The National Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has been mandated by the South African Government to oversee the SA communications, telecoms, and broadcasting services.

DCDT plays a specific role in fostering broader economic and social participation by all citizens through digital transformation underpinned by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The Department focuses on creating a South Africa where citizens can enjoy greater economic and social prosperity and comfort, and enjoy higher levels of health, wellbeing, and safety through levering the 4IR.

The benefits that come with the adoption of these advanced 4IR technologies bring both economic and social advantages and benefits, transforming how we relate as individuals, groups, and organizations across the globe.

The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa was established as a non-profit institute for education in terms of the Companies Act (1973) and is listed as a schedule 3A public entity in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (1999).


NEMISA derives its mandate from the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) which was formed subsequent to the merger of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) and the Department of Communication.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a global service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. As a public benefit federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government and many public and private sector clients in around 120 countries in achieving their objectives in international cooperation. With this aim, GIZ works together with its partners to develop effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.

The DCDT in partnership with NEMISA and the GIZ implementing on behalf of the German Government (BMZ) will host the National Digital and Future Skills Conference in 2023 under the theme “Realising the Digital Economy –  Scaling-Up Skills Development to Support Innovation”.

About the Conference

The National Digital and Future Skills Strategy is key to closing the digital skills gap as it provides a framework for the prioritisation of critical digital and future skills as well as ensures a coordinated and integrated implementation across government and various sectors. The National Digital and Future Skills Strategy identifies two challenges: securing investment and forging partnerships to fund digital skilling.

Due to the significant investments required to successfully deploy digital skills in the country, the digital and future skills programme is best conducted in conjunction with government agencies, businesses, civic society, academia, and the general public, including young fraternities.


A continuation of discussions pertaining to solutions the sector may collaborate and pool resources to achieve a common goal. Furthermore, the conference seeks to evaluate the extent to which the 2022 conference recommendations have been implemented.


The DCDT will host the National Digital and Future Skills Conference in 2023 under the theme “Realising the Digital Economy and Scaling-Up Skills Development to Support Innovation and the Digital Revolution” in partnership with NEMISA and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Conference Focus Areas and Objectives:
  • To determine progress made towards realising the commitments of the 2022 Digital and Future Skills National Conference.
  • Youth Empowerment
  • Building capacity of the State for a Digital Government
  • To promote food security through Agro-processing
  • Research
  • Digital literacy and inclusion: Promoting digital literacy among all citizens, including vulnerable and marginalized groups, to bridge the digital divide and ensure equal participation in the digital economy.
  • Future workforce readiness: Addressing the evolving skill requirements of the digital economy and preparing the workforce with the necessary digital competencies.
  • Digital entrepreneurship: Encouraging and supporting the development of digital entrepreneurship ecosystems, fostering innovation, and nurturing digital startups.
  • Digital government and governance: Exploring strategies for leveraging digital skills to enhance government services, improve governance practices, and promote digital transformation in the public sector.
  • Emerging technologies and trends: Examining the impact of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things on digital skills development and their role in the digital economy.
  • To share and explore more practical solutions on how best to target and support the most digitally disadvantaged communities.
  • To identify programmes and projects that need to be scaled up immediately.
  • To announce partnership agreements towards the implement the national digital and future skills programme.
  • Create awareness: Raise awareness about the importance of digital skills in driving economic growth and development in the digital age.
  • Knowledge sharing: Facilitate sharing of best practices, innovative strategies, and success stories related to digital skills development.
  • Collaboration: Foster collaboration among stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector organizations, academia, and civil society, to collectively address the digital skills gap.

Target Group

The conference will serve as a multi-stakeholder engagement platform for approximately 300 participants, including representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society and international development organizations, researchers and academics, youth organizations, young emerging digital entrepreneurs, training providers, and practitioners.

Plenary Sessions

The plenary session will allow various stakeholders the opportunity to network and promote collaborations on initiatives and exchange insights related to the transformative process of digitization.

Following Sub-Themes will be addressed in the plenary:

1. Skills Development for a Digital Economy
2. Digital Entrepreneurship and Innovation
3. Future of Work Readiness
4. Digital Disruptions in the Labour Market

Conference Structure

The 2023 National Digital Skills is a two-day event, from 26– 27 October 2023. The structure of the conference will serve primarily to give effect to its main objectives.

The proceedings will be delivered in a hybrid format to allow participants to follow the proceedings from any location for maximum stakeholder reach.


Side events will be focused discussions and/or workshops on the second conference day to dive deeper into the Themes and/or implementation and strategies opened up in the plenary session.

