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Municipal body launches ICT network

saitadmin May 31,2011 0 Comments

salga logo featured 300x163 Municipal body launches ICT network
The South African Local Government (SALGA) yesterday launched local government ICT network (LGICT) in Pretoria in an effort to enable skills development and sharing among ICT practitioners.

The network is a committed online community for ICT practitioners in the public service delivery environment and strives for better communication and service delivery.

Speaking at the launch, Douglas Cohen, specialist for Economic Development and ICT at SALGA said municipalities traditionally work in silos faced with skills shortages and inadequate budget.

“While differentiated requirements make a universal out-the-box solution approach difficult and almost impossible, we believe that municipalities and the community stand to gain considerable benefit from proven good practice approaches,” Cohen said.

According to Cohen, the SALGA ICT Network is meant to be the national knowledge sharing portal for ICT in local government. The network says some of its objectives should be of help to participants and practitioners nationwide. Sharing all interesting documents like policies, manuals, how to, case and best practices by identifying and promoting best practices in several areas such as backup strategies, document management  are listed as some of the objectives.

Membership of the LGICT Network is free to all local government ICT role players and registration officially yesterday.

For Cohen, ICT in municipalities should not be seen as only a computer and a server but as a service to help them better understand the needs of the citizens.

“Recognising ICT as service that can do things better and efficiently will go a long way in addressing the challenges we face, especially given the advantages it brings”, adds Cohen.

Though Cohen admits ICT can play a big role in addressing issues, he says ICT alone cannot make the difference without proper support. The biggest problem he says SALGA is facing is that it cannot impose any ICT strategy or solution to any municipalities.

“Different municipalities have different business plans and by laws, so it all depends on the political will to be able to succeed, municipalities are independent bodies so it eventually depend if they want to implement whatever have been suggested”, he explained.

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