Deputy minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, has stated that government is working on a number of long-term solutions to address the cybersecurity skills shortage in the country.
Addressing the CEO Forum for Cybersecurity in Johannesburg on Tuesday (26 March), Kekana said that in the not too distant future, South Africa will have formal education qualifications ranging from diplomas for school leavers at NQF 5 to graduate and post-graduate degrees
“The intention is to work closely with the SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) and in particular the Reserve Bank, the MICT (Media, Information and Communication Technologies) and SASSETA (Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority,” she said.
“The initiative entails the development of roles and responsibilities for the cybersecurity sector through the identification of Organisational Framework for Occupations (OFO) Codes.
“This OFO will set the base for linking various occupations to specific skills and will assist in identifying further training needs. The next step would be to then engage private service providers to develop cybersecurity training programs,” Kekana said.
To professionalise the industry, Kekana said that a framework has been developed consisting of various job descriptions that will provide a spectrum of careers necessary to build a credible industry.
“These job descriptions will be accompanied by educational requirements that will ensure the candidate has the level of expertise necessary to fulfil the responsibilities assigned to the job.”
Kekana also stressed a need for a concerted and coordinated approach between the private sector, government and academia to close the cybersecurity skills gap.
“Cybersecurity skills are not in abundance across the world, let alone in South Africa,” she said.