One can adapt the best systems in the world, but if you or your employees do not know how and what to do with these systems, one will surely waste money for ICT.
An interesting and important factor to consider is that of Pati & Desai (2005:283) where they say that an organisations' competitive advantage is not gained through infrastructure or skills but rather in engaging outsourcing as an alternative strategy in order to gain a competitive advantage. Infrastructure can be replicated and thus cannot be a guarantee for being the business competitive leverage. Sandberg & Vinberg (2000:221) noted that for SMEs to survive and grow in the future, it becomes a matter of strategic importance to adopt ICT. This is done by 'learning by doing', which is considered to be the best way or strategy to acquire new skills, as learning goes hand in hand with context. A person can only be taught certain aspects of ICT but not how the business and ICT work together, as this person would need to experience the business' needs.
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There are ways in which business needs (skills development) can be linked to an ICT entrepreneurial culture. For example, before an entrepreneur has an innovative idea it would be best if that person has some form of education and experience elements in order to create a successful venture that can provide the bottom line and increase the economic activity of the country. When we look at the present situation in South Africa you will notice that most of the time when skills development activities happen it is usually in a form of a business workshop where business orientated individuals are requested to empower a certain group with various business operations and ways of ensuring that their business are successful.
The highly rated resource in the rural areas is mostly formed from unskilled workers and in the SMEs but since skilled workers is not a high priority for SMEs. Training tends to fall behind (Jackson & Sloane, 2009:71). In ICT entrepreneurial skills development it is important that the government and all stakeholders concerned make sure that when skills are transferred from one individual to the next the skill knowledge is embedded tacitly and not only explicitly.
In July 2005, the Presidency had a meeting where an agenda presentation was carried out (The Presidency, 2005) where is shown that. e-readiness in South Africa is decreasing compared to the international benchmarks. In addressing this predicament the presentation details the MTSF (Medium Term Strategic Framework). In using MTSF there is indication that without adequate e-skills the strategy will not work.
The MTSF is an electoral mandate that will bring about global and domestic changes by informing South Africa the five year strategic plan that will be used by national and the provincial departments focus on the critical things that will make sure that standards are improved and seen. During the five years the government will look at ten strategic priorities which will strengthen the strategic direction of government. The priorities are listed in the table below:
Strategic Priority No.
Description of Strategic Priority
Speeding up growth and transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods.
Massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure.
Comprehensive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform and food security.
Strengthen the skills and human resource base.
Improve the health profile of all South Africans.
Intensify the fight against crime and corruption.
Build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
Pursuing African advancement and enhanced international co-operation.
Sustainable Resource Management and use.
Building a development state including improvements of public services and strengthening democratic institutions'
Table 9: Strategic Priorities of the MTSF (2009 - 2014), (The Presidency, 2005)
In November 2011, a national commission was selected to look at a National Plan that would make South Africa look towards 2030 in terms of making sure that the poverty and inequality in the country is decrease and more developmental ways are envisaged. The national development plan suggests a motion towards revitalisation and increasing the economic opportunity through investment in infrastructure, more invention ideas, investments through the private sector and entrepreneurialism. The commission has named the following ingredients as key for the success of Vision 2030 where all South Africans live to their desires' needs:
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
The active efforts of all South Africans; meaning that although the trust in the country is at a low level, South Africans must make sure that we bind together our minds with the private, public and the government so that all efforts are maximised;
Growth, investment and employment; South Africans should be encouraged to take their own initiatives in creating an increase in development and improvements in the human capital that would be received from the government agencies and private institutions such as banks. That will definitely mean that more South Africans are given the opportunity to work or own business and a decrease in the unemployment rates will be achieved;
Rising standards of education and a healthy population; making sure that our education syllabi changes are directed towards an entrepreneurial culture from the ECD phase through to the tertiary phase;
An effective and capable government; that provides all the necessary policies and commissions that will make sure that the South Africa government can deliver services for all areas, especially rural areas and avoid the many protest that the country is going through in the present moment;
