The Committee convened in a virtual meeting to be briefed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) on efforts to address the long queues and the network challenges at the branches of the DHA.
The DHA told the Committee that factors that contributed to the long queues included unpredictable walk-ins; the discontinuation of Saturday working hours; inadequate leadership and front-office space; unstable IT systems; inefficient workflow processes; and uncoordinated communication strategies.
To reduce unpredictable walk-ins, an appointments system would be deployed at selected offices in the current financial year. Discussions with trade unions about a new shift system that would see offices opening on Saturdays had been unsuccessful.
It was reported that the DHA had 100 mobile units which were equipped with live capture functionality and were deployed across all provinces to render services in rural areas, schools, and hospitals.
SITA reported that a steering committee and various task teams had been established to focus on key issues such as network services and supply-chain management. Numerous interventions had been initiated to address network stability. Of a total of 691 DHA offices, 35 were connected with dual links.
The Committee welcomed the announcement that the DHA was developing an appointments system. Members said this was critical in fighting the long queues at the offices of the DHA. However they remained concerned about systems downtime which affected service delivery. They welcome the linking of the appointments system to the National Population Register to insulate the system against illegal agents. The installation of power generators at 196 offices was welcomed as it would enable those offices to deliver services during power outages. The Committee welcomed the DHA’s commitment to develop purpose-built offices to ensure a conducive environment for service delivery.
High vacancy rates in the civic services and information services branches remained a concern. While the Committee acknowledged the funding shortages in the DHA, it called for strategies to find workable solutions to deal with human resource and technical requirements. The Committee welcomed assurances that the DHA was working with state and private entities to reduce service downtime.
The Committee welcomed the dual connectivity links at offices, but urged the DHA to increase this number. Members emphasised the need for more financial and human resource investment in mobile units, as they had been identified as an effective tool to reach far-flung areas to deliver quality services.
The Committee was disappointed that the discussions between the DHA and labour had not resulted in a shift system to include Saturdays as operating days. Operating on Saturdays would alleviate some of the pressure on the system. Members urged the parties to find middle ground in resolving this impasse for the benefit of the people who depended on DHA for services.
The Committee said it appreciated the commitment made by both the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies and the Minister of Home Affairs to find solutions to perennial challenges of downtime and remained hopeful that they will drive this process to its conclusion. The Committee would continue to receive updates on progress, as this was a critical programme in offering quality services to the people.
Nomination of Committee Chairperson
Mr Eddie Mathonsi, Secretary to the Committee, noted that the Committee needed to appoint a new Chairperson. If more than one person was nominated, the Committee would have to vote on the matter.
Mr M Chabane (ANC) was nominated and duly elected as the new Chairperson.
The Chairperson convened the virtual meeting and welcomed Members and the delegations from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT). The purpose of the meeting was for the Committee to be briefed by the DHA and SITA on the war on queues and the network challenges experienced at the branches of the DHA.
The delegation from the DHA consisted of Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs; Mr Nzuza Njabulo, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs; Mr Tommy Makhode, Director-General (DG); Mr Gordon Hollamby, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Finance and Supply-Chain Management; Mr Thomas Sigama, DDG: Civic Services and Mr Thulani Mavuso DDG: Institutional Planning and Support.
The delegation from SITA consisted of Mr Luvuyo Keyise, Executive Caretaker, and Ms Tania Abrahams, Specialist in Government Relations.
The delegation from the DCDT consisted Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies; Mr Philly Mapulane, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies; and Ms Nonkqubela Jordan-Dyani Acting DG of the DCDT.
Opening remarks by the Minister of Home Affairs
Dr Motsoaledi congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment and Ms M Modise (ANC) for being appointed as the Chief Whip. He thanked Adv B Bongo (ANC) for the work he had done as the previous Chairperson. He commented that the topic of discussion for the meeting was an item that had already been before Parliament. He noted that there were issues coming from as far back as 2015 regarding the unavailability of networks that resulted in a lack of service delivery and caused damage to the reputation of the DHA. He appealed to the Committee to discuss the issues in a way that would bring the matters to an end.
A second issue raised concerned overtime payments for work on Saturdays. He noted that the DHA was in negotiations with the trade unions, but very little progress had been made in this regard. The DHA was now recognised as a security department and had been moved into the security cluster of the government.
