The Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Hlengiwe Mkhize and the Vice Minister of Cyber Space Administration of the People’s Republic of China Wang Xiujun concluded a successful South Africa – China Internet Roundtable in Durban, eThekwini.
Delegates included representatives of government departments, State-Owned Companies, the private sector, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Small, Micro and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), industry associations, advisory bodies and other government agencies.
The roundtable took the form of a series of public meetings between the delegations wherein they explored possible areas of cooperation and partnerships. Opportunities to incubate ICT SMMEs were also explored.
The Deputy Ministers concluded with a bilateral meeting. The meeting focused on strengthening ties between the two governments in the area of ICT and cyberspace. It covered topics that include e-Government and Cyber Security.
Strategies of encouraging safe practices online were explored during the bilateral.
“We need to find ways of analysing data to help us improve the protection of the vulnerable people online, focusing on women and the youth,” said Mkhize.
“We would like to encourage the cooperation between Chinese and South African enterprises to push forward the digital development to benefit the people of both countries,” said Wang.
The two countries committed to strengthening cooperation in the area of ICT and cyberspace.
This meeting was after the DA maintained that the Chinese are an inappropriate source of counsel in terms of the internet sphere. China has a dubious reputation as being one of the world’s most repressive internet regimes, clamping down on political opponents, journalists and citizens critical of the government. Added to this, China is also known as an enthusiastic cyber warfare practitioner.