The Government Technology (GovTech) Conference 2016 will again place credence on small, medium and micro enterprise (SME) development. This is in line with the State Information Technology Agency’s (SITA) board’s own drive to develop SMEs in the South African information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
“SITA already has in place a number of special programmes geared at SME development. There has been limited involvement of SMEs in the ICT industry due to the very high barriers to entry, and we have dedicated much of time facilitating more small company involvement in the industry. This includes negotiating with the original equipment manufacturers to help us overcome stumbling blocks, such as high capital outlays. This is over-and-above our own procurement practices that encourage increased involvement from SMEs and even smaller companies,” says ZD Nomvete, SITA’s Acting Chairperson.
Nomvete notes that GovTech has always provided important visibility for local SMEs, placing them in direct contact with decision-makers and procurement officers attending the event. This is in addition to the host of important activities dedicated purely to this segment of the ICT value chain and larger South African economy.
For example, this year’s event will commence with an Executive Leadership Engagement session on 30 October with a roundtable dedicated just to SME development.
In the evening, the prestigious SITA Public Service Awards Gala Dinner will be held at Gallagher Conference Centre where these companies will also be acknowledged and rewarded for the role that they are playing in helping government transform service delivery through the effective deployment and use of ICTs. Noticeably, is the awards deep focus on those individuals and the “start-ups” in the ICT sector whose initiatives are having a meaningful impact on state operations.
SITA’s commitment to SME development will also be reflected by the number of pertinent topics at GovTech 2016 that are dedicated to these companies from 1 November to 2 November. Importantly, successful projects initiated by SMEs will be showcased, providing inspiration and, importantly, allowing others to learn from these experiences.
Meanwhile, the growth track is dedicated to SMEs, enabling delegates to discuss and debate topics and issues that will facilitate more involvement of small companies in South Africa’s ICT sector.
Nomvete adds that SMEs also enjoy special packages and space in the exhibition hall at the event. This is in addition to free attendance granted to SMEs on the last day of the event to initiate business contact with prominent representatives from both state and the private sectors.
This 11th edition of GovTech 2016, as well as the second SITA Public Sector Service Awards, will be held at Gallagher Conference Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.