Joburg Mayor – Tau: A partnership with the University of Witwatersrand was being established to develop the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, which will focus on information technology innovation and small, medium and micro enterprise incubation.


Braamfontein, the scene of much urban renewal in recent times, is now the site of an exciting new-age software skills and innovation hub, the Tshimologong Precinct. The Precinct is part of an ambitious ICT cluster development programme, Tech-in-Braam, that has swung into action and is making the once dilapidated suburb the new technical heart of South Africa and beyond.

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Metropolis, Cape Town Architect of record: GWA Architects, Johannesburg

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Prof. Dwolatzky:
“Three things are driving digital technology: software, content and devices. Tablets and smartphones are just the tip of an enormous iceberg in terms of innovative digital devices. Enormous innovation is going to happen in that sector, and it’s not going to come from large corporates or someone working alone on a great idea. It’s coming from these types of spaces around the world under the broad name of technology hubs.”

London and North America Tour – April/ May 2014
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Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director of the “Joburg Centre for Software Engineering” (JCSE) at Wits and the current “South African IT Personality of the Year” will be visiting London and the USA on an official Wits University fund-raising trip at the end of April/ beginning of May. His  aim is to raise money and other support for the setting up of a Digital Technology Hub inBraamfontein, Johannesburg.

The Technology Hub concept will be familiar to many of you living in the USA and Europe. Almost every city in the world now has a district, road, building, neighbourhood or precinct where people gather to learn, work and innovate around software development, hardware innovation and digital content creation. London has Silicon Roundabout in Shoreditch, Nairobi has its iHub and Boston has Kendall Square.

Joburg desperately needs such an area – and many of us believe that Braamfontein is a fantastic candidate to become a hugely successful digital-tech precinct. The proposed technology hub will be located in a row of five buildings owned by Wits University in Juta Street -two blocks away from University’s East Campus. Renovations on some of the buildings are complete and other building work is about to start.

It would be really great if you were able to attend an information session at which Barry will present information about this exciting project.


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A Coral Reef in the City

Coral reefs provide the fertile ground for an incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem. The reef is home to many colourful species, is bustling with activity, and is open, without any walls.
We created OPEN to be a coral reef for ideas, where minds can meet and be inspired by the city. OPEN offers fertile ground for new ideas and for making these come to life.


The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) is a three way partnership between government, academia and industry. Based at Wits University, the JCSE is multifaceted with various programmes and facilities positioning it as a focal point of a software development industry for South Africa and the rest of the continent.

The JCSE strongly supports the City’s “Joburg 2030 Vision”, which sees Johannesburg becoming a World Class city with service delivery and efficiencies that meet global best practice. It supports this goal by promoting best practice in software development within an African context; growing the country’s capacity to deliver world class software; and developing research and training initiatives to strengthen the local software development industry.

This is done practically by offering various courses to industry, hosting laboratories, housing start-up companies in its pre-incubator, hosting the Gauteng SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network) and Extreme Programming (XP) forum meetings, conducting research and promoting the adoption of the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) process improvement model in South Africa.

JCSE goals:
  • Improving processes: Promoting international best practice in Software Engineering within an African context.
  • Promoting investment: Establishing a business friendly environment that attracts investment in the local ICT industry.
  • Supporting transformation: Aligning with the objectives of the ICT Charter, to create new leaders and to encourage the growth of SMME’s in the sector.
  • Encouraging innovation: Applied research, technology incubation and IP development.
  • Building capacity and skills: Educating experts to lead Africa’s software development sector.
  • Download: JCSE 2012 – 2013 Annual Report – PDF – 2.1Mb

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    OPEN in Maboneng:

    ‘The REAL VALUE comes from sharing a space
    with people who include entrepreneurs with BIG IDEAS’


    28 Apr 2014

    Start­ups Find Collaborative Work Space in Johannesburg

    In Johannesburg, South Africa, there are a small but growing number of shared office spaces in which sole proprietors and small businesses rent a desk and other services.  For small business owners and start­up companies, this route not only provides cheaper overhead for workspace, but it also helps entrepreneurs network.   The OPEN Collaborative Workspace is on the fourth floor of a building in an artsy, up and coming area just south of downtown Johannesburg, in a neighborhood called Maboneng. Inside, it is a large open space, with meeting rooms and work rooms off to the side.  There are dozens of tables and chairs set up as desks, couches for meetings, floor­to­ceiling windows with views of the city outside, a full coffee bar with an on­site barista, and some recreational activities to take a break. "We are standing on a custom built nine­hole putting green.  The thought behind it was everyone thinks business is done on a golf course.  We could not build a golf course in Maboneng, unfortunately, so we built the putting green.  ...  It is a versatile space, and it also gives a little break away for members and people visiting the space to come and putt along the green, which is quite awesome," said Westleigh Wilkinson.    Wilkinson manages the site and also runs his event planning business from OPEN. OPEN's philosophy is very much based on collaboration and innovation through shared knowledge ... We have got a lot of great stories where businesses have grown into the main change  and Maboneng as awhole,he added.    There are about 30 members of OPEN, mostly small start­up companies in the technology field, although there are also satellite offices for people who run logistics for manufacturing companies and one member who runs an online casino.

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    Email Us
    Prof Barry Dwolatzky
    Landline: +27 (0) 11 717 6390
    Email: barry.dwolatzky@wits.ac.za

    Personal Assistant:
    Jassika Sheikh
    Landline: +27 (0) 11 717 6390
    Email: jassika.sheikh@wits.ac.za

    Barry Myburgh
    Landline: +27 (0) 11 717 6390
    Email: Barry.Myburgh@wits.ac.za
    Mark Seftel
    Landline: +27 10 900 2000
    USA: +1 650 450 4029
    Email: mark@theopen.co.za
    Paul Keursten
    Landline: +27 10 900 2000
    Email: paul@theopen.co.za
    Westleigh Wilkinson
    Landline: +27 10 900 2000
    Email: westleigh@theopen.co.za