Input by Deputy Minister of the Department of
Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hon. Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize
During the Occasion of
e-Strategies Africa Conference
at The Vineyard Hotel
13 July 2016
Topic: National eStrategies and eServices
The National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 is that ICT will underpin the development of a dynamic information society and a more inclusive prosperous knowledge-based economy. Seamless infrastructure will meet the needs of citizens, business and public sector, providing a wide range of services required for effective economic and social participation. The NDP further identifies ICT as an enabler, such that it contributes to service delivery, support analysis, build intelligence and create new ways to share, learn and build social capital.
WORLD INFORMATION SOCIETY TARGETS
Yesterday I spoke to you about the United Nation’s move to linking the WSIS Action Lines and the sustainable development goals. Bring this into our discussions today, you will be surprised that many countries have achieved the WSIS target of developing the National eStrategies by 2010 and about 80% of all economies have National eStrategies in place.
Different countries in various parts of the world face varying challenges in the development of either ICT or National eStrategies. There can be no one size fits all for the development of these strategies. In most African countries, ICT strategies are characterized by emphasis on addressing the lack of infrastructure and poor regulatory frameworks.
The NDP identified an action line that there is a need for a National eStrategy that cuts across government departments and sectors of the economy; energy, science, education, and health. The National eStrategy should stimulate demand by promoting e-literacy, stimulate sector growth and innovation by driving public and private ICT investment, especially in network upgrades and expansion (particularly in broadband) and development of local content and applications.
Our work on developing a coherent National e-Strategy continues and is seen as a step which will provide a clear direction for the implementation of e-Government in the public service. The adoption of this strategy will be essential for the transformation and modernization of public service delivery.
In line with our mandate to develop, maintain, sustain and support the implementation of the National e-Strategy, the DTPS has assumed a lead role in establishing the ground-work as part of envisioning process. In undertaking this role the DTPS recognizes that comprehensive and collaborative approach involving all government departments at all levels, government entities, academia, private sector, industry, Civic Organization and the public are paramount to the success of crafting the strategy.
While some different sectors of government and private sectors might have developed or are currently in the process of developing their own respective e-strategies, these would benefit considerably from an Overarching e-Strategy developed at the national level.
E-Government Strategy and eServices Programme
The socio-economic situation of South Africa requires the South African Government to look for efficient and cost effective means to provide service delivery to the citizens through the use of electronic government. The e-Government initiative provides an enormous opportunity to deliver Government services without having to rely on manual processes that require human intervention.
In countries which have a fully blown e-Government services have proved how e-government can improve the quality of public service delivery, increase cost efficiencies and government productivity through the automation of processes. E-Government can also allow users to have access to government information and services anytime and from anywhere in the world.
As part of the development of a National eStrategy, the DTPS is also developing a National eGovernment Strategy. The e-Government strategy articulates the overall aim and objectives and will set out the strategic initiatives, which will be prioritised in order to achieve a mature delivery of e-Government services. e-Government in South Africa includes the use of ICT to automate internal processes of Government (commonly referred to as “Government-to-Government or G2G systems) as well as external processes of Government (commonly referred to as Government-to-Citizen or G2C and Government-to-Business or G2B).
In efforts to achieve our vision of delivering e-government services, we have established and provide oversight to the inter-departmental e-Government governance structure by:
1. Ensuring that the e-Government Policy and Regulatory Portfolio are aligned with the Government Agenda and MTEF;
2. Coordinate and secure e-Government programme commitments across departments;
3. Initiate the change management programme across departments, through a skills development programme.
The Department’s Partnership with SITA
We are also working closely with SITA to develop a three year e-services programme. SITA has a track record of developing Government-to-Government (G2G) and Government-to-Citizens (G2C) systems. G2G systems developed by SITA includes:
• Basic Accounting System (BAS),
• Logistic Management Information System (LOGIS),
• National Population Register (NPR),
• Social Pension Fund (SOCPEN),
• Police Crime Administration System (CAS) and
• Electronic National Transport Information System (e-Natis)
G2G systems developed includes:
• Government Websites,
• Batho Pele Gateway,
• SARS e-Filing,
• Department of Labour (DoL) U-Filing and
• Department of Health (DHA) “Trace and Trace”.
I Thank you.