5 years ago

Limpopo Business 2017-18 edition

  • Text
  • Development
  • Leda
  • Nedbank
  • Mutual
  • Exxaro
  • Beers
  • Investment
  • Business
  • Limpopo
  • Polokwane
  • Economic
  • Provincial
  • Province
  • Mining
  • Municipality
  • Sector
  • Tourism
  • Venetia
  • Edition
A unique guide to business and investment in Limpopo. Limpopo Business 2017/18 is the ninth edition of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2007, established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Limpopo Province. This edition of Limpopo Business is officially endorsed by the Office of the Premier of Limpopo. This book contains detailed insights into the plans of the Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA) and the recently launched bus rapid transport system for the provincial capital, Leeto la Polokwane, together with a comprehensive register of all provincial government and municipal contact details. Investment news related to mining, telecommunications and tourism is carried in overviews of all the main economic sectors. To complement the extensive distribution of the print edition of the magazine, the publication is also available online at

FOCUS Ramosobane cites

FOCUS Ramosobane cites aspects such as digitalisation, robotics, 3D printing, green solutions and big data as elements of the new economy that are driven through ICT. As a consequence, one of the key objectives of Limpopo Connexion is the development of broadband telecommunication infrastructure for the province. Planners are looking beyond the ICT sector in isolation. As Ramosobane notes, “There have to be ways of using technology in different sectors of the economy, because ICT is all pervasive. Whether it’s finance, whether it’s roads, or it's construction or mining, ICT and technology will be used in those sectors.” With Limpopo’s great strength as a resource-based economy, what are the ways that ICT can further develop the mining and agricultural sectors? Miners can cut costs enormously if they use up-to-date data- collection methods rather than traditional methods. Data-driven research can help to make sure that communities benefit to a greater degree when beneficiation of minerals or agricultural produce takes place. And Ramosobane believes that there is great potential beyond the resource economy: “When you talk about tourism, how do we sell Limpopo globally without actually going there, but using innovation systems and technology?” Strategic objectives Open access broadband telecommunications network infrastructure: Government, business, rural communities, students and citizens at large should all be able to access affordable broadband infrastructure services. This initiative should empower community members to participate in the mainstream economy. Says Ramosobane, "Any person in the province, be it plumbers, be it students at the universities, learners and educators at high schools, ordinary people, households; they should all be able to have access to the affordable broadband infrastructure services and cheaper technologies." A science and technology park (STP): An STP is a space, physical or cyberspatial, managed by a specialised professional team that provides value-added services, whose aim is to increase the competitiveness of its region or territory of influence by stimulating a culture of quality and innovation among its associated businesses and knowledge-based institutions, organising the transfer of knowledge and technology from its sources to companies and to the marketplace, and by actively fostering the creation of new and sustainable innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off processes. It must attract international ICT companies to the province where they can interact and partner with academic institutions and local businesses. The international companies can originate (and pay for) research projects that are directly relevant to the work they are doing, rather than doing research for research’s sake. Provide direct links between the private sector, government and universities. Free and open source software (FOSS): Providing free and open source software to the citizens of Limpopo cuts the cost of ICT, thus enabling small businesses to gain access to the advantages of the Knowledge Economy without having to pay high prices for licensed software packages. A provincial FOSS strategy has been adopted and several pilot programmes rolled out. These programms include systems such as a Wildlife Trade Permit System, Tourism Guide Registration Systems, a Consumer Affairs System, a Farmer’s Portal and Mobile Application, and an eHeritage Database and Portal among others. Limpopo Connexion, in partnership with Tirelo Bosha-Public Service Improvement Facility, a bilateral programme between Belgium and South Africa facilitated by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), has implemented an open source-based offline content project in 15 schools previously without Internet connectivity. With feedback from the Limpopo Department of Education and principals from schools, the project will be expanded by a further grant from the Belgium government to 45 more schools in the Province. There was significant improvement in the matric results due to the introduction of the system. Training in FOSS is being undertaken in partnership with SUSE, a large international open source software company. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2017/18 32

FOCUS ICT Skills and SMME Development to promote small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs): The objective is to ensure that small enterprise owners and entrepreneurs are able to create and grow their businesses. With access to broadband and to free and open source software, SMME owners can be “part of the global village”, according to Ramosobane. Not only can ICT empower SMMEs and entrepreneurs to improve their businesses in terms of marketing, ordering and stock-taking, but there are myriad opportunities for SMMEs where ICT is central to the business itself: web design, e-commerce and online multi-media are some examples. A study has shown that 75% of ICT SMMEs are in the Capricorn and Waterberg districts. Better access for other areas is one of the goals of Limpopo Connexion. To incubate, support and accelerate start-up companies, Limpopo Connexion wants to ensure that the core location between the major corporation and the research institution and government will support the commercial research items. From within the Science and Technology Park there will be opportunities for mentorship and access to a range of information for SMME operators. Broadband for all Rolling out broadband within Limpopo is a key responsibility of Limpopo Connexion. A priority goal of the Limpopo Provincial Government is to establish a secure, shared, open access and affordable broadband Wide Area Network (WAN) within Limpopo. Broadband infrastructure also forms part of the strategic objectives identified in the Department of Communication Strategic Plan, the National Information Society and Development Plan, the Green Paper on the National Integrated ICT Policy, and e-Government initiatives. Both the Limpopo Development Plan (LDP) and the Provincial Inclusive Information Society Strategy outline specific ICT objectives. Several investment opportunities for the private sector are associated with the rollout of broadband in Limpopo. “Limpopo Province will be a key opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors,” reports Ramosobane. There are the opportunities for both large and small companies, “The major companies will do the construction of the big fibre infrastructure and then the small companies will actually connect households through last mile connectivity.” Phase one of the rollout will see the city of Polokwane, the Capricorn District and provincial key points connected. This phase of the project will kick in during the third quarter of 2017. Phase two will see broadband connectivity expanded to cover the whole province of Limpopo. Given the geographic and economic footprint of the province, a large number of companies, government departments and businesses will actually be covered by phase one. At this stage, phase one is envisaged to last for a period of three years, but Ramosobane says that the active involvement of the private sector may hasten progress: "As government, we want to work with the private sector. We want to say, the private sector must understand what is the vision of the Limpopo Connexion and Limpopo Province in terms of broadband. If they continue working with us, we believe that with the private sector we can achieve the goal of connecting all of Limpopo quicker than we thought." 33 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2017/18

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