Assessing the e-readiness of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) regional office Western Cape and its customers

Davids, Emihiyah (2011-03)

Thesis (MPA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: e-Governance refers to the utilisation of technology to improve on service delivery, sharing of information, client participation as well as to advance government through the transformation of its internal and external relationships (Shilubane, 2001:40).e-Governance further implies that government disseminates information and renders services to the public through “electronic means” (Manohar, Pulapa and Mellam, 2009:243). On the other hand, e-government is not entirely about electronic service delivery, but part of the continuous restructuring of government to ensure participation from its partners for improved efficacy and success. Therefore e-government is participatory in nature when implemented correctly. This study assesses and evaluates the current infrastructure and current e-initiatives of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Regional Office Western Cape and the extent to which the agency and its customers are ready to adopt e-government. The e-Governance Road Map (ERM) developed by Ernst & Young India for the New Delhi government was used to guide the researcher to assess the level of e-readiness of the SASSA Regional Office Western Cape. The Information and Communication Technology manager and customer care manager of the SASSA Regional Office Western Cape were interviewed and the beneficiaries of SASSA were requested to participate in the completion of questionnaires. The study found that the customers of SASSA were not as interested in electronic services as in mobile services such as reminders and notifications through short message service (SMS). There are, however, several impediments at SASSA such as an adoption of e-government and m-government, low budget for information and communication technology (ICT) as well as to conduct research among a larger group of SASSA customers. The study mainly recommends that the SASSA Regional Office Western Cape conduct a research study on a larger scale than this research study and to determine the needs of customers in respect of e-services and m-services. Should the agency decide to conduct an e-readiness assessment, the National e-Government Plan (NeGP) of India could be a useful guideline for the implementation of e-governance. The research study strongly recommends that SASSA develops a capacity-building roadmap for the successful implementation of e-governance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: e-Regering verwys na die benutting van tegnologie om te verbeter op dienslewering, die deel van inligting, die kliënte deelname te versterk, sowel as om die regering te bevorder deur die transformasie van interne en eksterne verhoudings (Shilubane,2001:40). e-Regering impliseer verder dat die regering inligting versprei en dienste lewer aan die publiek deur middel van "elektroniese metodes" (Manohar, Pulapa en Mellam, 2009:243). Aan die ander kant, e-regering het nie slegs betrekking tot elektroniese dienslewering nie, maar sluit ook in die deurlopende herstrukturering van die regering om deelname van sy vennote te verseker om doeltreffendheid en sukses te bewerkstellig. e-Regering word dus as deelnemend beskou wanneer dit korrek geïmplementeer word. Hierdie studie bepaal en evalueer die huidige infrastruktuur en e-inisiatiewe van die Suid Afrikaanse Agentskap vir Maatskaplike Sekerheid (SAAMS) Streekkantoor Wes-Kaap en die mate waarin die agentskap en sy kliënte gereed is om e-regering aan te neem. Die e-regering kaart wat ontwikkel is deur Ernst en Young Indië vir die Nieu-Delhi regering was gebruik as riglyn om die vlak van e-gereedheid van die SAAMS Streekkantoor Wes-Kaap te bepaal. Onderhoude was gevoer met die Inligting en Kommunikasie tegnologiebestuurder en die kliëntediensbestuurder van die SAAMS Streekkantoor Wes-Kaap en die begunstigdes van SAAMS was versoek om deel te neem in die voltooiing van vraelyste. Die studie het bevind dat die kliënte van SAAMS nie werklik belangstel in elektroniese dienste nie, maar inteendeel aan mobiele dienste, onder andere kennisgewings deur middel van 'n kort boodskap diens. Daar is egter verskeie hindernisse wat die aanvaarding van e-regering en m-regering bemoeilik soos byvoorbeeld 'n lae begroting vir inligting en kommunikasie tegnologie (IKT) asook om navorsing te doen onder 'n groter groep van SAAMS kliënte. Die studie beveel hoofsaaklik aan dat SAAMS Streekkantoor Wes-Kaap 'n navorsingsprojek doen op 'n groter skaal as hierdie navorsing en die behoeftes van kliënte ten opsigte van e-dienste en m-dienste te bepaal. Indien die agentskap besluit om 'n e-gereedheid assessering uit te voer, word die Nasionale e-Regering Plan (NeGP) van Indië aan beveel as 'n nuttige riglyn vir die implementering van e-regering. Die navorsing beveel sterk aan dat SAAMS 'n vermoë-opbouplan vir die suksesvolle implementering van e-regering ontwikkel.

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