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  • 1. Study into the Potential to Utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s) to PromoteInclusion, Public Participation and Accountability in Local Governance. PREPARED BY PROJECT FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MBUMBA DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AND eKHAYA ICT
  • 2. ContentsList of Abbreviations..................................................................................................................................... 41. Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 6 1.1. Context of Participatory Local Governance in South Africa ....................................... 6 1.2. Approach of the Study ............................................................................................................... 9 1.3. Structure of this Document (Roadmap) ...........................................................................10SECTION A: CONTEXT AND LITERATURE REVIEW .....................................................................................112. Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................12 2.1. Aim..................................................................................................................................................12 2.2. Structure of this section .........................................................................................................123. Definitions and Context....................................................................................................................13 3.1. e-government and e-governance ........................................................................................13 3.2. e-Inclusion ...................................................................................................................................15 3.3. e-Inclusion within the SA Municipal Sphere ..................................................................16 3.4. e-Participation............................................................................................................................174. Models for Municipal ICT Transformation ...............................................................................19 4.1. Ferguson’s Methodology ........................................................................................................21 4.2. Developing Criteria for Success ...........................................................................................23 4.3. South African e-Governance Access Models ...................................................................245. Process and Systems Overview using Gartner’s Hype Cycle .............................................26 5.1. Transformational level of maturity....................................................................................26 5.2. Web 2.0 and Gartner Technology Maturity ....................................................................28 5.3. Process Technology for the South African Context......................................................316. Computing Technology Overview ................................................................................................34 6.1. IT Hardware Categorisation .................................................................................................37 6.2. IT Software Categorisation....................................................................................................38 6.3. Mobile Technology ...................................................................................................................40 6.3.1. Established Mobile Application Fields ....................................................................42 6.4. Web sites ......................................................................................................................................45 6.4.1. International Web Site Studies...................................................................................45 6.4.2. Website Studies: SALGA ................................................................................................47 6.4.3. Website Studies: Van der Zee .....................................................................................49 6.4.4. Government Web 2.0 .....................................................................................................51 6.5. Other Technologies ..................................................................................................................53 6.6. Non-Local Government Case Studies ................................................................................557. Legislative and Policy Frameworks.............................................................................................57 7.1. Section 152 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) ................57 7.2. The 1998 White Paper on Local Government ................................................................58 7.3. The Municipal Structures Act (No 117 of 1998) ...........................................................59 7.4. The Municipal Systems Act, 2000 .......................................................................................60 7.5. Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 .....................................................................61 7.6. The Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004 .........................................................................62 7.7. The Electronic Communications Act (Act 36 of 2005) ...............................................628. Conclusion to Section A ....................................................................................................................63SECTION B: CASE STUDIES INTO SOUTH AFRICAN MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATIVE BEST PRACTICE .........669. Introduction ..........................................................................................................................................67 9.1. Potential Case Studies in ICT Usage ...................................................................................67 9.2. Top ten case studies .................................................................................................................69PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 2
