Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams is concerned that SA relies heavily on software produced by the West or the East and says its time government focuses on home-grown technologies.
Her reasoning is that if US president Donald Trump, for example, was to prevent all US companies from operating in SA, the country could be in trouble.
Our view is that open source software offers the ideal vehicle for this as it’s already available, in use in many enterprises as well as governments, and can be modified for use within South Africa without starting from scratch. No-one can disable or refuse our access to open source software, and this also gives South Africa an opportunity to contribute back to open source communities globally. Open source would also mean that South Africa cannot be held hostage even by local vendors (which has happened in the past). Savings from existing annual licensing can be ploughed into this initiative as local economic investment.