Information technology policy : first steps for the new South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The fundamental question is not whether South Africa should have a National Information Technology Policy to exploit Information Technology (IT), but more fundamentally what kind of government policies and programs for IT make sense. In today's competitive world what kind of policies and programs will be for the betterment of South Africa's economic and social structures? How can the South African government use IT to increase international competitiveness, and at the same time enhance economic and technological progress and create social improvement in the country? These and many other fundamental questions are the basis for this investigation. The starting point of this research was to compare South African IT to that in other countries; Expert opinion was obtained to identify specific issues, goals and technologies, and to propose ideas for government policies to: i) increase the country's competitiveness, ii) enhance its economic and technological progress, and iii) uplift its people. The main points emerging from this research are that the South African government needs to formulate a National IT Policy in order to direct the development of IT. Competitiveness, progress and social upliftment are inseparable and must be balanced when positioning such a policy. The policy should be directed from a high level to ensure that its recommendations are followed.

Bibliography: pages 183-200.