  • 3. 9.3. Top three case studies ............................................................................................................70SECTION C: FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................7210. Introduction .....................................................................................................................................7311. Findings and Conclusions ...........................................................................................................74 11.1. Clarifying the Meaning of e-Governance in the Municipal Sphere.........................74 11.2. General Factors that Shape e-Participation ....................................................................74 11.3. ICT’s as Tools of Government Transformation .............................................................75 11.4. e-Government Models: South African Government Proposals ...............................76 11.5. Infrastructure and back-office, not participation requires e-focus .......................76 11.6. Hardware and Software Options ........................................................................................7712. Analysis..............................................................................................................................................79 12.1. ICT’s and Formal Participation in Local Government .................................................79 12.2. ICT’s and Non-Structural Forms of Participation in Local Government ..............8513. General Recommendations ........................................................................................................87 13.1. From e-Government to e-Governance ..............................................................................87 13.2. Focusing e-Participation ........................................................................................................89 13.3. Institutional Culture.................................................................................................................89 13.4. Shared Services and Mentoring ...........................................................................................90 13.5. Independent Civil Society ......................................................................................................90 13.6. Incentives for ICT Enabled Participation .........................................................................91 13.7. Implementation Challenges ..................................................................................................91 13.8. More Detailed Examples of Technology Enabled Participation..............................9114. Model of an ICT enabled Local Municipality .......................................................................93 14.1. Infrastructure Level .................................................................................................................94 14.2. Software Level ............................................................................................................................94 14.3. Informational Level ..................................................................................................................9515. References ........................................................................................................................................97SECTION D: APPENDICES ......................................................................................................................9916. Appendix A: Case Studies ........................................................................................................ 100Ten Initial Case Studies........................................................................................................................... 100Three In-depth Case Studies ................................................................................................................. 13417. Appendix B: Survey Questionnaire ...................................................................................... 17118. Appendix C: e-Participation Municipalities Decision Matrix ..................................... 174PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 3
  • 4. List of AbbreviationsATM – automated teller machineBPM – Business Process ManagementThe Cloud – highly available server infrastructure, which is paid on a per-use basis i.e. per access by customers, per hard disk space used, per Internet bandwidth.COTS – common, off-the-shelf softwareCBP – Community Based PlanningCDW – Community Development Worker(s)CPSI – Centre for Public Service InnovationDCoG – Department of Cooperative GovernmentDPSA – Department for Public Service and AdministrationECA – Electronic Communications Act (2005)EDGE – Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, also known as Enhanced GPRS (see GPRS below)ERP – Enterprise Resource PlanningG2B – Government to BusinessG2C – Government to CitizensG2G – Government to GovernmentGIS – Geographic Information SystemsGIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbHGPRS – General Packet Radio Service: mobile data service available to users of the second generation (2G) cellular communication systems global system for mobile communications (GSM).ICT – Information and Communication TechnologiesIDP – Integrated Development PlanIM – Instant MessagingInfomediary – The use of human intermediaries to provide access to ICT’s for challenged or illiterate users.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 4
