E-govt to reprioritise funds for Gauteng broadband

Read time 2min 40sec
It will cost the Gauteng Department of E-government R2.8 billion to implement phase two of the broadband network project.
It will cost the Gauteng Department of E-government R2.8 billion to implement phase two of the broadband network project.

To fund phase two of the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN) infrastructure project, the Department of E-government will reprioritise ICT expenditure in departmental budgets.

This is according to Barbara Creecy, finance MEC and head of the e-government department, in response to Gauteng Provincial Legislature questions.

Broadband has been identified as a key foundation in the province's e-government strategy, which aims to modernise government operations and service delivery through technology. The GBN project falls under the stewardship of Creecy.

Amid growing frustration, the State IT Agency finally appointed a service provider to rollout the next phase of the GBN infrastructure project in July at the cost of R2.8 billion.

While news of a service provider was welcomed, the question as to where the department would find additional money to fund the broadband network project still lingered.

Creecy, in her reply, attempts to allay fears by stating that reprioritising specific departmental budgets is one of the ways her department plans to fund phase two of the GBN project.

"In 2017/18, the department conducted an as-is audit of the ICT environment in the Gauteng Provincial Government to identify areas of duplication in the ICT services. The audit found duplication in 11 areas.

"This audit is complete and discussions are under way with all provincial departments to eliminate duplication and reprioritise money for the rollout of the local area network and voice over Internet protocol on the GBN. Reprioritising ICT expenditure in departmental budgets is one way in which we will find additional money for the work required.

"The Department of E-government will also discuss with Provincial Treasury the budget availability and rollout timeframes in the budget adjustment process in October 2018."

Goodbye duplication

Last year, the Department of E-government announced it was conducting an audit of all ICT in the province.

This move, according to the department, was to identify duplication and areas of incompatibility within the provincial environment. The department added it was looking to build integrated e-government services, as well as fully digitise back-office and citizen-facing services in Gauteng.

Presenting the 2018/2019 budget vote in June, Creecy reiterated the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) will share its ICT infrastructure with all municipalities across the province in order to build integrated e-services.

According to the MEC, the audit revealed duplication in asset management, e-submissions, case management, documents and records management, recruitment, incident management, human resources management systems, monitoring and evaluation, asset tracking, geographic information systems, as well as network and wireless management.

She explained that instead of using one system, several applications are being utilised across the different GPG departments.

In regards to the extent of savings that will be realised through eliminating duplications, Creecy concluded by saying the e-government department is still assessing.

See also