The Information Technology Association (ITA) has responded to the government notice of a proposed ICT sector code by recommending that the ICT sector remains on the current DTI Codes of Good Practice.

According to the president of the ITA, Chose Choeu, the ITA has made many recommendations to government concerning all aspects of the proposed industry codes, many of which are positive for the sector. For example in skills development the ITA has proposed far-reaching changes which will align the sector to international best practices and e-learning concepts.

The ITA finds that many of the draft ICT codes chapters were incorporated into the DTI codes. “Our industry has long adopted the DTI Codes of Good Practice, and many of our members have made significant strides in complying with the codes,” says Choeu.

The ITA, the largest IT association was not involved in or consulted with in any meaningful way in the ICT charter drafting process in the last five years,  he adds.

The charter also does not address job creation – despite this being a significant national requirement.

On the other hand, the ITA believes that certain clauses contained in the draft sector codes are anti-transformational and creates favourable conditions for larger companies.

“The draft charter recommends that any company enjoys favourable terms if the equity investment in it is larger than R7,5-billion. This is arbitrary and no research has been undertaken nor published for industry comment,” says Choeu in a draft proposal to Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.

“The ITA, which represents the interests of its members, cannot justify that this clause operates in our industry” says Choeu. “The ITA believes that this approach would represent effective disempowerment and no specific time frames are required to correct the imbalance in shareholding. We recommend, accordingly, that the legislation regarding BBBEE remain as per the existing DTI codes.”