  • 5. IT – Information TechnologyIVR – Interactive Voice Response, automated spoken menus that allow callers to select options by dialling a number on their telephone.Mashups – This is a commonly used website technology, which refers to the dynamic (automatic) inclusion of content from third party websitesMesh – Wireless Mesh networks can provide cheap access to communities within a municipality.MFMA – Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003MXit – A South African mobile software application that uses data services to allow its users to communicate with each other and network services.PCM – “Please Call Me” Service (cellular telephony)Plug-in – An extension to a product or service which does not change the basic functionality of the original product or service.RICA – Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, 2008SaaS – Software as a Service (software available only via the Internet, commonly hosted in “the cloud”)SALGA – South African Local Government AssociationSIM (Card) – Subscriber Identity Module, is a removable card which can be used to identify the user of a telephone (see also RICA). The SIM card is a removable electronic medium which can also store logic.SMME – Small, Micro and Medium (sized) EnterpriseSMS – Short Message Service (cellular telephony)USAASA – Universal Service Access Agency of South AfricaVoIP – Voice over Internet ProtocolVVoIP – Video and Voice over Internet ProtocolWiki – Wiki’s are web based software that allows online collaborative editing of shared information.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 5
  • 6. 1. IntroductionThis the final report for the Study into the Potential to Utilize Information andCommunication Technologies (ICT’s) to Promote Inclusion, Public Participation andAccountability in Local Governance. 1.1. Context of Participatory Local Governance in South AfricaThe theory and practice of participatory local governance in South Africa is bound tothe core objectives of local government as set out in Section 152 of the SouthAfrican Constitution viz:  To provide democratic and accountable government for local communities;  To ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable way;  To promote social and economic development;  To promote a safe and healthy environment; and  To encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.Within the policy and legislative framework already outlined e.g. the 1998 LocalGovernment White Paper and the Municipal Systems Act of 2000, the participatoryand accountability aspects of local governance are of major significance. As theGood Governance Learning Network, a national network of NGO’s specialising inlocal democracy, notes: The quality of democracy in South African local governance can be assessed in terms of the opportunities that exist for public participation; transparency of municipal processes; systems and accountability; the extent of corruption; and the nature of the relationships between elected representatives and officials.1The 1998 White Paper on Local Government provides a useful breakdown of thefour key elements of participation: 1. As voters to ensure the maximum democratic accountability of the elected political leadership for the policies they are empowered to promote; 2. As citizens who express, via different stakeholder associations, their views before, during and after the policy development process in order to ensure that that policies reflect community preferences as far as possible; 3. As consumers and end users who expect value for money, affordable services and courteous and responsive service;1 Good Governance Learning Network 2008, Local Democracy in Action, p16PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 6
  • 7. 4. As organised partners involved in the mobilisation of resources for development via for-profit businesses, NGO’s and community-based institutions.These elements provide a useful conceptual lens and framework for understandingthe use of ICT’s and their success or lack thereof in advancing participation andaccountability.The practical enactment of these principles has seen:  A code and guidelines for service standards and delivery (Batho Pele)  Wall to wall ward committees as structured and legally sanctioned forms of neighbourhood participation  Regularly convened forums for involving citizens in planning – the IDP forums  Budgeting cycles that legally oblige municipalities to seek citizen’s input and scrutiny  Public meetings or Indabas convened around key municipal eventsMany of these systems however, have not fully met expectations. For example,public surveys highlight a number of problems with the ward committee modelincluding a lack of clarity around the roles of the ward committee, the ‘stocking’ ofcommittees according to political party loyalties, and lack of resources. Otherweaknesses include poor links with sectoral interests, poor representivity and weakelection procedures.2Clean governance and financial accountability persists as an on-going challenge inlocal government as consecutive Auditor General and National Treasury reportsattest. The Auditor General’s report for the period ended June 2008 indicates thatmore than half (54.4%) of the countries 283 municipalities had either disclaimers,adverse opinions or some degree of qualification in their audit reports. Thepercentage of municipalities cited for unauthorised, fruitless or wasteful expenditurerose from 38% in 2006/2007 to 45% in 2007/2008.It is not surprising therefore, that since 2000 public perception surveys by Markinorand other research agencies suggest that corruption in local government isperceived to be on a par with corruption in government line functions that areparticularly prone to perceptions of corrupt practice e.g. the Department of HomeAffairs.The principal legal instrument to combat financial irregularity and corruption is theMunicipal Finance Management Act, which aims to create more direct accountabilitywithin council, specifically with regard to the decisions and controls exercised bymayors, mayoral committees and finance officers. In spite of this, investigationsshow that the major sources of corruption are tenders and procurement procedures.Government has launched several programmes to deal with these trends; e.g. inOctober 2006 the Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG) launcheda strategy entitled “Government and Communities in Partnership to Prevent2 Good Governance Learning Network 2008, Local Democracy in Action, p 30PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 7
