It is the Time for Planning Strategies and Preparing for 2022
Unfortunately, 2022 looks as if it will remain another virtual year with more COVID waves to disrupt trade and the economies. However, ecommerce will continue to flourish. We now need to brainstorm how best to develop the sector. EFSA has started a project with the Department of Communications and Digital Technology (DCDT), and the Department of Higher Education (DHET) to identify the skills needed to ensure that ecommerce operates smoothly. We will then accredit these so that any company looking for skilled employees will have a pool of people with the right abilities. We are also working with the DHET to ensure that Home Affairs issues temporary work visas for the skills we are short of in SA.
In the past accrediting skills in our sector was not a pressing necessity. The vast majority of experts in ecommerce were entrepreneurs. Today companies like Vodacom, Nedbank are recruiting staff skilled in ecommerce and looking for staff who have a variety of skills (see Vodacom’s advertisement below).
We also took part in the DCDT Strategic Planning session on 29 Nov at the invitation of the Consumer Goods Council. The DCDT is planning a national strategy on the digital economy and 4IR. We presented our views on what EFSA believes are the key areas on which government should concentrate in order to develop SA’s digital economy, and in the words of the chair of the session ensure that SA is “the digital economy leader in Africa”. EFSA’s views were well received, and the Acting Director-General has invited us to cooperate closely with her department in the coming year.
A number of issues of relevance to ecommerce were raised during the DCDT strategy session – the plans for data localisation continue to attract strong support by some leading officials; second, concern was shown that delivery motorcycles lack basic training and are becoming the cause of numerous accidents; third, that red tape has spread during the lockdown and, as the President mentioned recently, SA must tackle this problem in order to assist SMEs (EFSA can attest to this problem – it has taken since July to get someone registered to e-file our annual accounts at SARS, and CIPC still has not changed one of our directors. The request for him to be removed from the list of directors was made in April 2020!!).
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