The Western Cape leads the rest of the country in terms of e-innovation capacity and, if used effectively, information and communication technology (ICT) can offer significant potential to empower people in the Western Cape.
However, a "digital divide" exists which separates those who can access and use ICT to gain benefits, and those who do not have access to technology or cannot use it.
In addition, the EC Act of 2006 and the liberalisation of the telecommunications market has ushered in a flurry of activity in the broadband market and this offers scope for new services and lower prices.
Ashraf Patel, ICT research analyst from ForgeAhead, which conducts annual research on ICT status in the South African government, says: "It is important for the Western Cape government to put a mix of ICT's to work for social and economic development, unlock blockages and drive the changes necessary to ensure that ICT is used effectively for service delivery.
"Our research indicates that the Western Cape leads in terms of e-innovation capacity and strategy as well as a comprehensive commitment to e-inclusion through a range of innovative community IT projects that ensure ICTs and e-government access points are available to all municipalities and districts and ultimately its citizens."
ForgeAhead released this study ahead of the Western Cape Local Government Information and Communication Technology Committee (LOGICT): ICT in Government Provincial Conference which will take place today (31 July) and tomorrow.