Opening remarks by the Minister of Communications & Digital Technologies
Ms Ntshavheni also congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment and expressed appreciation for the work done by the previous Chairperson. She emphasised that the modernisation of the departments was necessary. There was a need to decide on how the procurement responsibilities could be delegated, which required engagements with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). She also emphasised that the financial expenditure would need to be mitigated.
Briefing by the DHA on the war on queues and network challenges
The Committee was briefed by the DHA on the war on queues and the network challenges at its branches that had resulted in delays in service delivery. The DG, Mr Makhode, presented a progress report on interventions made to resolve the long queues at the offices of the DHA. He provided an update on the network-related interventions by the DHA and SITA, and indicated additional implementation plans to strengthen the DHA’s efforts to improve the experience of its clients.
Progress on the intervention strategies
Members were reminded that the DHA had briefed the Committee on 26 November on factors contributing to long queues and the strategies that were going to be implemented in order to effectively manage the queues. The problems identified included unpredictable walk-ins, the discontinuation of Saturday working hours, inadequate leadership and front-office space, unstable systems, inefficient workflow processes, and uncoordinated communication strategies. The following intervention strategies were reported:
- With regard to unpredictable walk-ins, an appointment system had been finalised and would be deployed in selected offices in the current financial year. The system was integrated into the National Population Register (NPR) to allow clients to use their ID numbers to book a slot. This would prevent agents illegally operating in the DHA’s offices from blocking slots in order to sell them to clients to make a profit on the side.
- On the issue of the discontinuation of Saturday working hours, the discussions between the DHA and the trade unions on a new shift system that would see offices opening on Saturdays had not yielded positive results. The proposal from the trade unions included the payment of overtime for Saturday work and the DHA’s compensation of employees budget was not able to accommodate such expenditure. The DHA preferred a shift system that would ensure that the employees worked 45 hours a week, including Saturday, with time off at midweek.
- Regarding inadequate leadership and front-office space, the training of front office managers was ongoing and would now include supervisors and all staff in front offices. The property management team was working with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) on purpose-built offices like the new office in Lusikisiki. Construction of a new office was currently underway in Mokopane, with a possible completion date of December 2021. Following that, construction of offices would commence in Taung, Thohoyandou and Stanger would commence.
- Regarding network problems, there were engagements with SITA about unstable systems. Some of the disconnected sites were attended to. However, there was a need for incidents that were categorised as force majeure to be spelt out upfront. In addition, the DHA was waiting for implementation of a strategy that would give it access to pre-approved service providers so that connectivity services could be obtained without onerous procurement processes. SITA’s promise to implement this in the 2022/23 financial year would be closely monitored. The DHA would be responsible for the upgrade and maintenance of the dilapidated network equipment like routers and switches, while SITA would be responsible for upgrading its switching centres and the expansion of its core network to reduce regional network outages.
- Regarding inefficient workflow processes, the workflow in the offices had been redesigned and the queues were separated based on the reason for a visit to the office. All office managers had been directed to be on the floor for effective management of the work and client flow, and to ensure that managers were visible and accessible to the clients. The inspectorate team had been assisting during peak times until cadets or interns could be appointed to assist with queue marshalling. A team had been set up to visit the high-volume offices for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the operations and efficacy of the offices of the DHA.
- Regarding the expansion of the footprint of the mobile units, the DHA had 100 mobile units of which two were currently dysfunctional. The mobile units were equipped with live capture functionality and were deployed across all provinces. They rendered services at remote rural areas, schools, and hospitals to provide citizens with access to the DHA. This assisted in limiting the number of persons having to visit the offices of the DHA. An additional ten mobile units would be procured during the current financial year with Flat Panel VSAT, and the DHA was augmenting the current MTN 4G routers with Flat Panel VSAT to create dual connectivity.
There were 14 units in the Eastern Cape, nine in the Free State, eight in Gauteng, 13 in KwaZulu-Natal, 12 in Limpopo, ten in Mpumalanga, ten in the Northern Cape, nine in the North-West, and 11 in the Western Cape. In addition, four out of the 100 units were deployed for special projects. The DHA had partnered with other government departments, such as the Department of Basic Education, to take service delivery to the people.
