TECHNOLOGY HUBS (PARKS) SET TO BOOST REGIONAL ECONOMY
16 MARCH 2018
The thought that started as a dream and a journey with no destination is realized today, the R120 million budget that was set to deliver the techno hubs project has been fully utilized, said Head of KZN Treasury Simiso Magagula at the four (4) Techno Hubs launch and expo held in Durban recently.
The launch which was presided by MEC for Provincial Treasury- Ms. Belinda Scott witnessed the realization of a thought that arose three (3) years ago when four Municipalities with distinct attributes were identified as hosts for the innovation hubs. The sod turning event which planted a seed in 2016 at the Richards Bay Industrial Zone – Phase 1A, was harnessed by MEC Scott, at that time she said ‘techno hubs aim to convene like- minded people, business people and investors who focus on and emphasize adaptation to local context while at the same time forming part of the global movement’.
In the recent launch and expo held in Durban, Scott sighted that this time is a 4th Revolution and as the country we need to be inclined with the changes to support the development of the people through technology and creativity.
‘Economic growth and employment opportunities can only be created when people are given a platform to compete with the world’. ‘The government has to come closer to the people and provide them with the resources they need and businesses that they can get involved in’. ‘The government cannot continue with the high numbers of unemployment as they add burden on government, so the government has to look into the private sector for collaboration and certainty for investments which in turn will boost the economy and create employment opportunities and self -sufficiency for the people’. It is by this notion that the government has to boost confidence to the investors and assure them that South Africa is a great country with a huge potential.
The Richards Bay located in Umhlathuze Local Municipality has been identified as one of the centres for business and now has the centre for technology at the door step, the baton is now upon each host to implement the project and ensure that the techno hubs are well marketed to attract the investors with the vision. The success of the techno hubs depend on the collaborations that will be made by private sector and academic institutions who are implementers since the government has set the tone by initiating the 1st phase which is an enabler.
The four techno hubs in different parts of the province, being Port Shepstone, Newcastle, Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay are set to bring about knowledge facilities and boost capital in the Region, concluded Professor Gerhard Prinsloo an academic who drives science and technology at the Durban University OF Technology (DUT).
Prinsloo said: “The benefits to knowledge based and innovation focused companies where there is access to value-adding technical, business support services and partnership opportunities has been proven to foster success in many parts of the world”.
Without a shadow of doubt, the Richards Bay IDZ is pleased with its outstanding delivery and aspires to further the public and private sector collaboration that is mandatory in delivering to this prestigious development of innovation and technology.