News | Opinion
“The system is offline.” It’s every South African’s pet peeve when engaging with a government entity.
What if I told you the system being offline is only the tip of the technology failure iceberg when it comes to SA’s public sector digital infrastructure?
The system is not only offline. It’s disparate. It’s disconnected. It’s clunky. It’s ageing. And it’s even non-existent in some cases.
Truth is there isn’t just one system… there are many servicing many different departments in a many different ways.
Few, if any, talk to each other – and the only people that truly lose out are SA citizens.
Following the recent unrest, what if our police force was digitised? What if our security forces were digitally interconnected?
Would the situation have escalated to the degree that it did?
Walk into your local police station right now and you probably won’t find a laptop behind the counter. What you will find is a police officer waiting with pen and form in hand.
Our digital society dictates that we should be far beyond this, especially when the safety and security of citizens are at stake.
From the police force to home affairs to the department of water and sanitation, so many of our government departments are either stuck in a bygone era or operate in isolation with their own system in place.
You would think that one government would have one integrated, interconnected system. Yet here we are – bandied from pillar to post standing in long queues just to get a license renewed.
Surely, with the right technology, these things could be reduced from hours to minutes?
An efficient system will create an effective government and an engaged citizen.
This is one country, not 15 departments. Let us usher South Africa into a connected future we can all be proud of.
Obaray is key account director at Software AG
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