- Regarding public-private partnerships with banks, the DHA had entered into an agreement with the banks and launched the eHomeAffairs online application service on 7 April 2016. Currently there were 27 bank branches available to service clients requiring services of the DHA. The DHA planned to roll out the service to a further 43 sites. The aim of the initiative was mainly to reduce long queues at the DHA’s offices and to expand the service platforms to allow citizens to apply for Smart ID cards and passports online. Applicants were only required to visit the bank branch to complete the biometrics, thereby reducing the time spent in the bank or at a DHA office. The continued rollout of pilot sites would be completed as soon as possible as this had been outstanding for years. The service was offered at two banks in the Eastern Cape, 17 in Gauteng, two in KwaZulu-Natal, one fin Limpopo, one in Mpumalanga, and four in the Western Cape.
Capacity constraints in the branches of the DHA
It was reported that the DHA currently did not have any funded vacancies in the Civic Services branch. Posts were unfunded as they became vacant and overtime was used to augment staff shortages in some areas and at peak times. In this branch, only 37 percent of positions were filled, and there 9 025 unfunded vacant posts. The DHA also did not have any funded vacancies in the Information Services branch. Out of a total of 208 total posts, 65 were vacant and unfunded, with 139 posts currently filled.
Implementation steps and plans
It was reported that the following implementation steps were necessary: increased use of mobile connectivity; the revision of T systems to deal with bloatware (unnecessary software and components); closer cooperation with other state and private entities in improving access to the internet; and a queue management system.
It was reported that 196 offices of the DHA had already been equipped with generators to handle power outages. Regarding network downtimes, the DHA would finalise its partnership with connectivity equipment manufacturers by the end of October 2021. The procurement processes for the phased upgrade of SITA’s switching centres and the rollout of additional core network routes were in progress.
Regarding queue management, the appointment system would be finalised during the current financial year. In addition, the electronic storage and retrieval of records was underway and scheduled for completion in the 2023/24 financial year. This would allow citizens to access their records from the comfort of their home, and for officials to retrieve and process applications faster by working remotely. Self-service kiosks were scheduled for implementation in the 2024/25 financial year. In addition there was an intervention to fill skills gaps and build capacity through the Presidential Graduate Development Programme.
Briefing by SITA on the war on queues and network challenges
Mr Luvuyo Keyise, Executive Caretaker, SITA, briefed Members on the network challenges experienced at the branches of the DHA.
He told the Committee that various governance structures had been put in place to oversee the service improvement initiatives between SITA and the DHA. Since April 2021, the DHA and SITA had established a Steering Committee and various Task Teams to address network, cloud, and supply-chain management related matters. Numerous interventions had been initiated to address network stability, as was evidenced by SITA meeting the contracted service-level agreements with the DHA.
Services provided to the DHA and the current network performance
In an overview of the DHA’s access network, it was reported that currently almost 53 percent of the DHA sites were on Telkom’s terrestrial access networks which were predominantly based on copper technology. The fibre internet infrastructure in SITA’s core network was provided by Broadband Infraco. SITA owned and operated the routers in the points of presence and switching centres and managed the electrical and mechanical equipment. The primary power was drawn from either Eskom or local municipalities. LTE was utilised to connect the ports of entry, hospitals, and mobile units. VSAT was used to connect sites without LTE coverage. In addition, 35 out of 691 DHA offices were connected with dual links.
The contracted service-level agreement (SLA) with the DHA was for a Bronze Service Level, meaning 95 percent service availability. There was a mean time to respond (MTTr) of four hours, and a mean time to resolve (MTTR) of 16 hours. The metrics were measured during office hours. Downtime due to power failure on client premises was excused from the SLA. Telecommunications companies (Telcos) refused to contract on cable theft and it was instead treated as force majeure. An interim LTE solution was deployed while a permanent solution was acquired. SITA had requested that the DHA identify priority sites to migrate to higher service levels. Daily and weekly reports were submitted to the DHA indicating the status of the DHA’s sites. In addition, SLA reports were presented during the operational meetings and issues that could not be resolved were escalated to the SLA meetings.
Initiatives to improve service delivery
It was reported that SITA had commissioned an independent assessment to identify areas for intervention in order to holistically improve the experience of citizens. An investment plan had been presented to the DHA.
Regarding SITA’s core network, it was reported that Broadband Infraco (BBI) was replacing wooden poles with concrete ones in areas where theft and vandalism was being experienced. BBI was also replacing batteries with standby generators. Based on the experienced failures of the primary and secondary links on the BBI Network, SITA had engaged with BBI to initiate a SLA improvement plan. It was amending the contract to ensure that penalties would apply during outages. Further, SITA was considering appointing a second service provider for the core network to provide redundancy, especially in areas where persistent downtime was experienced.