Conducted in conjunction with government agencies, businesses, civic society, academia, and the general public, including young fraternities.


Minister Mondli Gungubele

Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

Minister Mondli Gungubele was appointed as the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies of the Republic of South Africa with effect from 6 March 2023.

Deputy Minister Mohlopi Phillemon (Philly) Mapulane

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

Mohlopi Phillemon “Philly” Mapulane was appointed by the President of the Republic of South Africa, on the 05th of August 2021.

Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane

Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane

Mr Mabuyane matriculated at Lekoa Shandu High School in Sharpeville, Gauteng. During his professional tenure, Mabuyane has acquired extensive experience in policy formulation and implementation processes across the different spheres of government and at senior management level in business.

Ms Charmaine Houvet

Cisco Senior Director: Africa

Charmaine Houvet is an accomplished and visionary leader with an illustrious career spanning over three decades in the dynamic and ever-evolving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

Sandiso Sibisi

Director COOi Studios

Sandiso Sibisi, Founder of COOi Studios, a technology design advisory, has over 13 years’ experience in management and technology consulting.

Nomso Kana

Chief Executive Simsciex Technologies

Nomso Kana, a distinguished nuclear scientist by profession, in 2019 was appointed as one of the esteemed Commissioners for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) within the Presidency.

Dr. Sipho Sithole

Non-Executive Director

Dr. Sipho Sithole is a former Group Chief Strategy Officer at the SABC and PRASA, and former HR Director of Ericsson Telecoms and currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Johannesburg.

Jason Stapleton

XR Creative Technologist/VR World Builder

Jason Stapleton based in Cape Town South Africa where he works as a creative technologist, consultant, mentor and VR artist. His interests and skill sets sit at the intersection of several fields, specifically, XR, game engine/3d animation, 360 video, Lidar scanning and photogrammetry.

Leona Crafett

Director: CoLab for Digital Inclusion and Social Innovation

Leona Craffert (PhD), is a seasoned psychologist and change management expert with a keen interest in the nexus between people and technology.

Steven Markovitz


Steven Markovitz has over 25 years' experience in producing and distributing feature films, and documentaries. He has worked with over 150 directors from 30 African countries on films that have screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and Venice.

Trevor Rammitlwa

Chief Executive Officer: NEMISA

Trevor Rammitlwa has worked in senior management positions in the private sector and public entities that include BANKSETA. He has more than 25 years of experience working in Human Capital Management, Education and Research. He also served in various boards including that of National Peace Accord Trust.

Darryl Dennis

Chief Executive Officer: Nelson Mandela Innovation Hub

Darryl Dennis has held various senior positions within large multinational ICT Organisations, followed by numerous board appointments. He serves as the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Innovation Hub.

Luthando Maqondo

Chief Executive Officer: Appimate

An entrepreneur with a background in Nuclear Science and Engineering, Structured Light Physics, Software engineering and a Cloud Administrator Associate.

Shivanthini Nagalingam-Potter


Vuyani Jarana

Board Member: Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC)

Vuyani is a seasoned business transformation leader with over 25 years of ICT experience, most of which he spent within the Vodacom Group where he held various positions including a Group Chief Operating Officer and a Chief Executive Officer for Vodacom Business.

Wendy Pienaar

Head Innovation and Ventures Deloitte Africa

Currently Wendy is Deloitte Africa Lead for Innovations and Ventures. She joined in June 2023 to further her passion and make a significant impact in the innovation space.

Raymond Ledwaba

Chief Executive Officer: ITTHYNK Gaming

Raymond is a Chartered Accountant by profession and holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. He is the CEO of ITTHYNK Smart Solutions, an award-winning software development and consulting services firm.

Joseph Ndaba

Chief Executive Officer: Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub

Joseph Ndaba, a founder and CEO of Mahikeng Digital Innovation Hub, Commissioner: Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, his passion for Entrepreneurship Development, STEMI, Skills Development has seen him delivering ground breaking interventions for big corporations, government and SMMES.

Bandile Phuthuma

ITTHYNK: Business Development

Bandile Phuthuma has been working as an independent contractor for the past 15 years. He worked for different sectors such as SOE’s, Banking, Telecommunications, Mining & Banking Sector. He helped business to streamline their business processes.

Tshego Walker

Partner Coordination and MERL: Presidential Youth Employment Intervention

Tshego Walker leads partner coordination and MERL for the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention across government.

Mlindi Mashologu

Deputy Director General: ICT Information Society and Capacity Development

Mr. Mlindi is a deputy Director General at the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies managing the Information Society and Capacity Development within the ICT environment.

Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani

Director General: Department of Communications & Digital Technologies

Ms. Nonkqubela Thathakahle Jordan-Dyani currently serves as the Director-General in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies. She was formerly the Deputy-Director-General: International Relations and Trade who was also the Acting Director-General (DG) in the department since August 2023.

Executive Mayor Princess Faku

Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality

Ms. Princess Faku was elected as the new Mayor of Buffalo City Metro during the Special Council meeting on Thursday evening 23 March 2023

Zukile Mosheshe

Department of Higher Education and Training: Deputy Director-General Skills Development

Mr. Mvalo is the Deputy Director-General: Skills Development Branch of the Department of Higher Education and Training since August 2015. Before joining the Department of Higher Education and Training, he was an Executive Director: Corporate Services in the Cape Winelands District Municipality.

Alice Vozza

International Labour Organization: Skills and Lifelong Learning Specialist

Over the last 15 years, Alice has been working for different ILO Offices on skills development, just transition, enterprise development, and the role of private sector and business associations.

Ntombi Makwetu

Director: Creative Industries and Brodcasting Policy

Ntombi Makwetu hails from the Province of the Eastern Cape. She had been in the ICTs industry for more than 15 years.

Shakila Maharaj

Managing Director: ShazaCin Accessible Media

She has pioneered in SA access to books for persons with print disabilities through the promotion of alternate reading formats and is the founder and MD of DAISY SA

Dipuo Twala

Director: Dependable Mate Consulting and Training

Dipuo Twala is a young Entrepreneur from Marble Limpopo, she build Training centers in rural areas to give young people from disadvantaged communities.

Kiru Pillay

Chief Director: Department of Communications and Digital Technologies

Kiru has over 35 years of experience in the ICT sector and is currently at the South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT).

Realising the Digital Economy and Scaling-Up Skills Development to Support Innovation and the Digital Revolution


Tour to the Exhibition area: Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies: Mr Mondli Gungubele, MP Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies: Mr Philly Mapulane, MP Premier of Eastern Cape Province: Mr Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, MPL Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metro Muncipality: Cllr Princess Faku

National Anthem: All

Welcome: Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metro Municipality: Cllr Princess Faku

Message of Support: Premier of Eastern Cape Province: Mr Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, MPL

Keynote Address: Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies: Mr Mondli Gungubele, MP

Session Topics:

• Digital and future skills a vital component of SA human capacity
• Matching supply of digital skills with demand
• Investing in human capital in the 4IR era

Session Outcome: Alignment of the Skills Development landscape and human capital development interventions for global competitiveness discussed.

Presentation: Digital Skills Landscape: Ms Shivanthini Nagalingam-Potter COO: PSETA, Ms. Nyari Samushonga CEO: WeThinkCode, Mr. Seliki Tlhabane
Chief Director: Maths, Science & Technology Curriculum and E-Learning, DBE, Dr Sipho Sithole Senior Research Fellow Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, UJ, Ms Nomso Kana
CEO: Simsciex Technologies

Panel Moderator: Mr. Trevor Rammitlwa: CEO: NEMISA (45 mins.)

Q & A- 15 mins.

TEA BREAK: 11:30 – 11:45

Session Topics:

• Key trends for Digital Entrepreneurship
• Digital Hubs as central meeting point for technology innovation.
• Digitally enabled entrepreneurs prioritizing youth, women, and people with disability

Session Outcome: Entrepreneurship mindset in the digital era and digital entrepreneurship and economic competitiveness through Innovation hubs and Digital Centers unpacked.

Opening Presentation: Digital Innovation for global competitiveness: Ms. Wendy Pienaar Deloitte Africa- Innovation and Growth, Mr. Sandiso Sibisi Director: COOi Studios, Mr. Vuyani Jarana CSIR Board Chairperson, Ms. Rashika Ramlal Country Manager: AWS, Mr. Joseph Ndaba Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub

Panel Moderator: Mr Dennis Darryl: CEO: Nelson Mandela I-hub (45 mins.)

Q&A (15min)

LUNCH BREAK: 13:15 – 14:30

Session Outcome: Practical measures and interventions to be undertaken to promote digital skilling, research programme in the country discussed.

LEAD FACILITATOR: Ms. Ntombi Makwetu :Acting Chief Director Department of Communications & Digital Technologies (DCDT)

• Pitch Perfect: How to craft a compelling Investment pitch for Digital entrepreneurs.
• Navigating the venture capital landscape: Understanding the investment process and criteria.

