Gauteng announces plan to share ICT infrastructure to speed up service delivery

Gauteng’s Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between all municipalities and the Gauteng Provincial Government, agreeing to share ICT infrastructure, use common operating systems, and make Gauteng a truly integrated city region.

Creecy was presenting the 2018/19 Budget Vote of the Department of e-Government to the Legislature on Tuesday (26 June).

“ICT services cannot be confined to GPG itself. It must also involve our municipalities. This MOU allows the province and municipalities to share infrastructure, use compatible operating systems and ensure that we can access and benefit from each other’s investment in innovation, digital applications and skills development,” she said.

To ensure that the province realise the full benefits on an integrated ICT ecosystem, e-Gov recently conducted an audit of the ICT function in departments. The audit found, amongst other things, inefficiencies, duplication, noncompliance with ICT Norms and Standards inadequate skills and poor management of budgets and expenditure.

“The report, together with a plan to eradicate the duplications and enforce compliance to approved policies, norms and standards, is on its way to the Gauteng Executive Council for approval and implementation,” Creecy said.

To ensure that citizens have a single window to government services, Creecy said a common platform has been created, and 11 services uploaded for use by Gauteng citizens.

These include, amongst others, Education’s online registration for Grade 1 and Grade 8 school admission system; Roads and Transport’s Freight Management Information system; Health’s Nursing Intake Application system; Agriculture’s Gauteng Waste Information system; and Community Safety’s Police Reporting system.

“A total of 32 services will be uploaded by the end of this political term,” she said.

She added that to ensure that these applications and services perform optimally, they are first rigorously tested at the Design and Validation Centre before being launched for use by citizens. She said that a number of steps had also been taken to ensure the network of the provincial government is protected from cybersecurity threats.

“Over the last financial year, our central cybersecurity hub the Gauteng Security Operations Centre scanned close to 36 billion ICT transactions of which 168 million transactions were considered suspicious and analysed, resulting in the successful elimination of 4,500 security threats,” she said.

Speaking about the province’s flagship ICT project, the Gauteng Broadband Network (GBN), Creecy said significant progress has been made to rollout the infrastructure across the province.

“To date, a total of 1,181 GPG sites are connected within the province covering the five developmental corridors,” she said.

“The rollout has resulted in the implementation of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) programme which reduced the telephony costs in the province. At the end of the 2017/18 financial year, VOIP was activated in 150 GBN sites which resulted in significant cost savings, estimated to be in the region of 60% of the current expenditure on telephony.”

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Gauteng announces plan to share ICT infrastructure to speed up service delivery