Availability and utilisation of information and communication technologies for service delivery: a South African case study
AbstractThis study is based on a Masters thesis that investigated whether the availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in government offices within the boundaries of uMhlatuze Municipality improved their ability to deliver effective e-services. The South African government has initiated several ICT initiatives to enable its departments to improve and speed up service delivery to the public. Government departments have been endowed with a number of ICT tools to assist in this process. Despite these efforts, complaints about the lack of service delivery still abound. Three government departments were targeted using questionnaires and interviews. The major findings suggest that various ICTs are available and are used by the staff, but not necessarily for service delivery. Lack of computers and Internet access was identified as a major challenge. The study also found that there is an urgent need for basic training on all the ICT tools available in the offices. It is recommended that a resource and capacity survey is necessary in all the offices to identify shortcomings in the system in order to improve service delivery. Failing this, e-government service delivery will not meet its potential. Additionally, governmental databases should be made available in all the offices so that the services can be delivered locally and not have to be re-routed through either regional or head offices.
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