  • 8. Corruption.” This was an outcome of Project Consolidate and was publicised as aninitiative “to promote a culture of good and ethical governance.”Accountability safeguards are also built into the legislative framework. The MunicipalSystems Act includes Codes of Conduct for both Councillors (Schedule 1.) andOfficials (Schedule 2.) The Codes set out legal parameters that govern theprofessional behaviour and conduct of councillors and officials and many of theprovisions are designed to prevent irregularity, corruption and misconduct that wouldpotentially threaten the credibility of local government as an institution.Despite these endeavours, the control that citizens exercise over elected leadershipand municipal officials appears to be weakening. The State of Local GovernanceReport (2009 Working Document) by Cogta notes: A culture of patronage and nepotism is now so widespread in many municipalities that the formal municipal accountability system is ineffective and inaccessible to many citizens.While South Africa has strong structural models for participation, the performance ofthese models is questionable. According to Cogta (2009) there are about 3790wards established countrywide, involving nearly 40 000 community representatives,however, independent NGO research over the last 5 years has been unable to showan appreciable contribution of these bodies to effective municipal – communitycommunication. The 2009 State of Local Governance Report underlines this worrynoting that, “…the functionality and effectiveness of the ward committees is a matterof serious concern.”The Cogta (2009) report also highlights the consequences of weakened publicparticipation and accountability: In respect to community engagement with public representatives, in instances where it was found that there was a lack of a genuine participatory process, due to political instability, corruption and undue interference in the administration, then it can be said that there is a failure to provide democratic and accountable government. This failure is growing as evidenced by the community protests and intense alienation towards local government being expressed by such communities.The most recent and comprehensive response to failings and challenges in localgovernment was the 2010 Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTAS)devised by Cogta largely on the basis of the State of Local Governance Report andother key research produced by the National Treasury. The LGTAS sets out the keyfeatures of an ideal municipality and advocates tailor-made interventions accordingto the specific governance patterns in individual municipalities. The LGTAS is guidedby five strategic objectives: 1. Ensure that municipalities meet the basic service needs of communities 2. Build clean, effective, efficient, responsive and accountable local government 3. Improve performance and professionalism in municipalities 4. Improve national and provincial policy, oversight and supportPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 8
  • 9. 5. Strengthen partnerships between local government, communities and civil societyIt is clear therefore that this study potentially contributes towards all these objectivesand in particular objectives 2 and 5.A broad range of good governance interventions are outlined by Cogta for achievingthe above objectives e.g. working towards clean audit reports, organisedparticipation in IDP processes, properly constituted staffing complements with the“right people for the job” etc. However the interventions that this study would mostclosely align to are: • Improved public participation and communication including effective complaint management and feedback systems • Political office bearers deployed in municipalities are well trained, inducted and have the capacity and integrity to provide leadership in the best interest of communities • Councillors are responsive and accountable to communities • A good citizenship drive encompassing: - Greater involvement in municipal affairs - Ethical behaviour - Prioritising the poor and vulnerable - Loyalty to the Constitution - Volunteering / community service - Transparency and accountability of Public Office - Responsiveness of Public Officials - Support and partnerships - Common national patriotism - Rights and responsibilities are inseparableIn line with these intervention strategies the LGTAS has resolved (within theparticipation / accountability theme) to prioritise the implementation of a new wardcommittee governance model, strengthen transparent supply chain management,use public works programmes to drive ward-based development and use the goodcitizenship campaign to “unite the nation” and mobilise public involvement in localdevelopment.Practical evidence of roll-out of the LGTAS is lacking at this stage (May 2011) butthe design and purpose of this survey would seem to fit well with the intendedpurpose and strategies of the LGTAS. 1.2. Approach of the StudyAs indicated, the broad objective of the study is to identify the potential forstrengthening public participation and social accountability in South African localgovernance through the use of ICT’s, in the form of e-Inclusion and e-Participation ande-Government programmes. In order to ensure that the study remains relevant tosmall / medium local government, the study will make use of a reference model i.e. aPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 9
