The Department of Trade and Industry has launched the Digital Transformation Programme for Black Industrialists which is expected to assist black-owned businesses unlock their potential in the sector.
The programme was launched by Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Namalungelo Gina in Mandeni, in KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday.
In a statement, the department reveals that it has entered into an agreement with Microsoft South Africa to help Black Industrialists into bridging this gap in running their businesses.
“Microsoft South Africa is embarking on a Top-Up Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) making a further three years of investment into South Africa to help individuals, businesses and government to successfully navigate the 4th industrial revolution wave. Today, we are launching this initiative called Digital Transformation Programme for Black Industrialists,” said Gina.
According to Gina the digital hub will assist in forging a collaborative approach with the provincial and local government so that ownership and maintenance of it should not be the dti problem only.
“We will want to have credible and experienced mentors especially from the private sector who will hand-hold all those who will be using the digital hub for innovation and starting various businesses of the future. The hub will help a lot in our quest for facilitating faster growth in township and rural economy. We want to tap on the youth talent in our rural and township communities passionate about digital space,” she said.
Gina also said as government they are committed to make use of all demand and supply side levers in order to nurture and support Black Industrialists to grow and become globally competitive.
“Microsoft digital transformation programme will offer Industrialists the opportunity to embark on the digital transformation journey by providing assistance in developing tailored solutions for the successful candidates. We are confident that once the selected BIs complete this journey with Microsoft, they will be at par operationally to those established companies who uses Modern methods of doing business thus deriving value,” added Gina.
Speaking at the same launch, the Digital Transformation Technological Officer Robbi Laurenson said a Digital Transformation strategy that focuses on bringing together people, data, and processes will help to create value for customers and maintain a competitive advantage in a digital first world.
He said the partnership with the department will assist in unlocking new ways of creating value in digital business and using business as a platform in addressing 4IR challenges.
The Digital Transformation Programme focuses on how the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) can have an impact within the manufacturing sector, by supporting the Black Industrialists within the Department of Trade and Industry’s Black Industrialists Programme, to unlock their business potential through a digital transformation strategy.
In particular, the launch aims to officially open up the application process and to create awareness about Microsoft’s Digital Transformation Programme.