South Africa working on data and cloud policy

by Jun 12, 2023Insights

The National Data and Cloud Policy is nearing finalisation, according to the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele. This new framework is intended to strengthen South Africa’s capacity for data analytics, security and sovereignty. 

It will also improve data service delivery to citizens and help businesses and the government make informed, data-driven policy developments. The security and sovereignty of data are of utmost importance in this current era, where cyber threats are evolving at such a rapid pace.

A new policy on cloud environments and data will help South African companies, individuals and foreign enterprises working locally to stay abreast of security and best practices. This new policy should align with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) to ensure that South Africans’ data and personal information are protected by businesses and government organisations.

Black woman leaning against a glass window that leads through to database servers

Data is booming in South Africa

Databases are being developed at a rapid pace in South Africa. “Google and Amazon Web Services have made huge commitments in terms of data investments and cloud service availability, which is going to help us focus with [the] least cost on the innovation space on development of technologies,” says Gungubele.

The policy proposes to develop a state digital infrastructure company and a high-performance data processing centre that is intended to secure the sovereignty of local data – keeping South Africans’ information in a secure, internal facility where it cannot be exported beyond the country’s borders.

The policy also aims to consolidate the excess capacity of government-funded data centres and deliver cloud computing capacity to boost data processing. South Africa already has a mature cloud industry – one of the most established on the continent – so a new policy such as this could also improve the localisation of services.

Profile of a man working on his laptop with large computer screen in background

The policy will face several challenges

While the intention of the government is to boost data analytics and security, the National Data and Cloud Policy will face a number of challenges. A current lack of skills and knowledge in South Africa is probably the biggest hurdle that will need to be overcome.

Gungubele also notes that the government has set ambitious targets for digital connectivity, digital literacy and digital skills. These areas will need investment in training and education. “We are targeting young people, women and SMMEs for these areas. We already have a huge number of people that are hungry for learning,” he explains.

“We are working with universities and international communities to ensure there is [an] intensification of innovations to promote capabilities as far as these industries are concerned. We are, among other things, already rolling out artificial intelligence hubs,” he continues.

Skills and knowledge are the core pillars of a successful digital economy, where cyber security and data processing play vital roles. Training the right people to oversee the government projects will require close collaboration with educational institutions and private partners.

4C Group offers several database services to enterprises in Africa. These include round-the-clock support and consultations for telcos, fintechs and large businesses that have unique data requirements. If you’d like to find out more about our database services, please contact us today.

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At 4C Group of Companies, we strive to effect operational changes and cost savings for customers through our iNSight product and associated services. This product’s main function is to re-purpose and deliver business-critical information to a variety of systems and stakeholders. 

We specialise in information management, business assurance, fintech solutions and a variety of cyber security services. For more insights into our products and services, check out our blog page or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

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