  • 10. hypothetical small / medium sized municipality which successfully uses ICT’s tointeract with citizens and improve local governanceThe reference model will explain how the municipality can use ICT’s as well asbenefits these will bring and will be constructed from an analysis of the literature.The model is not described in the literature review. The aim of the literature review isto provide the conceptual foundation for programmes of support and engagement topilot and/ or implement the model or components thereof. 1.3. Structure of this Document (Roadmap)This document has three content sections, which follow logically from each other,and an appendix section with additional resources. 1. Section A defines important terms that are used throughout this report and reviews the literature available on international and local best practices. An important result of Section A is to define the two axes that are crucial to the further development of the report in the later sections, namely: a. Models of maturity of local government bodies: these describe transformational processes required to reach e-governance maturity from the organisational perspective. b. A taxonomy of ICT technology and processes: this clusters types of technology together and reviews the technical processes that technology can support in local government and reviews the latest technologies in use by local government. These axes are important as they provide the perspectives for the analysis in Section B and the recommendations and modelling in Section C. Section C suggests which kinds of municipality should utilise which kinds of technological inputs to improve specific dimensions of e-governance. 2. Section B presents a review of innovative ICT use in 10 municipalities. Three municipalities were then short listed and interviews were performed with various stakeholders at each municipality. The three municipalities were selected from a set of 10 municipalities that had been profiled via web and telephone. 3. Section C synthesises the findings from Section A and Section B into firm recommendations for implementation of e-participatory technologies and processes in municipalities. 4. Section D contains appendices which are useful reference resources for the reader.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 10
  • 11. SECTION A: CONTEXT AND LITERATURE REVIEWPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 11
  • 12. 2. Introduction 2.1. AimThis section reviews the literature and the body of existing projects that involve ICT’sand which are relevant to the local government context. Owing to time limitationssome aspects of this study may be fairly cursory as the review attempts to cover theentire breadth of the subject. Particularly noticeable in the literature review is the lackof scientific studies into e-participation in the local government sector. We believethat this is due to the fact that there is an extremely fast rate of development withinthe software industry, combined with the somewhat more cautious approachassumed by government. Thus, the majority of the most innovative local governmentICT developments are only available as project reports and not scientific reports,which is reflected in this section.The aim of this literature review and context overview is to: 1. clarify the concepts of e-Government, e-Inclusion and e-Participation as they appear in ICT literature at international level 2. describe the context in which these terms are used in South African local governance and the way the concepts manifest in actual ICT systems 3. identify and motivate for those ICT’s that have most relevance for small / medium sized municipalities, using a wide variety of reliable business and academic sources 4. provide an overview of the current legislative and policy frameworks, including the Municipal Structures Act, the Municipal Systems Act, the Municipal Finance Management Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act in terms of their relevance to the use of ICT’s in local government. 2.2. Structure of this sectionSection A begins with definitions of e-participation and other important concepts(section 3). e-governance (as opposed to e-government) is the concept used as itencapsulates the democratic (participative, accountable, etc.) notions pertaining to e-government.The next section discusses models of transformation and the criteria that can beused to measure whether an ICT pilot is successful in the local government context(section 4). Section 4 makes it clear that ICT’s can play an important role in theprocess of transformation of local government.Section 5 overviews the processes and systems in government that need to betransformed. These are the type of functions in local government that need to bePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 12
  • 13. addressed in order to set the scene for transformed government functioning. Theseare mostly, large projects that need to be undertaken on a national level and requiremuch investment and coordinated effort.In section 6, an overview of computing technologies is presented together with amore detailed discussion on individual technologies in order to ascertain if there areany quick and easy methods in the ICT toolbox that could be applied withoutcompletely transforming local government. The findings show that there arenumerous things that can be done with ICT’s to engage with the public and thatseveral projects could be employed in the field of e-governance.Section 7 considers the legal and policy frameworks that any ICT intervention atlocal government would have to fit into and questions are raised regarding localgovernment’s fulfilment of its legal obligations.The report concludes with an overview of findings in this theoretical, section.3. Definitions and Context 3.1. e-government and e-governanceMaria Farelo and Chris Morris (2006) of the Department of Public Service andAdministration and the Meraka Institute respectively, define e-government as “…theuse of ICT to promote more efficient and effective government, facilitate moreaccessible government services, allow greater public access to information, andmake government more accountable to citizens.” The South African LocalGovernment Association or SALGA (2010) defines e-government in the samemanner.Martin Ferguson (2002: Executive Summary) identifies a number of trends in thedelivery of local e-government around the world:e-services: securing and providing government services by electronic meansexamples include the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong.e-governance: linking-up citizens, stakeholders and elected representatives toparticipate in the governance of communities by electronic means (including e-democracy) e.g. Brazil, Netherlands, Finland, Italy.e-knowledge: developing the skills and the ICT infrastructure to exploit knowledgefor competitive advantage, e.g. Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland.The 36 case studies in Ferguson’s report examine projects and initiatives that focuson one of the three elements to Gartner’s definition of e-government (Gartner, 2000,and also used extensively in SALGA, 2010), namely customer service, internalefficiency, and citizen’s engagement.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 13
  • 14. In the international literature a useful distinction is made between e-government ande-governance which is not apparent in Farelo and Morris’s (2006) use of e-government as a catch-all term. This distinction is set out below in the discussion ofHolzer and Kim’s 2007 international evaluation of digital governance inmunicipalities.Marc Holzer and Saeng-Tae Kim of the E-Governance Institute at Rutgers Universitysurveyed ICT use in municipalities as part of the Digital Governance in MunicipalitiesWorldwide Survey. They assessed the practice of digital governance in largemunicipalities worldwide in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Holzer and Kim outline animportant distinction between digital government (e-government) and digitalgovernance (e-governance). - Digital government uses digital technology to deliver public services - Digital governance includes digital government but has the additional element of digital democracy i.e. citizen’s participation in governance.Holzer and Kim (2007: 3) provide further insight on the meaning of e-Government asit relates to municipalities: Municipalities across the world are increasingly developing websites to provide their services online; however, e-government is more than simply constructing a website. The emphasis should be more focused on using such technologies to effectively provide government services.In South African government circles, therefore, e-government is equated with e-governance and covers a broad range of considerations from transforming howgovernment works, being more citizen-centred, managing information, public-privatepartnership, customer feedback, and engaging with the public (Farelo, M & Morris,C. 2005: 2) There is also an understanding that e-government has sectoralcomponents such as e-health and e-education. This merging of e-governance and e-government therefore creates a fairly complex notion of service considerations mixedin with work culture, performance feedback and participatory considerations.Whether this departure from the international convention is a useful conceptualapproach is a moot point.e-Government also typically includes intra-government application of ICT’s aimed atgreater efficiency and effectiveness – this element will not be examined in this study.Nevertheless, it is noted that e-Government may also be unpacked according to anunderstanding of the different parties involved in transactional arrangements(government, community, business). This has given rise to a set of acronyms thatdescribe such transactions. The South African e-Government “vision” for example,sets out the priorities and key objectives of government in terms of G2G, G2C, andG2B transactions (Farelo, M & Morris, C. 2005: 5).Section Summary  Many varying definitions of e-government and e-governance exist, which can cause some confusion in a detailed analysis such as this study however the terms of reference point strongly towards an e-governance focusPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 14
  • 15.  The emphasis in e-government rests on ICT use within government for efficiency objectives  The emphasis on e-governance looks at ICT use within the interactions between government and civil society  This study uses the definition of e-governance that covers both efficiency imperatives achieved through digital government and the digital enhancement of citizens participation or participatory local governance 3.2. e-InclusionEuropean Union political stakeholders claim that e-Inclusion is more than theavailability of electronic media to ensure that people can be part of the politicalstructure in question (in Europe, these are the local, regional, national and Europeanstructures). Instead, such media must be actively brought to the constituency by thestate, in order to de-marginalise groups that face barriers in accessing that media,such as the physically disabled and other minority groups. The EU, thus, defines e-Inclusion in the following way3: “The use of ICT to make society fully inclusive,ensuring that the benefits of ICT are made available to everyone withoutdiscrimination.” The inclusive benefit implied in this definition relates to the access toICT rather than the use of ICT to access specific online content or e-governmentservices, where access includes such basics as literacy and the ability to use acomputer or other access device (i.e. it includes training and awarenessprogrammes). In other words, the inclusive benefit is one of being part of theInformation Society (an EU term which refers to a society, or part thereof,possessing skills and the means to use electronic information and the Internet, andICT’s in general.)To emphasise then, according to the European Union, e-Inclusion is not only aboutrelatively passive issues, such as local government making its documents availableelectronically on a website. It concerns society actually partaking in, or making use ofthe information that is available. The EU thus claims to actively engage marginalisedparts of society, bringing them