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South Africa needs technologies that can be supported and maintained locally, says Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Speaking at the Govtech Conference in Cape Town, on Tuesday, Sisulu said that innovation was necessary in advancing the country.

“Good innovation for us must be rooted in our landscape. It must be inspired and driven by our necessity and must harness our own ingenuity. Our government is determined to ensure that as we take on our challenges head-on, we must recognise and support local technological advancement,” she said.

Big and small South African companies were hard at work to produce various technologies.

“Both government and the private sector must assist this process by buying South African products wherever possible and supporting partnerships with South Africa,” said Sisulu, adding that the spinoffs of this would be the encouraging of local progress and competitiveness, while it will also promote local employment.

At the opening of the conference, Sisulu said she would like the issue of increasing the provision of broadband infrastructure outside the metros.

“The cost to communicate in South Africa is still ranked amongst the highest in the world and thus undermines access to the benefits of Information Communication Technologies and thus exacerbate poverty, inequality and unemployment,” explained Sisulu.

Adding that technological advancement has taken place, Sisulu said that in present day the challenges that the country faces require specific and not generalised technologies.

“Hence we ask you here at Govtech 2013 whether you have for us technologies that are well intended and will benefit us …. whether those of you who are here representing our government realise what we need to do and therefore what to buy for this government to fulfil our quest for a good quality life for all,” said Sisulu.

Among the challenges facing the country, said Sisulu, is that of crime, poverty, inequality and unemployment. –