we celebrate his achievement with him. This is the beginning of many opportunities in the media space.

I have had the pleasure of working Pule on the #BeyondInspiration project and launched it in 2015. The book has been touching thousands of lives across the country. He is one of the most trustworthy, effective, dedicated, very punctual and efficient leaders I’ve ever worked with.

You can agree with me that media is one of the important sectors of the society that influences opinions and shapes views of the masses. Thus, we need powerful and influential young people who are going to bring back the dignity and pride of out beautiful country with excellency.

This year is a year of maximisation and as a growing movement, we are excited to see one of our own taking over in the media space. Our leaders not only preach excellency, but they also lead by example.

As Pule Sir adds yet another title in his profile, we take pride in the work he has done for the movement over the years. The daily inspirational content we receive on our social media platforms and our newsletters are results of his hard work.

We trust that God is lifting him up to greater heights.

Don’t forget to tune into to Madibeng fm 105.3 or visit www.madibengfm.co.za to listen online.

– Abuti Rams

#Maximise2017 #TheMoveIsOn #AgentsOfChange

The State of Credit Capture – Secure in Credit Comfort

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The system was designed in such way that we no longer see buying things cash as wise. There’s a credit culture it has created. A culture of having without owning. A culture of borrowing without wanting to borrow. We’re locked up for life. If you think about it, you’ll realise how inhuman this system is.

Look around you. If walls could speak they’ll tell you how the system destroyed family (especially the black family). The family unit has been crushed because the system demands blood, sweat and tears. It needs us to work for credit. Since when was it correct for us to get excited when we qualify for credit? What went wrong?

The system mocks and discards those who can afford to purchase without using credit. It romentise credit and protects those who qualify until they are unable to feed it.

It almost seems and feels weird for one not to be in debt. We have normalised what is abnormal. We aren’t afraid to swim in a pool of debt. Sadly, our wealth creation is in the intensive care unit (ICU) surviving on oxygen drips yet we preach “economic freedom in our lifetime.” We March to banks on Monday for the Apartheid money “they owe our government” and then run to them to get credit on Tuesday morning. We’re trapped in the system.

“Come on in and get a discount when you join us.” – the famous line said by those who are also trapped in the system. The most disturbing reality is that we are beginning to believe in this fable. It’s a hoax! It’s a trap. It’s all lies. Oh, I forgot that we know all that. We know it all. We know that we are captured and “mara re tla reng.”

What’s wrong with Haiti?

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A century ago, US troops invaded and occupied a small country called Haiti. They stayed there for almost two decades, installed a client government, imposed new laws and fought insurgents in bloody battles on difficult terrain. Thousands of residents perished during what turned out to be 19 years of ‘de facto U.S. rule’.
 
Today, many Americans think of Haiti as a country that is still struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake, but fewer realise that it’s recovering from an invasion that took place in 1915 which resulted in their state president being assassinated.
 
Americans had stepped in under the guise of dismantling anarchy and fostering democracy. But in reality, two things drove their actions: a desire to curb Haiti’s economy and government in a direction that was more in line with their own and concern over imperialist interest from France and Germany. U.S. leaders soon pressured the Haitian legislature to elect a new pro-American president, Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave.
 
When we look at Haiti’s current challenges, we often overlook the bigger problem it has been facing since 1915 and that is Americans invading another country to extract it’s minerals and imposing laws and dictating presidential elections. We are just not looking deeper into the crisis Haiti is facing. We are simply ignoring the overwhelming and most visible facts of Haiti’s real challenges. In an article I published in 2013, I go even deeper to question “are the so called natural disasters really natural?” is my quest to understand the challenges facing Haiti.
 
What you must know is that around 2,400 sq km of northern Haiti – or about 8% of the surface of the entire country – could be ripped away from local farmers and given to US and Canadian companies. In 2012, the mineral wealth for this area, which includes gold, copper and silver, was estimated to be worth more than $20bn.
 
Alarmingly, some contracts have been granted behind closed doors, without scrutiny or participation by Haitian civil society or parliament. Opening this kind of opportunity to foreign investors without proper laws, enforcement and transparency in place has created much anger among the population and some politicians alike.
 
What is happening to the citizens of Haiti is an emotional and traumatic experience. We cannot deny the evident pain the people of Haiti are facing, but we can’t keep quiet about the underlying issues that America has with Haiti. If a government is destabilised, it cannot control or prevent the disasters it finds itself in and that is where Haiti finds itself.
 
I will continue to pray for Haiti, but I also want America to leave Haiti alone.

SA Men Awards

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Abuti Rams has been nominated for the South African Men Awards. To vote for Abuti Rams, simply SMS ‘YouthGP Thabang Ramoroka‘ to 34818. No free SMS apply. SMS cost R2. Terms and Conditions apply.

About SA Men Awards

The majority of South Africa’s human capital being men, is engrossed in correctional services, accused of moral degradation and frequently labeled as incompetent agents of society; due gender based violence, child abuse, corruption and other forms of social insecurities. In retrospect, gratitude ought to be dedicated to South African men who have recognized the value of good character above reputable achievements; men who have triumphed mediocrity for the betterment of their communities. The Department of Social Development in partnership with various stakeholders in the private sector, non-profit organizations as well as non-state actors; proudly presents the South African Men of the Year Awards with aim of acknowledging honourable men who are preserving human dignity, alleviating poverty and advocates of positive transformation in their domains.

In addition to the above, the awards are regarded as a Legacy project with a going concern; that will encourage communities to identify role models who have produced tangible developments and projected a moral-standing that is worth noting. The SA Men of the Year Awards should not only be viewed in the lens of rhapsody and as a celebratory event; however it is a project aimed at restoring the identity of South African men, incubating developmental programs in the communities of all provinces to build and encourage vulnerable individuals and to raise a credible morale amongst men in society. The Awards are an annual and national campaign that will serve as a continuous collaborative, between the Gauteng Department of Social Development, other government constituencies and the non- profit organizational sector.

About Abuti Rams

Thabang “Abuti Rams” Ramoroka is a thought leader, digital communications strategist, author, managing director of Biz M8 Communications and CEO of Agape Youth Movement NPC. Abuti Rams has worked with individuals and groups across all markets including teachers, students, young adults, community, political and even religious leaders assisting and guiding them to greater levels of achievement, fulfillment and empowerment in all aspects of their lives. Added to his many roles, Abuti Rams contributes on public youth development dialogues and debates covering topics such as youth entrepreneurship, social transformation and social media having been featured on numerous international and local media platforms.