SITA was in the process of appointing a partner to modernise its core network to be Software Defined Network (SDN) ready and implement a Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) for clients. The tender had closed on 23 July 2021. The next step in the process was the tender evaluation, adjudication, and contracting.
In respect of switching centers, it was reported that a Remote Environmental Monitoring solution had been approved by the Executive Bid Adjudication Committee on 23 July 2021. The next step would be contracting in order to commence with implementation of the solution. SITA had appointed service providers for maintenance and support and diesel replenishment at its switching centres.
Regarding access links, it was reported that SITA had shortened the publication of data lines service requests from 21 days to just seven days. SITA’s Executive had approved an access link consolidation strategy in order to appoint a single service provider per province and region. This would enable SITA to achieve economies of scale and shorten the turnaround times taken to provide connectivity. It was reported that 44 percent of the DHA’s sites connected with copper-based technology, which was susceptible to cable theft. Consolidation would prioritise the migration from a copper-based technology to other technologies.
It was important that the systems be modernised, and SITA was engaging with National Treasury for funding to be made available. The DHA’s multiple data centres needed to be integrated to improve its cybersecurity. This would also improve the performance of the DHA’s systems, and SITA was planning to invest funds in this process. SITA’s role was to proactively assist the DHA to consolidate its data centres and upgrade its technology. Another concern was that there was a need for alternative power at the DHA’s offices to reduce the times networks went down because of power outages.
The Chairperson thanked the delegations from the DHA and SITA for the briefings. He emphasised the need to address the issue of long queues and network downtimes at the offices of the DHA.
Ms M Molekwa (ANC) expressed appreciation for the briefings. She noted that the presentations had captured some of the most important issues related to the improvement of services at the DHA. She welcomed the DHA’s commitment to develop purpose-built offices to ensure a conducive environment for quality service delivery. The offices would reduce the long queues and waiting times. This would also decrease the high workloads of the mobile units in the areas in which the offices would be constructed. She asked for clarity on when the DHA anticipated establishing the eHomeAffairs bank branches in provinces such as the Northern Cape, the Free State, and the North-West.
Ms A Khanyile (DA) noted that there was a need for the DHA to provide the Committee with feedback on a proposal it had made recently to deploy Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers in the Eastern Cape. She asked for clarity on whether the deployment had been successful or not. She appreciated the announcement that the DHA was developing an appointment system, as this was critical in fighting the long queues at the offices of the DHA. She asked for clarity on how the DHA planned to assist people that did not have access to devices that could access these services, and whether any alternatives had been put in place. She asked for feedback on the campaign to prioritise mobile units to assist matriculants with obtaining their IDs. She asked for an indication on when the two dysfunctional mobile units would be repaired, and whether any of the mobile units would be sent to the banks. How would the DHA intervene if there were network challenges in the banks? Would any officials from the DHA be stationed at these banks to ensure that members of the public had access to the DHA for enquiries? She appreciated the presentation from SITA but commented that it was not a true reflection of what was happening on the ground, as seen by Members during an oversight visit. What was SITA doing to assist the DHA to avoid network downtimes that exacerbated the issue of long queues?
Mr M Tshwaku (EFF) appreciated the intervention strategies implemented by the DHA and SITA. He expressed concern about whether there were enough human resources to operate the mobile units. Regarding the piloting phase of the eHomeAffairs services at banks, he asked whether there had been any delays.
Ms L Tito (EFF) asked for clarity on the daily capacity of the DHA to make appointments or provide services and whether there were limits on its daily capacity to provide services to the public.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment, and thanked Adv Bongo for his leadership as the previous Chairperson. It was unfortunate that South Africa was in a position where the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies had been occupied with the matters of network downtimes and long queues for over seven years with very little progress. These matters were embarrassing. They denied basic services to the people of the country while negatively affecting the reputation of the DHA. It was paramount that a permanent solution to these problems be found. The vacancy rate at the DHA was quite alarming and showed the under-capacitation of staff. There was a need for a skills audit to be done, but also a need for measures to fill the gaps where needed. The people of South Africa were dealing with very long queues and dismissive and rude staff members at the DHA’s offices, while the DHA was providing a very basic service to citizens. She welcomed the announcement that the DHA was developing an appointment system, but expressed concern that this system would also be affected by network challenges. She asked for clarity on how many offices would be selected for deployment of the appointment system.
