22 June 2017

South Africa: 500 Young People Trained in ICT

Pretoria — About 500 young people were trained in basic information and communications technology (ICT) skills as part of the Internet for All Initiative community session.

The session, which was led by Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele in Soweto last week, was in partnership with the World Economic Forum, private sector and civil society.

Government and its stakeholders have partnered to connect 22 million South Africans to the internet by 2019 through the Internet for All initiative.

The initiative seeks to address barriers to internet inclusion including infrastructure gaps, limited affordability of data and gadgets, poor digital skills and low confidence in the use of the internet, as well as the lack of relevant digital content.

"The Declaration on Internet for All adopted the leadership structure and also identified targets for implementation within the next six months," Cabinet said in a statement released on Thursday.

Cabinet has welcomed the decision to look at high data costs as they continue to be an inhibition to increase access to ICTs.

Mortuary labour dispute

Cabinet used the platform to appeal to all parties involved in labour disputes at mortuaries in Gauteng to find an amicable solution to the matter.

"Cabinet is concerned by reports of services being disrupted at mortuaries in Gauteng due to ongoing labour disputes. As a result, grieving families are unable to claim their relatives' bodies.

"Death in any family brings an element of vulnerability and pain to the surviving family members. As society, no amount of dispute is worth such insensitivity," Cabinet said.

In addition, Cabinet condemned the recent violence and intimidation of commuters during the protests by taxi owners.

"Such actions are out of place in a democratic society. Peaceful interventions on any matter will always be beneficial to all parties involved.

"The subsequent agreement between the South African National Taxi Association and SA Taxi Finance Holdings is further confirmation that peaceful dialogue can resolve such issues without impacting on innocent people and disrupting the economy. Cabinet welcomes this decision, which is in the best interest of commuters and the taxi industry."

The Department of Transport will be engaging development finance institutions to seek alternative taxi finance options.

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