National e-Strategy + e-Government Strategy implementation

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Meeting Summary

DRAFT MINUTES OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND POSTAL SERVICES

DATE              :           27 February 2018

TIME                :           09:30

VENUE            :           Committee Room 3, 90 Plein Street

AGENDA         :           Briefing by Department on National e-Government Strategy

                                implementation     

Attendance by Committee Members:

 

Status

Name of Member

Political Party

 

Present

 

Mr Jabulani Mahlangu (Chairperson)

Ms Nokuzola Ndongeni

Ms Juli Kilian

 

 

African National Congress (ANC)

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Cameron Mackenzie

Ms Marian Shinn

 

 

 

Democratic Alliance (DA)

 

Ms Vuyokazi Ketabahle

 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

Apologies

 

Ms Dikeledi Tsotetsi

 

 

 

Members absent

Ms Mapule Mafolo

 

African National Congress (ANC)

 

 

 

Attendance of Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and entities:

 

 

 

Name of delegate

 

 

Designation

 

 Organization

Mr Omega Shelembe

Deputy Director-General

Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS)

Ms Ali Mashishi

Acting Deputy Director-General

DTPS

 

Mr Sidima Ntsangani

Head of Department: e-Government

State Information Technology Agency

 (SITA)

 

Mr Raymond Trout

e-Government Specialist

SITA

Mr V Mthembu

 

Parliamentary Liaison Officer

Ministry of Telecommunications and Postal Services

 

 

 

Parliamentary officials:

 

Ms Hajiera Salie

Committee Secretary

Ms Sinawe Goba

Committee Assistant

Ms Dipuo Thulo

Executive Assistant

 

  1. Opening remarks by the Chairperson

 

The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed all those that were present. He then gave members of the committee the opportunity to introduce themselves followed by the department’s delegation, members of staff as well as guests and observers. He handed over to Mr Shelembe: Deputy Director-General to proceed with the presentation.  

  1. Presentation by Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services(DTPS)

Mr Omega Shelembe, Deputy Director-General made some opening remarks on behalf of DTPS on the National e-Strategy focusing on e-Government. He noted that the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) will serve as an implementation agency and therefore a delegation from SITA has been invited to attend this meeting. Mr Ali Mashishi, Acting Deputy Director-General (SITA) and Mr Sidima Ntsangani, Head of Department: SITA made the presentation on behalf of Department. The presentation highlighted the following issues:

  • Introduction: Digital Society SA and e-Government Strategy and roadmap
  • Alignment with current policies
  • Purpose and aim of strategies
  • National e-Strategy ecosystem
  • Focus pillars
  • Interventions
  • Action plans
  • Why a national e-Government strategy
  • Key strategy recommendations
  • National e-Government strategic approach
  • National e-Government strategy implementation plan and approach
  • Implementation roadmap
  • APP status
  • High level implementation plan
  • Way forward
  • Strategy map

 (A copy of the above presentation are available on request from the Committee Section).

  1. Questions and discussion

Members of the committee highlighted the following issues:

  • The committee expressed concern that the document presented was labelled “confidential” and yet the committee meeting and parliament’s processes are open and transparent. The committee was of the opinion that the document presented to it, lacked refinement and was haphazardly compiled. The department apologised for oversight on their part and indicated that the presentation would be rectified.
  • The committee was concerned that issues conflated in these plans were already depicted in the annual report last year and noted that government needed to be the facilitator of digital economy. The committee felt that there was a need to have a clear practical implementation plan and that outstanding court matters could hamper the implementation process. The committee noted that a detailed framework would be required and that it would hold the department accountable for delivery.
  • The committee enquired as to the engagement with industry role players such as universities, private companies amongst others. The department responded that the private sector has been involved in that it has already existing systems, however, there was a view that private companies does not serve the majority of the people.
  • The committee required a status report to identify dates and the progress made within clear timelines.
  • The committee wanted to know if the Department would empower Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) and wanted more information on where in the Eastern Cape the launch of SMME tracking technology would be located.
  • The committee wanted to know whether provincial governments and metros have been consulted in the process. The department responded that there has been input from metros and provinces and these bodies aided with costs.
  • The committee commended SITA for its hackathon idea used to fast-track delivery of software solutions. The main participants of these initiatives include learners, employees, SMMEs, citizens amongst others.  
  • The committee was of the view that South African Post Office (SAPO) need to be the logistics hub and that the systems used by SAPO should be changed to avoid backlogs. The Department responded that the SAPO e-commerce platform was intended to try to position SAPO to be a logistics hub and that there was with the private sector.
  • The committee requested a written response from the Department within 7 days to address all issues expressed by committee members.
  • The committee requested that the department determine new advances in technology that would excite the committee with the possibilities of e-governance. SITA informed the committee of the developments it was involved with which included easy access to information across departments to identify household profiles, an update on community activities, proactive initiatives from government in respect of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), to create profiles on individuals to identify educational history and the electronic issue of certificates. 
  • The committee wanted to know if there was a possibility that free data may be supplied to communities to access government sites. The department responded that it was engaging with service providers to ensure that people from certain poor communities get a discount on data prices or given free data to interact with government bodies.
  • The committee decided that a future committee meeting should be scheduled with clear details as to the proper implementation plans.

 

  1. Issues to be followed up by DTPS
  • The Department to provide the committee with an updated written presentation within 7 days on all outstanding issues addressed by the committee.
  • The Department to brief the committee at a future scheduled meeting on the National e-Strategy implementation.

 

  1. Other matters

The committee was informed that the Portfolio Committee on Communications cancelled the joint meeting on Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) to take place on 6 March 2018. The committee had requested to schedule a 2 day BDM meeting. A meeting with Universal Services and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) was scheduled in its place. The committee members indicated that the USAASA presentation should include information on set-top boxes rollout and court challenges affecting USAASA.  The committee further discussed the intended Western Cape oversight visit to take place from 27 to 29 March 2018.

  1. Adjournment

The Committee adjourned at 12:45.

 

_______________________                                                  ______________________

Mr J L Mahlangu, MP                                                           Date

Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services

 

Meeting report

Minutes for this committee meeting are not yet available.

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