Spotlight falls on ICT

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Durban - The 5th annual SITA GovTech Conference opened on Monday with a strong call for South Africans to get better access to Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The SITA GovTech conference and exhibition is taking place in Durban.

This year's conference is expected to examine ways to get more value from government spending on Information Communication Technology (ICT). It will also explore options for more convenient ways for citizens to access government services.

There will be discussions about the practical aspects of strategic delivery of ICT and the technological and business aspects of maximising efficiency.

That means during the conference, ways to reduce ICT costs for government and improve government's efficiency and effectiveness will be looked into.

MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Michael Mabuyakhulu in his keynote address said the impact of ICT in all areas of life can no longer be underestimated.

"We have to look for ways where we can harness the power of technology for a better life... Technology continues to contribute and stimulate economic growth," said Mabuyakhulu.

The MEC said developing nations like India, China and Brazil have made great strides in technological advances and that South Africa too can follow suit.

He added that South Africa has the building capacity to become a well equipped nation.

Minister of Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi expressed a similar view, saying the country "is abound with possibilities and is a suitable environment for growth particularly in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector".

According to Mabuyakhulu, the significant contributions of the developing nations have become more prominent when these countries helped to alleviate the effects of the recent recession.

He said technology continuously improves businesses, and government is a business and should be run like one.

The returns need to be filtered through its citizens and improving the country's ICT sector can make this possible.

This principle can also be applied to the rest of the African continent.

"As African countries we should be able to move at maximum speed, craving our own ways... We must ensure that Africa is able to catch up with the rest of the world," said Mabuyakhulu.