LEAD FACILITATOR: Dr. Leona Craffert Western Cape University CoLab

• Research and Development f to protect innovation in the digital age
• Futuristic lens for policy and regulatory imperatives

LEAD FACILITATOR: Ms. Shakila Maharaj ShazaCin Accessible Media, Katharina Pillay MD: South African Communications Forum

• Closing the gender pay gap: Ensuring equal opportunities in the digital workforce.
• Building networks and friendship: creating supportive communities for women in the digital economy.
• Driving diversity and inclusion with tech: Strategies for ensuring fender equality in digital economy.

LEAD FACILITATOR: Mr. Seliki Tlhabane Chief Director: Maths, Science & Technology Curriculum and E-Learning, DBE

• Digital Pedagogical knowledge
• Promoting Digital Learning

TEA BREAK: 16:00 – 16:15

16:15 - 16:45

Recap of the Day and the Way-forward: Mr. Mlindi Mashologu DDG: Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT)


Session Topics:
• The current outlook for young people in the Digital Economy
• Unpacking opportunities for youth in the Digital Economy
• How to build capacity for self-marketing strategies

Session Outcome: Increase to access to education, training, and labour market opportunities by young people NEET, with particular focus on young women and young persons with disabilities unpacked.

Presentation: In-Roads for Youth Development in the Digital Economy: Ms Deidre Samson: The CollectiveX, Ms Charmaine Houvet: Public Policy Director: Africa, Cisco Systems, Mr. Zukile Mvalo: DDG: Department of Higher Education and Training, Ms Nomvuyiso Batyi: CEO: Association of Comms and Technology

Panel Moderator: Tshepo Walker: Presidency PMO: PYEI (45 mins.)

Q & A- 15 mins.

TEA BREAK: 10:35 – 11:00

Session Topics:
• Digital disruptions vs Redundancy
• Best approach to respond to disruptions.
• Capacity development interventions for retention

Session Outcome: The impact of Disruption and mitigation Strategies outlined.

PRESENTATION: Digital Skills Gaps in the Labour Market: Ms Alice Vozza: Skills and Lifelong Learning Specialist International Labour Organization, Mr. Motse Mfuleni: Black IT Forum, Dr Mark Mpasa: SAMDDRA, Ms Dipuo Twala: Dependable Mate Consulting and Training, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi: COEGA IDZ

Q&A (20min)

Session Outcome: Showcasing of interesting emerging technologies required in the digital economy

Mr. Thato Molamu LIMA - Content Creation in the Digital Age
Dr. Kiru Pillay DCDT - Cybersecurity Masterclass
Mr. Luthando Maqondo Appimate E.C. - APPIMATE
Mr Jason Stapleton Electric South: New Dimension Lab - Virtual and Augmented Reality: digital media through immersive interactive stories

Plenary- Closing Session: 12:30 – 13:00

Conference Closing Remarks:

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies: Mr Philly Mapulane. MP

The National Digital and Future Skills Strategy identifies two challenges: securing investment and forging partnerships to fund digital skilling


General registration
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Media registration
Speakers registration
Exhibitors registration

Venue and Accommodation

East London International Convention Centre, with invitingly sleek furnishings, a tranquil coastal location and commitment to exceptional service, you are guaranteed of an unforgettable experience.


From exhibitions, gala banquets, cocktails functions, conventions, breakfasts and formal dinners to conferences, seminars and launches, the East London International Convention Centre is standing by to assist clients with innovative ideas, and a refreshing wealth of features and services.


The East London International Convention Centre is located within the Marine Park Complex on the East London Esplanade and incorporates the 260 roomed Premier Hotel EL ICCas well as the adjacent 175 rooms of the Premier Hotel Regentoffering a range of accommodation options to complement the ELICC.


Situated in East London, the gateway to Africa’s Sunshine and Wild Coasts, the ELICC is located on the Esplanade, a mere 10 minutes to major shopping, entertainment and sporting facilities. The ELICC is only 15 minutes to the East London Airport, the Industrial Development Zone and all major industries.


East London is the gateway to the Wild Coast of Africa, iconic wildlife, and perfect waves. It is South Africa’s only river port city in the Eastern Cape Province, with over 267,000 residents. The top attractions of this destination include the Mercedes-Benz Coastal Education and Visitor Centre at Nahoon Point Nature Reserve, which is home to The Reef Cafe and a small Surfing Museum.


Premier Hotel

Marine Park Complex, 22 Esplanade, Beachfront, East London. PO Box 18143, Quigney, 5211

Tel: +27 (0)43 709 5100
Fax: +27 (0)43 742 1261

GPS Coordinates:
-33.019288, 27.918871

Book now

The booking code #Digital and Future Skills Rate R1350

***Unfortunately, there will be no sponsored travel or accommodation due to budget restrictions.

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