A systemic landscaping of the software industry of an emerging economy : a case of the Western Cape, South Africa

Masters Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study is an attempt to address that need focusing on Western Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa. Making use of case study research strategy, the research aimed at identifying the major pressure points in the software industry, their interactions (impact on each other) as well as impact on the overall industry. Data was collected through interviews with industry leaders operating in the province, analysed and synthesised abductively making use of systems thinking techniques to generate key insights for the industry. Research findings reveal an increasing frustration amongst businesses in dealing with a continuous decline of quality and quantity of software related skills, tension from competitors (mostly India) and absence of a nationwide or even regional software strategy which is an outcome of lack of leadership in the sector. The study concluded by highlighting the need for the government to take leadership and systemically organise the collective efforts of industry stakeholders such as business, academia, as well as NGOs into addressing the identified challenges.

Includes bibliographical references.