The Garden Route has a significant collection of great ICT talent. The Garden Route IT Consortium has been working at unifying the local industry but, this has had limited success due to the economic difficulty most local ICT startups face in growing a sustainable business in this region.
Now it is time to take it one step further. By creating an ICT incubator we can use economies of scale to help these startups get their products designed and developed for less, get to market easier, etc. Collective design, manufacturing, procurement, marketing, and admin makes great economical sense.
It is a well known fact that the rural parts of South Africa is far worse off economically than the more populated city areas. This is especially so today, as the cities are developing at a ever increasing pace, leaving the rural country side further and further behind every day.
How can this ever widening gap be brought back under control? Why should we even care? What has this got to do with ICT?
The Garden Route has long been a quiet tourist destination, with little technology focussed business happening in the coastal towns of George, Knysna and Mosselbay.
The top industry sectors in the region has always been tourism and agriculture, with building and property development coming third. Recent economic changes has seen the building industry shrink, and the ongoing drought has made agriculture less sustainable. The economic profile of the region needs a change in order to sustain growth and employment.
Repositioning the region as a technology destination is not only a smart economic move, it is also the ideal move given all the region has going for itself already.
It has the infrastructure, the people, political will and the ability to make it happen.