South Africa’s public sector will spend as much as $707.6 million (R8.8 billion) on information and communications technology (ICT) expenditure per year by 2019, new research from Frost & Sullivan showed late last week.
This bodes well for e-government service delivery that most public sector departments are pushing through, says the study titled, “ICT Spend in South Africa: Public Sector”.
This will also improve ICT expenditure through investments in infrastructure, software licensing, specialised computer systems and systems development, the report adds.
Frost & Sullivan ICT industry analyst Naila Govan-Vassen, said: “ICT spend will centre around updating IT hardware and data centres and on supporting systems integration, especially within the health, education and administrative departments.”
The report says the public sector saw expenditure in ICT rise to $615.9m in 2014.
This is now projected to reach $707.6m in 2019, with “managed services, combined with fixed and non-cellular connectivity” set to account for about 73.1 percent of these investments.
“South Africa’s National Development Plan, the national integrated ICT policy green paper, and the broadband policy are expected to drive the development and uptake of e-government services,” added Govan-Vassen.
Despite the growing realisation by the government of the importance of prioritising investment and utilisation of ICT platforms to spearhead e-government in service delivery, the private sector is still seen as a major player in achieving this.
Public private investments and partnerships will be needed to spearhead this and enhance greater accountability and sustainability.
“The breadth of knowledge and expertise that the private sector can bring on board will complement the government’s commitment to strengthen ICT integration and accelerate digitisation in the… public sector,” said Govan-Vassen.
However, experts say drawbacks such as limited infrastructure investment and cloud computing security issues should be addressed in-order to help to attain this.