Cabinet has appointed eleven(11) members to the Board of the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) including Department of Public Service and Administration’s Deputy Director-General for Government Services Access and Improvement, Mr Willie Vukela.
“I really appreciate the honour and trust given to me by Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and I welcome this appointment as it will afford me an opportunity to assist in modernising the value chain of the model of how services must be rendered.
“My view is that we must move away from the traditional way of queuing for services, we need this agency to demonstrate how government can interface with citizens with ease.
“This department (DPSA) have the role to play because one of the key functions as per the Constitution and the Public Service Act is service delivery engagements with citizens,” said Mr Vukela in an exclusive interview with The Public Servant.
SITA is the IT business for the largest employer and consumer of IT products and services in South Africa-the government. Recently, Cabinet announced the appointment of SITA’s board members to be led by reappointed interim CEO, Mr Luvuyo Keyise.
Talking about the role that SITA can play in driving service delivery in the country, Mr Vukela said we are in the 21st century where services are now delivered in different platforms such as the electronic platform also known as e-platform.
With his extensive experience spanning close to 17 years, Deputy Director-General Vukela said: “that’s the experience that will assist me to provide that engagement on how can we re-purpose SITA, how can we rebrand SITA to become this new state company that meets the needs of the people, and that come to respond to the call of what government needs to do.
“SITA is a very big entity, if you talk about IT as government; SITA is one institution that needs to ensure that government is able to render services online.
“I can assure you that I’m quite excited that I will be able to assist in ensuring that SITA become the corporate model, the image that government can say, we’ve a company that we cherish.”
According to Mr Vukela, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will pass by if public servants are not ready, adding that what all public servants need are skills. He said the good thing is that the majority of those who are in the public service space own smart phones.
“With those smart phones, public servants are able to do their work, so we don’t have to worry about the lack of technological tools in the public space because already technology is there as an infrastructure.
“As government, we will roll out broadband countrywide, broadband and connectivity is key to ensure that government is able to provide services as required. Therefore, as public servants, we need to begin to be on the cutting edge of technology and to keep pace with the development of technology globally,” he said.
Mr Vukela said South Africa used to be the pioneer of IT in the African Continent, but the country has been overtaken by Kenya, while Rwanda is coming on the sideline.
“We used to be the leader, we backtracked and we need to repurpose SITA as a vehicle that need to bring back that kind of modeling that South Africa can lead precisely in Africa and compete with the best in the world.
“South Africa is are part of the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies-the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
“We are very much instrumental at the ITU which is one of the institutions that provide countries with opportunities to benchmark each other with the best in the world,” he said.
His message to public servants is that: “let us begin to apply the skills and the thinking that we possess as public servants because if we do not do that, government will be lacking behind, we are talking about individuals who are able to manage resources for citizen’s use.
“The purpose of every administration is to meet the people’s needs, how do we meet our citizens, by delivering services to citizens, that is what we must master very well on a daily basis.”
SITA Board Members
Ms Makano Mosidi (Chairperson); Dr Stella Bvuma (Deputy Chairperson); Ms Shery-Lee Moonsamy; Ms Nolitha Pieterson; Ms Zimbini Hill; Ms Olwethu Ketsekile; Dr Tshilidzi Ratshitanga; Dr Rendani Ramabulana; Ms Jeanette Morwane (Department of Communications and Digital Technologies representative); Ms Laura Mseme (National Treasury representative); and Mr Willie Vukela (Department of Public Service and Administration).