Nasrec to get ICT hub

An information and communication technology hub is to be developed at Nasrec in Gauteng, the provincial government said on Monday.

Several major international and local investors had committed themselves to the development, which would become an ICT manufacturing centre for the country, said economic development MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

Some of the biggest investors were from China.

“We are working with the minister of communications to iron out the last few problems,” Mahlangu told reporters at the Gauteng legislature.

The SABC and e.tv were in discussions with the provincial government about their involvement in the new development.

“IT companies tell us that there are 200,000 vacancies for skilled people in the country,” Mahlangu said. “This is an area where we can develop people and fill jobs.”

She said the provincial government was working with the University of the Witwatersrand and other institutions on ways to train young people and take advantage of the high supply of IT jobs.

The new development, known as the Smart City, would be part of the 2010 Legacy project.

Investors had already been secured for a film and animation studio, a multi-media centre, a data centre, a training centre and a knowledge centre focusing on research and development. Various IT manufacturing companies were supporting the development.

The whole project would be developed along “green principles”.

Surrounding the Smart City would be a “green” residential development, which operated off the electricity grid.

Speaking at the same press conference, Bheki Nkosi, MEC for infrastructure development, said job creation, especially for the youth, was a core area of concern for the provincial government.

He said there had been problems with the introduction of national youth service, but that his department now had a more effective administrative process for the co-ordination and management of the National Youth Service Programme.

“The private sector is a critical player in government’s effort to develop the youth of Gauteng,” he said.

For 2012/13, the department wanted to recruit 3000 young unemployed youths, with 2000 from the previous financial year continuing in the programme.

Health and social development MEC Ntombi Mekgwe told reporters that the two departments under her supervision were to be “turned around”.

This would be done with the assistance of the financial expertise of auditing firm KPMG, which would guide the departments as they cracked down on corruption, rebuilt relationships with suppliers and improved services to the public.

She said the health department would introduce a new category of “mid-level” worker, called a clinical associate, to assist ordinary doctors in government hospitals.

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Nasrec to get ICT hub