National government plans to spend R8-billion a year on ICT by 2010, mostly on integrated systems and the Batho Pele Gateway. Total government spend on ICT for the year just ended was about R35-billion.
BMI-TechKnowledge's latest report, "ICT in National Government"reveals that the total ICT spend of National government will increase from approximately 6-billion in 2005/06 to 8-billion in 2010/11 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2,9%.
Lesley-Anne Dos Santos, IT research analyst and co-author of the report states that the South African government is one of the main users of technology in the country. There are major demands placed on government for service delivery and therefore BMI-T expects this trend will continue as the effect of ICT on overall service delivery is proven.
The solutions being developed and delivered are dependent not only on government and its IT arm SITA (the State Information Technology Agency), but are created and rolled out in co-operation with the private sector as well.
A major initiative of the South African government involves the integration of ICT systems into various departments and the provision of information on the governing process online. If effectively implemented, such e-government measures could vastly improve efficiency and customer service.
Projects currently underway include the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), set to streamline financial management, human resources and supply chain management systems at a national and provincial level, and the the Batho Pele Gateway, a portal to the South African governments online presence,.
The South African government had budgeted R35-billion to spend on ICT over the 2007 to 2008 financial year.
“This is obviously a large amount of money which, if well spent, could lead to a significant difference in the overall efficiency of service delivery," says Dos Santos.
Among other key government initiatives is the roll-out of open source software (OSS), which forms an important part of the software ecosystem and is currently being implemented in various government clusters. A key objective of the FOSS Programme Office is to ensure the adoption of Open Document Format (ODF) across all government departments in an effort to allay compatibility issues.