As Digital Cape Town is one of Accelerate Cape Town’s key programmes, we hosted a workshop with the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government facilitated by Deloitte Digital to discuss Cape Town’s Digital Strategies. What was unique about this workshop is that it provided a platform for business to engage and input into the draft of the City of Cape Town’s Digital City Strategy. It was a dynamic environment for CIOs and technology specialists to debate the four pillars of Digital Economy, Digital Infrastructure, Digital Government and Digital Inclusion. This workshop followed on from our Thought Leaders breakfast on Digital Cape Town: Creating a Smart City.

Andre Stelzner, the CIO of the City of Cape Town, opened the workshop stating that Cape Town wants to be the leading Digital City in Africa and use technology to transform the City. Fortunately, the City of Cape Town has had one IT platform since 2000 and plans to use ICT as part of transformation which is in the City’s strategy. Andre then looked at the four pillars of:

  • Digital Government – driving transparency, enhancing service delivery and promoting citizen engagement through ICT
  • Digital Inclusion – closing the digital divide by promoting digital access, improving digital skills and driving digital initiatives that enhance quality of life
  • Digital Economy – creating an enabling environment for the growth of tech-enabled enterprises and maximizing its job creation potential
  • Digital Infrastructure – ICT infrastructure roll-out and using digital solutions to enhance the effectiveness of critical City infrastructure.

The workshop also included Jo-Ann Johnston, Chief Director of Western Cape Government (WC Gov), to understand how the Province’s Broadband Strategy aligns with the City of Cape Town’s strategy. Jo-Ann said that the WC Gov’s projects were different to the City’s, but aligned. WC Gov has an infrastructure roll-out plan called Broadband 2030 where every citizen in every town will have access to affordable high speed broadband infrastructure and services, and have effective skills to utilise this infrastructure. Currently 58% of the Western Cape has access to the internet, but the aim is to increase this to 70% by 2020. The WC Government’s plan has five streams which include:

  • Government Connectivity
  • Citizen and Business Adoption
  • Government Applications
  • E-learning/E-education Game-changer
  • Connected Municipalities.

Following the presentations, business and government workshopped the four pillars of the Digital City Strategy as each pillar had a number of objectives. The result was the sharing of ideas and requirements from business’ perspective which both the City and WC Government found very interesting. Valter Adao, Director and lead facilitator at Deloitte Digital said: “This type of collaboration between business and government at the Digital Cape Town Workshop is what world class cities do”  and Jo-Ann Johnston from WC Gov also said: I thought that it was a brilliant session, and I have been to many workshops in my life as a civil servant.  Well done.‘

In 2016, Accelerate Cape Town will look at key topics that impact on Digital Cape Town to ensure our members have a greater understanding of the plans and opportunities.