Ms van der Merwe said it was a welcome intervention that the DHA was procuring more mobile trucks but asked for concrete plans on how the mobile units’ connectivity issues would be resolved. How many of the operational mobile units were currently experiencing network challenges or downtimes when they were deployed to rural areas?
The partnership with banks was another project of the DHA that was riddled with delays. She was concerned that not a lot of banks were involved in the project. She noted that there was a need for the Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies to have a plan on how the DCDT’s relationship with the DHA would be improved within a specific timeframe. She asked whether the Task Team appointed was a new one and how its work had progressed thus far. She welcomed the dual connectivity links, but urged the DHA to increase this number, as 35 out of 691 offices was too low. Implementing this intervention could go a long way in addressing the network downtimes. She welcomed the interventions for cybersecurity solutions and asked how secure the DHA’s records were.
Mr A Roos (DA) congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment. He thanked the delegations for the briefings. He also welcomed the announcement that the DHA was developing an appointment system. He expressed concern about the high vacancy rate at the DHA and emphasised the need for more financial and human resource investment to resolve this matter. Network downtimes significantly hampered the effectiveness of the DHA’s staff since the systems were offline for almost 20 percent of the time. What measures had been put into place to measure the staff’s effectiveness and to find the root causes for the DHA’s limited ability to provide services on the necessary scale to serve the people of South Africa? He appreciated the work that was being done by SITA. It was clear that the issue of network downtimes was mostly caused by power-related problems, and this should be addressed with urgency. He welcomed the capacitation of 196 offices of the DHA with power generators, as it would enable these offices to deliver services during power outages and loadshedding. There was a dire need to upgrade and refresh the technology and infrastructure of the offices of the DHA across the country.
Mr K Pillay (ANC) applauded the DHA and SITA for being able to provide services in light of the COVID 19 pandemic. He too welcomed the announcement that the DHA was developing an appointment system and echoed Ms van der Merwe’s question about how people who did not have access to the Internet would be able to use the system to make appointments. He commented that the partnerships with the banks and the procuring of more mobile trucks should be fast-tracked. He welcomed the commitment to increase mobile connectivity, especially given the vandalism of copper-based technology,
The Chairperson appreciated the collective work done by the DHA, the DCDT, and SITA, and thanked the delegations for the update on the progress made. He noted that the Committee would continue to receive updates on progress, as the work being done was critical for offering quality services to the people, especially in light of the time frames provided by the DHA. He was hopeful the appointment system would be a significant intervention in saving people from standing in long queues, sometimes over successive days. He welcomed the innovation of linking the system to the National Population Register (NPR) to insulate the system against illegal agents. He appreciated the procurement of additional mobile units for rural and remote areas where network problems were common. He encouraged the entities to find workable solutions around connectivity problems even in light of constrained financial and human resources. High vacancy rates in the civic and information services branches remained a concern, as these areas were critical for shorter queues. While he acknowledged the funding shortages in the DHA, the Committee called for strategies to find workable solutions to this problem. Despite this, he welcomed the continuous engagement with National Treasury for additional budget allocations. He emphasised the need for more financial and human resource investment in mobile units, as they had been identified as an effective tool to reach far-flung areas to deliver quality services. There was also a need for the budgets of the entities to provide continuously for network and infrastructure upgrades.
Responses by the DHA
Mr Tommy Makhode, the Director-General of the DHA, responded that the DHA was in the process of compiling an intervention plan for the Eastern Cape where the DHA had previously not been offering its full spectrum of services. However, following interventions, the offices were operating quite well. One of the key interventions in the Eastern Cape was to ensure that the DHA had its own office space and to ensure that the buildings were modern and safe to use. The DHA had improved its workflows to ensure that customers were processed more quickly on the same model that was implemented in the new office in Lusikisiki. The DHA’s implementation plan had indicated the entities’ roles and responsibilities, with timeframes.
Regarding the appointment system, he responded that services would still be provided to walk-in customers. The capacity of an office of the DHA would range between 150 to 200 people that were being serviced on a daily basis. Regarding the training of frontline staff, he stated that the Minister of Home Affairs had issued a directive to ensure that staff members were retrained to be conscious of the fact that they served a broader public of diverse people. This would ensure that staff members were friendlier towards the public. The values that were included in the DHA’s Annual Performance Plan needed to be shown by all of its staff members.
