The Digital Economy unit is part of the Strategic Economic Accelerators and Drivers (SEAD) branch of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and is tasked with encouraging growth and development of the provincial digital economy through the support of broadband usage, digital infrastructure development and digital skills and readiness programmes, among other things.

An underlying premise of all our programmes at the Digital Economy Unit is to support the adoption of digital technology and the Internet by business and citizens in the Western Cape. This ensures they are ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and empowered to (1) take advantage of opportunities offered by Digital Disruption and (2) to protect themselves from the threats posed by Digital Disruption.

Digital Disruption

Digital disruption is defined as the changes enabled by digital technologies that occur at a pace and magnitude that disrupts established ways of value creation, social interaction, doing business and more generally our thinking.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

The emerging fourth industrial revolution (4IR) builds on the current Digital Revolution that started in the 1980s. The 4IR is when digital technologies become even more embedded within societies, the human body, the workplace, at home and everywhere else.

The 4IR is a great example of Digital Disruption as it will disrupt established ways of value creation, social interaction and doing business. It will be even more disruptive for countries who haven’t been preparing. Learn more…

Digital Economy uses a thematic programmatic approach covering 3 areas: Connected Leadership, Connected Business and Connected Citizens.

We implement programmes that empower, support and develop Leadership, Business and Citizens in the province to better take advantage of the socio-economic opportunities offered by digital technologies.

Digital initiatives of the unit

There are a number of Digital Initiatives currently underway:

  • Developing Sector-specific technology hubs and ecosystems e.g. Ed-Tech, Fin-tech, Travel-Tech, Safety-Tech;
  • Creating and implementing various digital skills development programmes;
  • Encouraging digital skills through gaming and e-sports programmes;
  • Positioning the Western Cape as a leading global digital hub;
  • Supporting small, medium and micro enterprises in the use of digital technologies for improved competitiveness
  • Investigating the impacts of various digital technologies on the provinces’ business and citizens to drive more effective government policy and programmes.

The Digital Economy Unit often works with various public, private and non-profit stakeholders to develop and implement our digital initiatives.

Go to www.westerncape.gov.za/site-page/digital-initiatives for more information on the digital initiatives of the Digital Economy Unit.

Digital Economy Update e-newsletter

The Digital Economy Update is a monthly e-newsletter that focuses on the state of different sectors within the digital economy of the Western Cape through the lens of our Digital Initiatives.

It’s the best way to keep up to date on the regional digital economy and the various initiatives of the Digital Economy unit and it’s free!

Each month there are two articles: (1) an Opinion Editorial where we explore a specific sector of the digital economy, its outlook and initiatives of the Digital Economy Unit in the sector and (2) an Impact Story which looks at the socio-economic impacts, ranging from a profile on a businesses, incubators or people to start-ups working on something new and exciting in the sector.

The e-Newsletter can be viewed here and is updated monthly: www.westerncape.gov.za/site-page/e-newsletter-articles

To subscribe to the newsletter, email dedat.broadband@westerncape.gov.za with the subject line “Subscribe Me”.

Learn more about the Digital Economy Unit