REPORT. Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, called for public comment on a proposed National Data and Cloud Policy.
According to the policy, the HPCDPC will provide cloud services for state entities, national departments, provinces, municipalities, metros, SOEs, universities, research centres, civil society organisations, and businesses registered in South Africa.
SITA will drive the adoption of digital government services.
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- The policy proposal also states that a High-Performance Computing and Data Processing Centre (HPCDPC) should be established, which will include cloud computing capacity.
- This HPCDPC will consolidate existing public funded data centres.
- “The HPCDPC will leverage the existing computing capacity and technical capabilities of the CSIR and SITA, and will operate in conformance with international best practice,” the draft policy states.
- “The HPCDPC shall have access to the excess capacity of public funded data centres of entities such as Sentech and Broadband Infraco, Eskom and Transnet.”
- According to the policy, the HPCDPC will provide cloud services for state entities, national departments, provinces, municipalities, metros, SOEs, universities, research centres, civil society organisations, and businesses registered in South Africa.
- The connectivity and interconnection of the HPCDPC to all other public data centres will be provided by the SDIC.
- “The HPCDPC shall be replicated with two similar centres to ensure the availability of backup and business continuity in instances where the main centre comes under cyberattack,” the policy proposal states.
The draft policy also makes the following additional proposals:
- SITA will drive the adoption of digital government services.
- Digital/ICT Special Economic Zones will be established to support local and foreign investment in data and cloud infrastructure and services. Multinational firms investing in data centres will be required to make provision for skills and digital technology transfer to ensure benefits and gains from foreign direct investment.
- Data centres may make provision for self-generation energy capabilities to ensure uninterrupted and sustainable operations while reducing total dependence on the strained national electricity grid.
- SITA must adopt strategies and interventions such as digital hubs and digital transformation centres, supported by open compute and open software to support small, medium, and micro enterprises and the digital economy through enabling locally developed applications.
- Investment in data centres and cloud services shall comply with the provisions of broad-based black economic empowerment.
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