19 April 2017

South Africa: Public Invited to Comment On ICT Strategies

Pretoria — Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele has called on members of the public to provide written inputs on three strategies that are aimed at leveraging technology to modernise service delivery.

The strategies which include the National e-Strategy, National e-Government Strategy and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises strategy are also aimed at radically transforming the ICT sector to make it more inclusive.

The call comes after Cabinet approved that the strategies be gazetted for public comment.

The strategies will contribute to the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) goal of creating an information society and knowledge economy.

ICT SMME Strategy

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services said the ICT SMME support strategy is a direct response to the key objectives of government policy on the need to build an inclusive economic growth, create employment and reduce poverty, as outlined in the NDP and the Nine Point Plan.

"The ICT SMME support strategy aims to unlock the business opportunities and create an enabling business and administrative environment for SMMEs in the ICT sector to thrive into successful and sustainable entities.

"It outlines strategic interventions required to address the current challenges in the ICT sector that constrains the growth and development of SMMEs. It also aims to increase the levels of uptake and usage of ICTs by SMMEs across economic sectors," the department said.

National e-Strategy

The department said the National e-Strategy emanates from Chapter 10 of the National Integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy White Paper and is an essential part of the implementation plan for this White Paper.

"The purpose of the National e-Strategy is to articulate the vision for the development of an inclusive information society and knowledge economy for the country that is based on the needs of the citizens, business and public sector," the department said.

The strategy also articulates the role of government in the use of ICTs to improve service delivery; the involvement of all South Africans in growing the economy; the use of e-commerce, ensuring that the population possess the necessary skills and abilities to use ICTs, as well as developing comprehensive programmes to counter cybersecurity threats.

National e-Government Strategy

The National e-Government Strategy and Roadmap also derives from Chapter 10 of the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper which emphasizes the need to realize the digital transformation of public services.

"The purpose of National e-Government Strategy and Roadmap is to guide the digital transformation of public service in South Africa into an inclusive digital society where all citizens can benefit from the opportunities offered by digital technologies to improve their quality of life.

"This strategy builds on the various e-Government initiatives implemented by a number of departments over the past 14 years," the department said.

Over the next few weeks, the department will embark on provincial roadshows to explain the policies and solicit inputs from members of society, interest groups, labour and business.

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