online so that they can make use of their rights toaccess information. In this sense e-Inclusion is closely related to e-Accessibility (EU,2008). This sentiment is also echoed in the Canadian e-inclusion network4. TheDigital Inclusion Network (funded by the Ford Foundation) on the other hand,highlights the confusion surrounding the term “inclusion”, as they focus ondemocratic aspects of the term, although they exclusively use the term “digitalinclusion”.5In this literature review e-inclusion is used in the European Union sense, i.e. accessto ICT, unless otherwise specified. The notion of enhancing democratic life throughthe use of ICT’s to deepen citizen’s involvement in state functions and decision-making is nevertheless noted and clearly has strong theoretical roots.Because of the low broadband penetration in South Africa, e-Inclusion is a seriousproblem, which is recognised and is being addressed by various organisations. e-3 http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/einclusion/index_en.htm - accessed on 2010-12-064 http://e-inclusion.crim.ca/ - accessed on 2010-12-095 http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/inclusion - accessed on 2010-12-09PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 15
  • 16. Inclusion is part of USAASA’s mandate in terms of the Electronic CommunicationsAct (ECA, 2005). e-Inclusion has not been successfully implemented in South Africa,as yet. Many South Africans live in under-serviced areas and thus continue to bedisadvantaged in terms of wealth as well as opportunities to communicate.Section Summary  e-Inclusion is an important aspect of e-governance. It refers to efforts by all levels of government to actively implement policies to connect constituents. It further implies an obligation on the state to expand access to ICT’s. 3.3. e-Inclusion within the SA Municipal SphereIn 2003, a study was conducted for the Centre for Public Service Innovation, entitled“Citizen Access to E-government Services”. The study showed various methods bywhich e-Government may be accessed in South Africa. This study is discussedfurther in section 4.3, South African e-Governance Access Models. In section 5,Process and Systems Overview, actual implementation of the access methods andhow they relate to each other is considered.An indication of the level or nature of citizens’ service empowerment in South Africanmunicipalities can be found in the SALGA report on the state of ICT’s, 2010, whichshows that the number of Internet and computer users in the poorer municipalities isvery low indeed (see draft SALGA report on state of ICT’s, 2010, p.52). In fact forthe worst connected 24 municipalities, the average Internet penetration is at around3%, and computer use is at around 6%. This raises questions about the efficacy ofcommon ICT techniques from the developed world (such as websites) as vehicles topromote e-participation and e-inclusion for disadvantaged citizens and others servedby municipalities of low technical capability.Ready access to ICT’s does not mean that citizens will necessarily be more includedin the procedures and systems of governance. How does e-Inclusion relate to e-Participation where the latter includes considerations of democracy and specifically,a participatory form of government?  Even if one is included, one may choose not to participate for a variety of reasons e.g. political alienation or the belief that the system of government is flawed in a substantive manner (where ICT’s can offer little or no remedy) or that opportunities for participation constitute tokenism.  E-Inclusion can thus be seen as a pre-condition for e-Participation, where the latter implies citizens’ participation in the affairs of state. E- Inclusion therefore enables civic e-Participation but does not guarantee it.This potential dilemma is recognised by Farelo and Morris (2006: 3) in a morecautious assessment of ICT potential, “It is well understood that simply addingcomputers or modems will not improve government, nor will only automating thesame old procedures and practices. Making unhelpful procedures more efficient isnot productive.” Similar sentiments are echoed in a business study by Andriole(2010), which shows that many forms of participatory ICT’s (based on web 2.0technology) do not live up to their promises. We discuss Andriole’s findings further insection 5.2 Web 2.0 and Gartner Technology Maturity.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 16
  • 17. Participatory democracy is impacted by a range of variables, some of which arebeyond the scope of ICT’s. Participation per se requires a motivation forparticipation, an understanding of the relationship between citizen and state andsome degree of trust in the organs of state. These are independent variables thatexist largely beyond the impact of ICT’s.Section Summary  e-Inclusion i.e. ensuring the broadest possible connectivity for the population and the widespread ability to use ICT’s, is a pre-condition for e-Participation, but does not guarantee it. Low levels of literacy and especially ICT literacy in the general population suggests that e-Participation is structurally disadvantaged  e-Participation is however only partly shaped by issues of connectivity and ICT literacy and basic questions of the legitimacy of government and the exercise of citizenship also determine the scope for e-Participation  Web-based ICT interventions have limited relevance for the majority of South Africans unless facilitated by intermediaries (community-based organisations, NGO programmes or social movements that deliberately set out to work with ICT’s). 