The 2030 Vision in South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) outlines that small, micro, and medium enterprises (SMMEs) should create 90% of new jobs by 2030. The South African Business Institute found that South African businesses must have access to “efficient, affordable and accessible infrastructure services” in order to “compete in an increasingly digitalized world”.
Digitalisation and Cloud adoption will play a pivotal role in South Africa’s SMME growth story, helping them achieve faster and more affordable digitalisation. Our latest study, commissioned by AWS, found that the increased adoption of Cloud technologies is uniquely suited to the needs of South African SMMEs and startups and will provide them access to cost-saving and productivity-enhancing technologies. Increased Cloud uptake economy-wide is also estimated to generate an economic value of up to ZAR185.9 billion between 2023 and 2030 and to support 142,300 jobs in 2030.
AWS is already delivering substantial benefits to South African SMMEs and startups. For instance, AWS has already invested ZAR15.6 billion in South African Cloud infrastructure and plans to invest a further ZAR30.4 billion in AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region between 2018-2029.
Additionally, there is scope for further private-public sector collaboration to drive the digitalisation and Cloud adoption of South African SMMEs and startups. Our study suggests key recommendations for the public and private sectors to maximise Cloud benefits. These include broadening the scope of the Department of Small Business Development’s SMME and Co-operatives Funding Policy and encouraging businesses to enhance investment in workforce digital literacy.