The BITF policy is a stance defining the course of direction and actions to be adopted by the BITF in the pursuit of empowering Black professionals in the ICT sector. The policy is an overarching principle of direction for Black ICT members to strive towards an endpoint of self-determination, equity and assertion in the ICT sector. This policy is informed by the needs of Black ICT students, professionals and businesses in South Africa. It is informed by the stagnant and almost invisible rate of transformation of the sector to be more representative of the demographic construct of South Africa. It is informed by the needs, aspirations and inspirations of the masses of South Africans who are directly and indirectly effected by ICT. It is informed by social, economic and constitutional precepts that are our reality in South Africa, the very same precepts that must change about South Africa and in particular the ICT sector. The policy of the BITF is as such:;
1. Policy on BITF social construct
The Black IT Forum is a body that is for the self-determination of black people of South Africa as defined by the BBBEE Amendment Act, No.46 of 2013, and in particular in support of the empowerment of Black Africans as the most disadvantaged of the groups within the ICT Sector in the Republic of South Africa.
2. Policy on transformation and structural reforms
The Black IT Forum is committed to debating and pursuing the need and indeed realisation of transformation of the ICT sector at all levels, so that the sector is representative of the demographic construct of the population of South Africa. This is to say the Black IT Forum will strive and lobby Government, Private Sector, Social Sector and Institutions of learning to reform their structures of operation, access and inclusivity to sector activities, economic dissemination as well as authoritative responsibility for black professionals in the ICT sector.
3. Policy on National ICT Agenda
The Black IT Forum aims to represent the interests of black students, professionals, business and people at large at national level engagements. These may include but are not exhaustive to engagements on National ICT Policies, ICT Procurement Policies, ICT Charter, The benefits of ICT in intergovernmental projects, National ICT Forum, ICT Economic Agenda, SITA & other State Owned Entity engagements (Icasa, SABS etc.). The Black IT Forum seeks to bridge the gap between Government, Private Sector and Social Sector in understanding the needs of black people in the sector, through representation of black people as an organised group in support of the best interests of the black collective.
4. Policy on ICT for Education
The Black IT Forum, through its student chapter will pursue the support of learners who are currently studying in the field of ICT, offer support to graduates in the field of ICT and assist aspiring learners who wish to pursue studies in the field of ICT. The database of these students will create a much needed skills pipeline for the ICT sector, thereby offering employers a collective pool of graduates and learners to employ or support through bursary schemes, through an engagement process with BITF. This will vastly add value to the sector as it will be a one stop centre where employers can seek out skilled resources and learners can also showcase their respective skills. The Black IT Forum believes that education is paramount to the development of South Africa and as such sees the Student Chapter as one of the most important pillars that must be supported for the benefit of employers, future employees and South Africa at large.
5. Policy on ICT for Business
The Black IT Forum believes in the developing Black Business by Black Professionals and supports the BBBEE measures initiated by Government as a start, however more needs to be done by the ICT sector with regards to the adoption of BBBEE and the end to the exclusion of black owned businesses in this sector. The Black IT Forum is unashamedly in support of the rights of black people to play a meaningful role in the economy of the ICT sector, not only in government related business but across the board. If we say as South Africans, we support the laws and statutes of this country and are in full support of transformation then it must show not only with government business but private business as well. If the law is respected then it should translate to every part of our operations as a sector and the Black IT Forum believes it is high time that business opportunities in private sector opened up to black business as much as they open up to others. The Black IT Forum will lobby Government and Private Sector with ICT for transformation in business opportunities, for the advancement of Black ICT service providers.
6. Policy on ICT for Professionals
The Black IT Forum will boost the morale of black professionals within the ICT sector by supporting them and their aspirations of growth and development in their places of employment. The Black IT Forum will advocate for transformation and equity in the workplace for the benefit of black professionals. The Black IT Forum respects the right for every business to operate autonomously, however the Black IT Forum will lobby private business as well as government with regards to the transformation agenda and employment equity agenda. As we have stated in our policy on ICT for business, that the law is the law and as a body that supports the advancement of black people within the legal framework as outlined in the laws of South Africa, the Black IT Forum will not shy away from engaging entities in this sector who choose to simply ignore the need for transformation and the prescripts for an equal society by the codes of practice such as BBBEE, Affirmative Action and Employment Equity. It is our view as the Black IT Forum that businesses must represent the demographics of our society at all levels and must take ownership of societal transformation within their workplace environment. We are willing to do whatever is necessary and within our means to assist, debate and find solutions in order for all of us to realise true transformation for the advancement of black professionals in the ICT sector.
In conclusion, let it never be said that the Black IT Forum is a separatist or racist group. On the contrary we are advocating for the economic emancipation of black people in the sector through engagement, inclusive activity and integration people within learning institutes, employment and business, and all for the benefit of creating an equal society. Off course our preference of support is black and so it should be as statistics still prove that in 2015, black people are still the most marginalised in our society and most effected by inequality, poverty and injustice. The Black IT Forum does not seek to oppose or oppress other people in this sector, but only seeks for black people to be empowered and given the opportunity for self-direction and assertion into the economy of South Africa. For black to have ownership of finances, decision making, business influence, learning opportunities and own their destiny.