Regarding the partnerships with the banks, he commented that the DHA was planning to conduct more piloting tests with the Automated Biometric Information System( ABIS) for identification at the banks.
On the issues of staff capacity and the problems with power outages, he responded that the Minister of Home Affairs had requested senior leadership to ensure that all of the DHA’s offices had generators, and this matter was being expedited. To date, 190 offices had had generators installed to ensure that they remained online and that services could continuously be provided. The DHA would prioritise large and medium offices.
In the Eastern Cape, 75 young people had volunteered to provide a valuable service by extending the DHA’s services to shopping malls. Discussions were ongoing about expanding the initiative to similar malls. One of the innovations with the mobile units was to improve their technology, and more units would be procured. Regarding the deployment of EPWP workers to the Eastern Cape, he stated that the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had offered volunteers that were assisting throughout the province. If additional staff for mobile units became necessary, the deployment of these volunteers would have to be reprioritised. He committed to sharing the deployment plan for mobile units with the Committee before the end of the day.
Mr Thulani Mavuso, DDG: Institutional Planning and Support, stated that the DHA had adopted the approach of prioritising the appointment system for offices that were in areas with high volumes of clients. The appointment system was designed to still have an offline system for booking appointments, but there was a downside that the system then did not pre-populate forms. This meant that the DHA officials must then capture all the details from the NPR, which increased the margin of error. This amplified the need for dual connectivity to avoid networks being down.
Mr Nkidi Mohoboko, DDG: Human Resource Management and Development, added that the DHA was working on a plan to retrain and remobilise staff internally to capacitate the mobile units. Regarding skills audits, he responded that the DHA had already commenced with the process and the focus would be on the Information Services branch as a starting point. Skills audits were also being conducted at different management levels to identify the need for capacitation.
Mr Nzuza Njabulo, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, congratulated the Chairperson on his appointment as the new Chairperson of the Committee. He assured the Committee that the DHA would continue to cooperate with the Committee to ensure that progress was made. The interventions of the DHA, the DCDT, and SITA were very strategic in nature and there was hope that this would bring long-lasting solutions to the problems that were faced. The mobile units had played a significant role in ensuring that the public had access to the services of the DHA and had helped in reaching the entity’s targets. He committed to sharing the plans for a total of 300 deployments a day of the mobile units.
Minister Motsoaledi stated that resolving the issues of connectivity and network downtimes was paramount in improving the DHA’s service delivery. There needed to be progress on these issues which had stretched from 2016 when the same issues were discussed in meetings with the Committee. He noted that the banks were enthusiastic to join the public-private partnership with the DHA, but concern had been about potential reputational damage to the banks because of network downtimes.
Responses by the DCDT and SITA
Mr Keyise responded that SITA was committed to implementing the measures for which it was accountable. While there was a need for dual connectivity for all the offices of the DHA, SITA could confirm that the networks of its other clients, such as the SA Police Service, were stable and that the network challenges could be resolved through this intervention. SITA had reduced its procurement process for bandwidth from 21 to just seven days, enabling the entity to perform its part in a short period of time. SITA would commit to implementing the interventions when mandated by the DHA to do so. It was paramount that these interventions move into the implementation phase. The entities needed to work together to re-engineer the solutions provided to the DHA to improve the DHA’s service delivery. There was a need to keep investing in cybersecurity solutions, and SITA was investing R450 million in this regard.
Mr Philly Mapulane, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, noted that SITA had committed to upgrading their switching centres, and the tender would be awarded within the next two months. At that time, the Committee would be provided with an update on the progress in this regard.
The Chairperson thanked Members and the delegations for the contributions made during the meeting. He added that the entities had noted the Committee’s intention to continue to receive updates on progress, as this was a critical programme in offering quality services to the people.
The meeting was adjourned.
Chabane, Mr MS
Bongo, Adv BT
Khanyile, Ms AT
Legwase, Ms TI
Mapulane, Mr MP
Modise, Ms M
Molekwa, Ms MA
Motsoaledi, Dr PA
Ntshavheni, Ms KPS
Nzuza, Mr NB
Pillay, Mr KB
Ramolobeng, Ms A
Roos, Mr AC
Tito, Ms LF
Tshwaku, Mr M
van der Merwe, Ms LL
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