The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, together with the Information Technology Association (ITA), have combined forces to convene a high level workshop on the contribution that can be made by the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to the power crisis in South Africa. 

Prof Barry Dwolatzky, JCSE sirector, says a group of decision makers, thought leaders and influential stakeholders from government, industry and academia have been invited to the workshop which will meet tomorrow (20 February.)
“The workshop will be limited to forty people and will take the format of a round table discussion. Attendees will be briefed on the current status of the power crisis and the range of potential solutions that are on the table. Attendees will then table their ideas around the current solutions and any possible new initiatives and will then discuss how solutions can be evaluated, prioritised and implemented,” Dwolatzky says.
Both technology solutions and how technology can be used to maximise the impact of other energy saving projects will be discussed, says Keith Anderson, President of the ITA
“The focus will be on the role that the ICT industry can and should play in enabling the power producers, distributors and regulators to make South Africa an energy-efficient country,” Anderson says.
Explaining the rationale for convening the workshop, Dwolatzky says every sector has to make a positive contribution to overcoming the challenge of insufficient generating capacity.
“Eskom has the challenge of deciding which target groups to communicate with about reducing the strain on the national grid. The ICT sector can play a vital role in communicating to everybody from large corporates right down to individuals because technology is used by most electricity consumers. The sector is therefore ideally positioned to assist in combating the current power crises,” he says.
The event has the support of a number of organisations including Wits University, Eskom, Microsoft, GijimaAST and Dimension Data.
Dwolatzky says that a report will be published after the workshop detailing the resolutions that will been reached. It would also make suggestions about the possible way forward for both the short and long term initiatives, generating recommendations for feasible actions and a network to drive their implementation.