Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, right, cuts the ribbon at the opening of Cisco South Africa’s Incubation Hub.
DURBAN - Cisco South Africa’s R10 million state-of-the-art incubation hub was launched at the Dube Tradeport in Durban.

This is the second facility of its kind, built by the company, in South Africa and aims to develop SMMEs as well as speed up their entry into the digital marketplace. The hub, called the Cisco Edge Incubation Centre, is part of the company’s commitment to create jobs, enhance skills development and boost economic growth.

Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who attended the launch, highlighted the importance of using technology to make economic freedom a reality for South Africans and driving this through SMMEs. She applauded Cisco for its contribution and commitment to building a digital economy through meaningful efforts such as training young people and supporting local businesses.

The hub is a smart building with cutting-edge technology that offers complete business facilities, including workspaces with high-speed broadband connectivity, video conferencing and collaboration platforms, as well as boardroom and training facilities. SMMEs will be able to connect with global Cisco experts, who can help them to develop business ideas and concepts in a digital world.

Dube Tradeport chief executive Hamish Erskine said the hub was well-placed at the special economic zone, which was geared toward promoting business growth, the creation of employment, revenue generation, the export of value-added commodities and the attraction of foreign and local investment.

“The kind of facilities at this hub will give entrepreneurs the head start they require to gain a competitive advantage,” said Erskine.

He said the objective of the Cisco Edge Centre was to create a circle of opportunity for unemployed ICT ­graduates.

The centre will provide SMMEs the opportunity to employ graduates from its Networking Academy (NetAcad) programme to give them workplace experience. NetAcad is the world’s largest classroom, giving students hands-on digital skills training for in-demand careers.

Clayton Naidoo, general manager for Cisco Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Our goal is to enable SMMEs to accelerate their growth by ensuring they get access to world-class technology. We are inspired by the prospect of an economy with abundant jobs, a place where entrepreneurs can thrive.”

THE MERCURY