Opening Address:

Mr Padayachie addressed the opening session of the iWeek 2006. Since the advent of the Internet in South Africa, the government and ISPs played a ‘hard to get’ sort of politics. His views represent a shift of old politics to a an idealistic and consultative one. The Deputy Minister gave us some some feedback on the latest meeting, this past weekend, of the President’s International Advisory Council on Information Society and Development, which include Mark Shuttleworth and Esther Dyson (also speakers on this day) was part of.

Government and ISPs need to work together, in light of this he warmed of inherent “contradictions of sources”, depressing features, high cost to technologies include Telkom monopoly over the Telecommunications industry and predicted some “hopes for the future”. The most important element he touched one is that South Africa should develop strategies and programs to bring about digital technologies. Secondly the deputy minister talked about the need to increase access to ICTs in SA by ensuring that ICTs are effectively used become much more affordable from both government associated policies (for example tarrifs). The third point is that of the application of technologies, and fourthly to raise the level of skills development particularly in the education system beginning at early childhood.