New life for e-government in South Africa


E-government will be renewed and handled with more vigour, because of its future importance to service delivery, says deputy public service and administration minister Roy Padayachie.

He spoke to ITWeb after a Parliamentary media briefing by the governance and administration cluster of ministries.

Padayachie said this new vigour and importance being accorded to e-government was in line with president Jacob Zuma's state of the nation address.

“These programmes are being finalised and I expect we will see some more solid movement in the coming months. This includes the turnaround strategy for the State IT Agency, which should be finalised within a month,” he said.

In the briefing, it was stated that the Department of Public Service and Administration has begun a process within national and provincial government. This would create awareness on progress made with respect to the next phase of e-government implementation; build a common understanding of what needs to be done as part of the next-generation e-government implementation; garner support for the proposed next steps; and, ultimately, secure commitment to realising the collective vision of enabling e-government and, by so doing, ensure service improvement and better government.

The statement went on to say that following several national and provincial consultative meetings, an agreement was reached on a proposal to develop a prototype of a transversal e-government platform.

“The platform would be transactional in nature, and would automate and enable the six pro-poor services that straddle the social and justice cluster. These services are: application to register birth, application for an identity document, application for foster care grant, application for an old age pension, application for a maintenance order, and application to give notice of death,” the statement says.

However, no answers were provided to exactly how this “transversal system” would be built, operated, or if it was separate from programmes currently under way at the Department of Home Affairs. Also, no idea of budgets or costs was given.