ICT and electronics in South AfricaThe South African information and communication technologies (ICT) sector is well established and sophisticated. The largest and most advanced in Africa, the local IT industry is characterised by technology leadership, particularly in the field of mobile software and electronic banking services. South African companies are world leaders in pre-payment, revenue management and fraud prevention systems, and in the manufacture of set-top boxes, all exported successfully to the rest of the world. It’s a buoyant sector, with IT spending in 2010 reaching $10,6-billion, according to the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC). Together with telecommunications, it generates an estimated $29-billion in revenues, R10.3-billion of which comes from IT.
InnovationSouth African software developers are recognised for their innovation, production and cost efficiency – and are backed by sturdy local infrastructure, as well as government support. For example, the government amended the Income Tax Act in efforts to stimulate local innovation and create jobs: software developers can now claim back 150% of research and development (R&D) expenses against tax. There are around 1 000 software development firms in South Africa.
TelecomsWith a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in wireless and satellite communication, the country has the most developed telecoms network in Africa.
OpportunityTesting and piloting systems and applications are growing businesses in South Africa, with the diversity of the local market, first world know-how in business and a developing country environment making it an ideal test lab for new innovations. In 2010/11, Gartner, the international research group, ranked South Africa within the global top 30 software development outsourcing destinations.
OutsourcingSouth Africa is a favoured international location for business process outsourcing.
Communications and mobileMuch of the excitement in South Africa’s electronics sector centres around communications – which, together with transport and storage, accounts for around 10% of GDP. The communicaitons sector has been one of the fastest growing of the South African economy, reflecting the rapid expansion of mobile telephony across the country.
- Read more about South Africa's telecommunications sector
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