10 March 2010
A public-private partnership has been launched to help reduce South Africa’s service delivery backlog by placing skilled graduates and high-level training initiatives directly into municipalities around the country.
The Municipal Skills Development Programme – a joint initiative by the South African Local Government Association (Salga), the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LG-Seta), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Microsoft South Africa – will help local governments to use technology more effectively and efficiently.
The project will be piloted by the partners in the Eastern and Western Cape in April.
Based on the successes and lessons learned from this phase, a further two phases will be planned and implemented during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years.
Enhancing service delivery
Salga chief executive Xolile George said unemployed information technology graduates would be placed in key government departments.
“Cornerstones of the programme are the creation of efficient systems, the provision of more skilled people, the promotion of good governance and the driving of effective communication in local government,” he said.
Microsoft South Africa MD Mteto Nyati said that over the next few years, they would help the government to use technology to enhance service delivery. “We’ll do this by placing top graduates in local municipalities, training municipal employees and providing specialised seminars for municipal managers,” said Nyati.
LG-Seta head Sidwell Mofokeng said the placement of clued-up IT graduates would ensure the maintenance of current computer systems and correct upgrades when needed, while at the same time helping staff to utilise the equipment to full capacity.
The DBSA, as specialist large infrastructure funder for government expansion, has a unit dedicated to supporting local government development.
“The demands of the information-based global economy mean that governments today require an advanced set of administrative tools,” said DBSA chief executive Paul Baloyi.