Digital Technology Ecosystem Support Programme | Western Cape Government

Digital Technology Ecosystem Support Programme

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Digital Technology Ecosystem Support Programme


As part of our goal of being recognised as Africa’s Tech Capital, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism has a number of complementary initiatives forming the critical ingredients to towards achieving it, one of it being the support of the local tech ecosystem.

This initiative, also known as the ‘Dash-Tech’, aims to capitalise upon the burgeoning start-up culture in the region by optimising the local enabling environment and ecosystem. International research into the tech ecosystems[1] reinforced the importance and value of vibrant start-up networks as critical to the success for thriving technology ecosystems.

The purpose of this project is therefore to strengthen the technology ecosystems within the Western Cape, targeting specialised subsectors in which we are demonstrating competitive advantage and/or that are aligned to the strategic priorities.




 Figure 1: Key Elements of a vibrant Start-up Ecosystem[2]

Key elements of a vibrant Startup ecosystem

We have 3 very clear objectives in mind to support the Western Cape tech sector:

  1. Create platforms for diverse stakeholders to strengthen partnerships, foster collaboration and nurture innovation, thereby improving product development and opening new markets and supply-chains.

  2. Implement projects that fill structural gaps in the ecosystem, from sources of funding to the quality and quantity of start-ups and the efficacy of incubators and accelerators.

  3. Leverage partnerships with National and Local Government to address regulatory issues affecting competitiveness in the tech ecosystem.






During April to May 2019, the Department asked 20 incubators and accelerators situated in the Western Cape what would need to be done to propel the sector forward. The shape and scope of this Dash-Tech initiative incorporate the results of this consultative process. Most of them backed up what leading research firms have concluded – that the region’s key strengths are networks for partnerships, infrastructure, and the perception / reputation of the Western Cape region as a hub for incubators, supplemented by the lifestyle and good access to skills.


The DashTech project will build on these strengths and work together with the local technology stakeholder to tackle some of the structural barriers impeding its potential.

Image of 5 technology ecosystemsAs a start, we will be focussing on 5 technology ecosystems.

ScreenTech: all technologies that utilize screens to interface with people including film, multimedia, gaming, animation, mobile, etc.

SafetyTech: Safety and security technologies

Fintech – financial technology including mobile payments, e-wallets etc. towards the improvement and automation of the delivery and use of financial services.

TownshipTech - a variant of the general ‘Smart Cities’ concept attuned to local township conditions and geared toward technology solutions for township communities.

4IRTech: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Blockchain, additive manufacturing, IoT, and other emerging technologies

We have appointed 5 ecosystem coordinators who will be driving coordinating various events, webinars, round-tables, challenges, etc, tailored to the bespoke needs of each technology sectors over the next 2.5years.

The tech sector has been one of the industries that have come out stronger in a post Covid-19 world. They possess new channels of opportunity and have a significant potential for growth and job creation.

If you are interested in joining any of these tech sector forums, just let us know on email:

For information on events and workshops taking place in this project see


Related links:



[1] Endeavour Insight. (2018). Evaluation and Network Analysis of the Cape Town and Stellenbosch Tech Sector. Available at:

[2] Adapted from


Click on the images to view the newsletters

4IR & FinTech


 4IR_Fintech_newsletter_03March2021  4IR_Fintech_newsletter_03March2021





























ScreenTech_SafetyTech Nov newsletterSafetyTech_CoP_Jan 2021ScreenTech_CoP_Jan 2021


SafetyTech_CoP_Feb 2021ScreenTech_CoP_Feb 2021

SafetyTech newsletter_April 2021ScreenTech_newsletter_April 2021


Township Tech


  TownshipTech newsletter #5_Wrap up   TownshipTech newsletter #4_Pitch competition going live      TownshipTech newsletter #3_Pitch competition   


    TownshipTech newsletter #2_Hackathon and Pitch competition TownshipTech newsletter #1_Shining the light on Township Tech      

Listen to a soundbyte from Minister of Finance & Economic Opportunities David Maynier on the Dash-Tech Initiative (download by clicking on the three dots): 



The content on this page was last updated on 22 April 2021