The information society in South Africa: from global origins to local vision

Mary Nassimbeni


The origins and evolution of the concept of the information society are sketched with a view to assessing the extent of its development in South Africa. Key features of the concept are outlined as expressed in seminal writings, global conferences, and declarations from prominent proponents such as the European Union and the G7 group of nations. Using the application of information communication technologies (lCTs) as an important benchmark, the situation in developing countries, including South Africa, an important regional leader, is explored. Opportunities for library and information services in the realisation of an information society in South Africa are identified, highlighting in particular the creation of partnerships in the development and spread of Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs).

Die oorsprong en evolusie van die konsep van 'n inligtingsgemeenskap word geskets met die doel om vas te stel in watter mate dit reeds in Suid-Afrika ontwikkel het. Sleutelkenmerke van die begrip 'inligtingsgemeenskap' word omskryfsoos dit reeds uitgedruk is in kerngeskrifte, wereldkongresse en verklarings van belangrike voorstanders soos die Europese Unie en die G7-nasies. Die toepassing van inligtingskommunikasietegnologie word as 'n belangrike maatstaf gebruik om die toestande in ontwikkelende lande, insluitende Suid-Afrika, te ondersoek. Geleenthede vir biblioteek- en inligtingsdienste vir die daarstelling van 'n inligtingsgemeenskap in Suid-Afrika word gei'dentifiseer. In die besonder word die skep van vennootskappe in die ontwikkeling van veeldoelige gemeenskapsentrums beklemtoon.

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ISSN 2304-8263 (online); ISSN 0256-8861 (print)
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