GijimaAst steps up as Diamond sponsor of Govtech 2006
GijimaAst has stepped up as Diamond sponsor of Govtech 2006, the inaugural government technology conference hosted by SITA (State Information Technology Agency) from 30 October to 2 November 2006 at Sun City.
GijimaAst`s investment in the conference is in excess of R1.2 million and forms part of the company`s strategic vision to assist the public sector in meeting its objectives through effective use of technology.
Through Govtech, SITA aims to create a platform for information and communications technology (ICT) thought leaders from across the globe, government and industry players to exchange ideas and impart information on ICT.
"SITA`s executives are looking at establishing partnerships between SITA, government and industry in executing its legislative mandate to help government deliver services to the citizenry using ICT. As GijimaAst, we have the knowledge, scope of expertise, skilled professionals, technology partners and geographic reach to support government`s objectives of improving service delivery at all levels. In fact, by 2009, government hopes to have advanced its suite of e-government solutions to a point where citizens will see and experience meaningful benefits. ICT is one of five service delivery work streams that will make up government`s single public service plan," explains Thoko Mnyango, Group Market development and Strategy Executive for GijimaAst.
"To this end, a Public Sector Operations unit was created to focus GijimaAst`s engagement at national, provincial and local government level as well as state-owned enterprises. Public Sector Operations is tasked with ensuring that technology investments by government deliver positive returns while meeting service delivery imperatives. Backed by the extensive technological competencies inherent in the group, these imperatives inspire all our interactions," she adds.
Adding ICT to government services, however, does not itself produce "e-government" - new technologies must be implemented hand-in-hand with organisational change and skills development.
"This is where GijimaAst plays a critical role in total and holistic systems integration coupled with training and HR development. Only then can truly citizen-centric services follow, powered through the harnessing of technology, ICT infrastructure and people," says Mnyango.
"E-government is already under way and there are a number of examples of successful implementations that bode well for South Africa`s plans. E-government will significantly increase the quality of public services, helping to increase the transparency of public administrations, fight corruption and encourage better implementation of public policies. As a key role player within the ICT industry in South Africa, GijimaAst has a strategic vision of how the government of the future will function. As a prime driver towards the citizen, government will still have its current departmental structures and service functions; however, to the citizen it will be a single government with central services. Government has already started implementing shared service centres. One is already active within Gauteng Provincial Government and the concept is being fast-tracked to other provinces and national departments. With the citizen now becoming a key focus, the shared services centres will not only be for internal services, but for the citizen too," adds Mnyango.
SITA CEO, Mavuso Msimang adds: "GovTech 2006 seeks to tap into the wisdom and experiences of industry and international players."
He adds that all people in South Africa including the destitute need access to information and resources, and government has an obligation to provide efficient services instantly that will modernise the South African economy. The conference agenda items will include information security, open standards, certification and standardisation of ICT products and services, convergence, e-government strategies, possible ways to reduce costs of ICT provision in the public sector and so on.
"GovTech cannot afford to be simply another talk-shop, to be forgotten once the conference is finished. Our aim is to produce an acceptable compendium of knowledge and reach agreement on how to move ahead, and also include agreed outcomes as well as potential legislative developments," says Msimang.
E-government promises to deliver better, more efficient public services and improve the relationship between citizens and their governments. "The resulting benefits to the quality of life, industrial competitiveness and society can only be realised, however, if administrations change the way they operate. GijimaAst has researched and demonstrated its capability in the field of e-government and is able to tangibly showcase the incredible potential that the government of South Africa`s future can deliver to both citizens and businesses," concludes Mnyango.