South Africa as an information and knowledge society: benefit to the informal sector women entrepreneurs

Glenrose Velile Jiyane, Mabel K Majanja, Bertha J Mostert, Dennis Ocholla

Abstract


The use of tools for development has evolved from the industrial revolution over time. The late 18th and 19th centuries saw the increased use of machines and developments in the mining industries; in the 20th century, there was increased use of information and technology; and major breakthroughs sparked the evolution of the information and knowledge society of the 21st century. The basis of the information and knowledge society revolves around technologys increased assimilation and diffusion in human society, particularly information and communication technologies and their rapid growth and use in the exchange of information and knowledge. This society offers many opportunities and benefits to people in terms of the facilitation of information creation, distribution, diffusion, access and use for growth and development in various spheres of life. In this paper we discuss the role of the information and knowledge society (IKS) for informal sector women entrepreneurs (ISWEs) and focus on what there is in the IKS that could benefit ISWEs, analyse the criteria, indicators and benefits of IKS and explore the challenges and opportunities of IKS. At the end of the paper we provide recommendations for the development of IKS for the benefit of rural women. The paper is informed by recent doctoral work on the role of the information and knowledge society in poverty alleviation and the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs in South Africas informal sector. We find that by using criteria and indicators of an information and knowledge society to assess whether or not South Africa meets these requirements, South Africa indeed meets some of the criteria. However, it does not, in many instances, satisfy other criteria, and thus cannot be regarded unconditionally as an information and knowledge society. We recommend that South Africa should work toward achieving and meeting the criteria of the information and knowledge society by assessing itself against the criteria and indicators of such a society. Doing so would enable informal sector women entrepreneurs to reap the opportunities presented by the information and knowledge society.

Keywords


South Africa; information and knowledge society; informal sector women entrepreneurs

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abid, A. 2002. UNESCO and the World Summit on the Information Society. UNESCO Open Forum. 68th IFLA Council and General Conference. August 18-24, 2002. Glasgow: IFLA.

Bell, D. 1974. Post-industrial Society, The idea. The information Society Reader, 238-239. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Britz, J.J., Lor, P.J., Coetzee, E.M.I. & Bester, B.C. 2006. Africa as a knowledge society: a reality check. International Information and Library Review, 38:25-40.

CIA World Factbook, 2011. Unemployment, youth age. [Online]. Available: http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worlds-factbook/geos/sf.html. [11 November 2010]

CIA World Factbook, 2010. Transportation.-South Africa. [Online]. Available: http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the -worlds-factbook/geos/sf.html. [11 November 2010.

Dataxis news. 2009. South Africa nears 2 million broadband subscribers. 13 August 2009.[Online]. Available: http://www.datanews.com. [06 December 2011]

De Jager, K.. and Nassimbeni, M.C. 2007. Information literacy in practice: engaging public library workers in rural South Africa. IFLA Journal 33(4):313-322.

De Jager, K. and Nassimbeni, M.C. 2005. Information literacy and quality assurance in South African higher education institutions. Libri 55 (1):31-38.

De Jager, K. and Nassimbeni, M.C. 2003. An Exploratory of the current status of information literacy tuition in South African Tertiary Institutions and Prospects for Curriculum Design. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science. 69 (2):108-114.

Gadebe, T. 2005. TV for local languages. SouthAfrica.info reporter. [Online]. Available: http://www.southafricainfo/ess_info/sa_glance/media/sabc-170605.html. [15 April 2011]

Holmner, M.A. 2008. A critical analysis of information and knowledge societies with specific reference to the interaction between local and global knowledge systems. (PhD Thesis). Pretoria: University of Pretoria.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 2006b. World telecommunications/ICT development report of 2006. [Online] Available: http://itu.int/dms_pub/itu-d/opb/ind/D-IND-WTDR-2006-SUM-PDF-E.pdf [22 March 2009]

Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. 2009. South Africa Internet Usage and Marketing Report. [Online]. Available: http://www.internetworldstats.com. [20 June 2010]

Jiyane, G.V. and Onyancha, O.B. 2010. Information literacy education and instruction in academic libraries and LIS Schools in institutions of higher education in South Africa. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 76(1):11-23.

Khan, A.W. 2003. Towards knowledge societies. An Interview with Abdul Waheed Khan. Geneva: UNESCO. [Online]. Available: http://www.unesco.org. [21 August 2010]

Kwake, A. W. 2007. The role of Information and Communication Technologies in harnessing information for women in rural development: Case studies of South Africa and Kenya. (PhD Thesis). KwaDlangezwa: University of Zululand.

Machet, M.and Wessels, N. 2006. Family literacy projects and the public library. Innovation no. 32, 53-73.

Maredi, I. 2012. SA-EU Collaboration in ICT: South Africas ICT R&D and Innovation Strategy. Paper presented in Berlin, Germany, 18 January 2012. [Online]. Available: http://www.esastap.org.za/download/present_germany_01_2012.pdf. [12 April 2012]

Martin, W.J. 1988. The information society. London: Aslib.

Nassimbeni, M. 1998. The information society in South Africa: from global origins to Local Vision.South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 66(4): 154-160.

De Jager, K. and Nassimbeni, M.C. 2002. Institutionalizing information literacy education: lessons learnt from South African Programmes. Library Trends. 51 (2):167-184.

NationMaster, 2005. Personal computers. [Online]. Available: http://nationamaster.com/country/sa-southafrica.med-media. [23 March 2011]

Ocholla, D.N. 1998. The Growing Gap between the Information Rich and the Information Poor, both within Countries and Between Countries. A composite Policy Paper. Edited by Alfred Kagan. 65th IFLA Conference Council and General Conference. 20-28 August 1999, Bangkok, Thailand. [Online]. Available: http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers.126-72e.html. [23 March 2009]

Republic of South Africa, 2000. Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000. Government Gazette no 20852. Pretoria: Government Printer.

Singh, S. P. 2005. The role of technology in the emergence of the information society in India. The Electronic library, 23(6): 678-690.

Snyman, M.E. and Snyman, M.M.M. 2003. Getting information to disadvantaged rural communities: the centre approach. South African Journal of Library and Information Science, 69(2): 95-108.

Statistics South Africa. 2011. Mid-2011 Population Estimates. [Online]. Available: http://www.statssa.gov.za [11 Januaryl 2012]

Van Audenhove, L. J.C. Burgelman, G. Nulens & B. Cammaerts. 1999. Information Society Policy in the developing world: A critical assessment. Third World Quarterly, 20(2):387-397.

Webster, F. 2002. Theories of the information society. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.

World Summit on Information Society, 2003. Declaration of principles (WSIS) [Online]. Available: http://www.itu.int/wsis/geneva/official/dop/html. [07 April 2010]

World Wide Worx, 2006. Online retail in South Africa 2006-broadband and experience the keys to online retail. [Online]. Available: http://www.theworx.biz/retail06.htm. [03 April 2008].




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/79-1-115

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2012.

http://sajlis.journals.ac.za/public/site/images/scholar/reallogo_335

Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.