The time is past for talk shows – if South Africa is to solve the problem of service delivery, new and revolutionary strategies have to come into play.
“We are talking about a rebirth,” says Dr Setumo Mohapi, CEO of the State IT Agency (SITA), speaking at the GovTech2017 conference in Durban.
“It has been very frustrating how slowly the service delivery issues have been addressed. One has to accept that,” he says. “But things are happening, there is a definite change and new approaches under way; that will impact positively on people’s lives.”
He says one of the biggest problems was the state and age of the digital apps used to monitor service delivery in all sectors from education to economics.
“We have to work on these issues and solve them together.”
For many that resolution cannot come soon enough. The cries and needs of students at all levels, from tertiary to pre-school, won’t go away with just assurances.
High on the agenda at Govtech2017 is addressing problem statements as understood by the Department of Higher Education and Training on the first day of the conference, which seek to address many of the issues plaguing the higher education system in South Africa.
Among the solutions sought are strategies for the development of capable, well-educated and skilled South Africans who are able to compete in a sustainable, diversified and knowledge-based international economy and ways to reduce the skills bottlenecks that currently exist.
Other far-reaching issues include the implementation of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the administration of the bursary scheme.
However, according to the NSFAS problem statement there is no integrated system at a sector level that is able to provide real-time information in respect of registered students; and these are the kinds of issues that the conference must resolve.