The current position of inequity and exclusion in South Africa is magnified by the impact of digital exclusion which is now being recognised across the developed world as a serious matter requiring a large effort. While digital exclusion is seen as a major issue in the developed world, its impacts in countries like South Africa are now being recognised as profoundly important in addressing social, economic and cultural equity. There are a number of digital exclusion issues on the South African agenda. Foremost amongst these are concerns regarding the current levels of access to ICTs and the internet, the lack of e-skills required to participate in the Information Society, as well as levels of uptake and effective usage of ICTs by the broader citizenry.
The Western Cape economy is moving from one based principally around the production and distribution of physical goods to one driven primarily by the production and application of knowledge. The creation and nurturing of a knowledge-based society is essential to maintaining and enhancing the Western Cape’s international competitiveness. In highly competitive regions in the global environment, high speed access to the internet for businesses and residents is available almost anywhere and at any time – providing the ideal enabling environment for the growth within commerce, industries, SMMEs and entrepreneurship, stimulating innovation and the enablement of the growth of other economic sectors by communication technologies.