Deputy Director-General Michael Currin: Opening of Quadrant Gauteng Office

03 April 2024
Opening of the Quadrant Gauteng Office in partnership with the Johannesburg Development Agency by Mr Michael Currin, Deputy Director-General, GCIS

Greetings to everyone joining us today. A special greeting to a good friend of South Africa, Mr Murali Kommineni and the team from Quadrant on this milestone of the opening of your office right here in Johannesburg. I would like to acknowledge the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) as well as express my appreciation to Ms Femida Razak for coordinating my engagement with you today. I would also like to recognise Mr Kagiso Bonoko from Brand South Africa (Brand SA) who will  share a few thoughts with us later.

Ladies and gentlemen

I think it is important for me to start first by setting out what the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), which I represent here today, is. We are the communication arm of government that is tasked with the responsibility to inform all citizens of the work and programmes of government.  

We pride ourselves in conveying real time developmental communication to citizens across our nation. Ours has been a journey of just under 30 years of transformation from a propagandist tool of the apartheid state that sought to propel racism and oppression. Today I can proudly say we have built a communication system that caters for all South Africans as we communicate the vision, mission, programmes and opportunities brought about by our democratic state with our citizens.  I emphasise the word “with” as we are a government which embraces partnership with our people. 

This is aptly demonstrated in our Imbizo Programme which sees publicly elected representatives regularly going into our communities to interact with South Africans and hear first-hand the challenges they face. This starts at the level of our Head of State and Government, our Honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa, who regularly interacts with communities through the District Development Model Presidential Izimbizo.  

Through this unique interaction we allow citizens to share their concerns of how we are serving them as government. The direct engagement includes Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and leaders from across all three spheres of government. Here in Gauteng our dynamic community leader, Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who in his former life was amongst the architects of our current government communications system, regularly interacts with a multitude of stakeholders of this province, which is our economic hub.

Programme Director

We are a young democracy when compared to that of India, which established its democratic system in 1950. We however share a common past of colonial oppression, exclusion of the majority from all aspects of society and our determined fight for liberation.

Our nation’s ties with India are of deep fraternal bonds. Our two countries have journeyed far together as we remember your country’s support for our liberation struggle during the dark days of apartheid and the inspiration of the revered Mahatma Gandhi who forever lives on in South African history, culture and society. Moreover, the indomitable spirit of the millions of South Africans who proudly carry Indian heritage are amongst the many reasons that make our country as great as it is.  

As you open your beautiful new offices in the heart of our financial capital, you do so at an auspicious time when we celebrate 30 Years of Freedom and Democracy. This is a momentous occasion and one which we wish to celebrate with the fraternity of countries around the world we call our sisters and brothers.

We have made many advances over the past 30 years that have had a marked improvement on the lives of South Africans. Today we can boldly proclaim that South Africa is a far better place to live, work and play than it was in 1994. We therefore mark our democratic milestone under the theme: “30 Years of Democracy, Partnership and Growth”.

Like many other nations of the world, we too face strong headwinds in many areas. We are however a nation which is resilient and that is committed to overcoming our challenges, and are working hard to turn our economy around to ensure decent jobs, just and equitable healthcare, and restore the integrity of many institutions and organs of our democratic state to the way they were intended. We are guided by our world-acclaimed Constitution, which emboldens us to pursue justice socially as well as fight against crime, corruption and other abuses.  

Since the commencement of this sixth democratic administration in 2019, we have been on a journey of rebuilding our nation under the stewardship of President Ramaphosa from the devastation of State Capture. One of our top priorities in this rebuilding process is the development of a capable and efficient state. We understand that the gains of job creation, agricultural processing and growth, boosting tourism, application of technologies of various types for development will come to nothing if there is no capable, efficient and hard-working state to deliver on these investments.  