Collaboration between private and public sectors; therefore creating organisation which are supported by the institutions that can create and eliminate causes that decreases frustrations for small business. The relationship between the two sectors will form a culture where the highly-skilled individuals transfer their skills to the low-skilled individuals;
Leadership from all sectors of society; a nation with leaders that are willing to make sure that the citizens within the country benefit from all improvements that the country puts into operation such as the introduction of government supported by private agencies that make sure that the infrastructure in rural areas is improved and that the broadband width of ICT can reach everybody in the country which creates easier access between concerned parties. Also good leadership from all sections will work towards a South Africa that is safe and which has less corruption by implementation of security measures that will guide against and a process of monitoring and evaluation can take place.These strategies will address the organisational challenges and will enhance the creation of decent work opportunities in a very large scale and therefore also helping South Africa improve from the worldwide recess that course mayhem in a lot of developing countries. Although the Presidency is not directly involved with all these strategies but as in line with its mandate, the Presidency will lead, manage, plan, ensure co-ordination, facilitate, oversee, as well as monitor and evaluate the successful implementation of the strategies (The Presidency, 2005). When considering all the ten strategic priorities even through the main focus to government should be number one in making sure that decent jobs are created, strategy number four is more concerned with skills development and this is where we need to find alternatives. As the strategy four objectives is to focus on skills and the education system towards the delivery of quality outcomes. It is important that amongst others learner outcomes, early childhood development (ECD), improving schools management and monitoring and evaluation (M & E) systems and assisting and evolving a high quality teaching profession. ECD can be best achieved by starting at the grass root levels by implanting an entrepreneurial mind in children as early as Grade R and have syllabi outcomes that will be achieved until a learner gets to their matriculation level. When the learner becomes an applicant of any tertiary institution especially what the government has started to do in FETs, the student should be able to do practical entrepreneurial skills in order for them not to look up to government for jobs but to have innovative minds and start their own business ventures. It is also important that not only government must strive to improve the economy of the country but also private stakeholders must make an effort to support government initiatives and produce more of innovative business. The Global entrepreneurship monitor by Minniti et. al. (2006:42 -43) describes an excellent stakeholder that was created by three businessmen in a form of a college for bright, unemployed young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The college which is situated in the CBD of Johannesburg is called The Community and Individual Development Association (CIDA) and has won several national and international awards for their innovate creation and maintaining of an entrepreneurial culture within their syllabi, by offering an accredited four-year business administration degree with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.
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The literature review above brings specific elements from literature. For example, ICT for entrepreneurs is going to work if the uses of the transactional channels are used and entrepreneurship classes are introduced not only at tertiary institutions but as early as the primary school. When learners become students then the focus can be on training. The literature review also shows that entrepreneurship is not a process that was started recently and has been around the research fields for a while. It shows that many researchers have tried to come up with a universal definition that describes what the process is. The South African government has also taken the pledge to ensure that the process is implemented in the country. There have been policies enacted by the government that have been amended in the plight of improving the entrepreneurship culture in the country. The paper also shows that although there have been means by the government to improve the entrepreneurship there have been no clear indication of whether the use of the policies is achieved in the country. That is why the aim of the paper was to investigate whether the citizens are making use of the policies and whether the use of ICTs by the citizens would help in the implementation and facilitating of the policies. ICT4D also comes up very clearly that SMEs need to adopt using ICTs in order to develop and enable greater economic activity. It is important that South Africans use want is available for them to create an entrepreneurial culture and the literature approve suggests that the ideal place will be for educational syllabi to be changed and create a social freedom where entrepreneurship and ICT4D education is started at an early age as Grade R and is implemented right through to tertiary. It is vital to also note if there is a need for workshops to improve the skills of individuals that did not obtain the culture in the education system but still has an entrepreneurial ideas.
The next chapter will show the research method and research approach used to investigate whether the government policies are been used by entrepreneurs or any other South African who thinks of having a business.