So as a nation we are advanced in our project of hope and renewal. The opening of the Quadrant offices in South Africa is a testament to the hope and opportunity that we know lies within our country. I want to extend our appreciation to Mr Kommineni for your commitment to be part of our era of hope and renewal. We hope that you will be a brand ambassador for us in the many circles you move in across the four countries where Quadrant has a presence, and beyond.  We note with pride that you currently have offices in the United Arab Emirates, Australia, India and the United States of America.


Our model of economic growth and development since 1994 has been one of inclusive economic growth. We do not believe in or stand for a society where there are those who are massively rich at the expense of those who cannot feed their children. Through our National Development Plan, we have cast a vision where all South Africans are part of our nation’s development and share equally in the country’s economy. 

We are therefore working hard to undo the stubbornly unequal society we inherited as a result of apartheid’s distorted policies. We are doing much to eliminate poverty and ensure that we create an inclusive economy that can be beneficial to everyone. Our mission is to grow our economy and create jobs, especially for young people and women and people with disabilities.

One area that we are tapping into as a nation to overcome the challenges that create an unequal society is through the power of new technology. This is an area that Quadrant can partner with us to explore the multiple opportunities our country has for technology applications, especially in improving how we service and interact with our people. Our government has a very clear procurement process to advance governance which requires all those who want to do business with the State to be registered on a Central Supplier Database. Through this database we ensure that companies adhere to our regulations, uphold the highest ethical standards and comply with the employment regime of our country.

I am certain that our friends from Quadrant have encountered our tech-loving young South Africans. South Africans of all walks of life, from cities to deep rural villages, have been very quick to take up new technology offerings such as those of the smartphone technology. 

As you analyse the local technology market, you will find that the following areas make us a thriving market for new technology: 
1.  Our nation has embraced technology for many of our development solutions.  We are aggressively pursuing technology advancements through the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) that allows us to reach more people quicker and faster when it comes to government’s service offerings while reducing the cost to the State.
2. Our government has affirmed its commitment to a technology-driven environment. We have put in place the legislative and policy regimes to enable technology companies to be in a society where information and communications technologies (ICTs) count.
3. Technology assists in making service delivery convenient for citizens. ICTs help with productivity and is changing the world of work and how we interact with each other on a social level.
4. We believe technology opens trade and tourism. ICTs open channels and markets and friendships and relationships by making the world a far smaller place, thus opening endless opportunities for growth.

I definitely think that Quadrant, as part of your stakeholder-mapping work, should engage the DCDT, which is building new horizons across various technologies.  This includes rebuilding and overhauling our State Information Technology Agency.

Ladies and gentlemen
We see ICT as a driver of job creation and faster economic growth in our nation. To the team at Quadrant, my deep and humble appeal is to use your vast knowledge and experience in technology to drive our national prerogatives:
1.    Tap into our predominantly youthful population who are eager to learn and develop in the area of technology. Use your lessons and experiences from India, especially of the amazing things youngsters in your society are doing in technology. We have a very well-developed institutional coordination machinery though the Presidential Youth Employment Service that is aimed at getting young people into the world of work.
2.    Use your global experience in ICTs for small and medium-size businesses to support the work of the Department of Small Business Development in advancing this important area.
3.    Join the programme where ICT companies and government are participating in rolling out our CyberLabs. The DCDT is driving initiatives such as CyberLabs in communities where young people – and even older folks – can learn about the wonders of technology. In Gauteng, Premier Lesufi is ensuring that young citizens in schools and other youth institutions have full access to technology.  
4.    The GCIS is working with our colleagues in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to ramp up the fight against fake news, disinformation and misinformation and other abuses of the digital platforms. There is extensive need for education on the do’s and don’ts on social media platforms as well as techniques and skills in managing fake and misleading news or information.

In conclusion
As the theme of our 30 years celebration indicates, we are a country which thrives on partnerships. We welcome the partnership with Quadrant to explore the growth of their business and foster the growth of our nation.
I want to thank you for choosing South Africa by opening your new office in Johannesburg. Thank you for inviting us as the GCIS, JDA and Brand SA to share in your proud moment tonight. We wish you every success in your venture here.

Thank You

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