3.4. e-ParticipationOn-line citizen’s participation in government is a relatively recent area of e-governance study according to Holzer and Kim (2007). The authors suggest that e-participation extends into the arena of decentralised decision-making e.g. via theInternet. This level of engagement and allowing for civic feedback is still in its earlystages of development within municipal government. Nonetheless, e-Participation isdealt with in some detail by the EU: “eParticipation – From ‘electronic participation’.Participation in the processes of government, especially policy-making andlegislation, supported by ICT.”6Some forms of e-participation identified by Holzer and Kim (within their limitedwebsite focus) were:  Online feedback to individual agencies / departments or elected representatives  Online information updates on municipal governance  Online polls on specific issues  Participate in or view the results of customer satisfaction surveys online  Get feedback on municipal performance or publish the results of performance reviews online.  Online bulletin boards or chat rooms for gathering public input on municipal issues  Structured online discussions on particular issues or institutional matters6 http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/events/eparticipation/2009/about/docs/eparticipation_brochure.pdf – accessed on 2010-12-06PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 17
  • 18. What are the prospects for South African municipalities to engage in meaningful e-participation relating to feedback, decision-making, policy options and performanceassessments? The Afrobarometer survey (2008) consistently shows that citizens’trust in local government is lowest compared to other spheres of government. In factthe motivation for citizens’ active engagement with policy and legislative issuesshould not be over-estimated. As Mattes (2007: 2) notes: “But while surveyresearchers may locate receptive allies in smaller civil society organisations devotedto policy research and democracy advocacy, they find no automatic alliance with civilsociety in general.” e-Participation in South Africa may therefore find more relevanceas a function of registering opinion or feedback, rather than contributing to legislatingand decision-making.A further aspect of e-participation being explored in South Africa is the use of ICT’sthrough an intermediary. In this approach an ICT-enabled member of the communitywho is trusted and respected acts as an intermediary enabling information servicesto flow into the community to particular community members, as well as from thecommunity to the rest of the world. The approach is more economic in its focus thansocio-political. The longest running programme investigating this idea is theInfopreneur project of the Meraka Institute which by all accounts, has met with initialsuccesses. The original idea was to create “Infopreneur service bundles” that canassist local business and SMMEs to work together and with first economyenterprises through the channelling of relevant information in both directions (to andfrom the rural areas) (Schaffer et al, 2007). Most recent Infopreneur modelsenvisage ICT enabled intermediaries performing tasks for local government, mainlysurveys of citizens in hard-to-reach areas (peri-urban and rural) of South Africa(Interview with van Rensburg, 2010, also van Rensburg, 2008). The South Africanbased international NGO the Village Scribe Association is another organisationinvestigating this aspect of development, together with Rhodes University and aSAFIPA ICT4D project.Some participatory best practices mediated by ICT’s mentioned by Murray, Caulier-Grice, & Mulgan (2010) are:  Web platforms, which allow participation in specific local government matters, are becoming an indispensable tool for local government. Apart from offering information about public matters in a locality (e.g. information about tourism opportunities, investment opportunities, service opportunities and tenders, etc.), they also allow local government to provide value added services such as traffic reports, interactive GIS systems and RSS (information feeds) among other things (Van der Zee, 2009). Technologies that allow participation, for instance through commonly used social networking platforms such as Facebook, can make a big difference to participatory experiences of citizens. Another web technology that is making a big difference in business (Andriole, 2010) is the wiki, and this technology is mentioned separately below.  Participation in Government via a wiki: New Zealand used a wiki to draft police legislation. Wikis allow anyone to edit a document, while changes are marked and can be undone, thus providing a safe platform for collaboration. The process was very empowering and good ideas were produced. Wikis are a common technology and can be used in any collaborative creation process, such as the drafting of by-laws etc.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 18
  • 19.  AmericaSpeaks or 21st Century town meetings are methods for participation that use ICT’s: real-time voting on current issues in a gathering, similar to the next point.  Citizen Juries: a random collection of citizens provide feedback on contentious issues or even new ideas about problems. This is a device used by the Jefferson Institute in the USA and subsequently in Europe.  Citizen Panels: similar to the above, except much larger more chaotic gatherings occur. The panels can most easily convene and communicate online.  Citizen Petitions: similar to surveys, but the question being explored also comes from the public.  Planning for Real (Tony Gibson), is a non-ICT enabled method which boasts empowerment of citizens through hands-on planning. While heightening participation it is not strictly speaking about electronic participation as the method was developed in 1977, although electronic media could well be part of the process.Section Summary  Aspects of e-governance that promote e-participation are trust and good feedback. It has been argued that these are supported by drawing citizens into decision making processes, “speaking the same language” as the constituents and sharing key information to empower citizens in this process.  Intermediaries may be an effective medium for the promotion or enabling of e-participation in the South African context of poor overall connectivity and weak ICT skills  International experience suggests that e-governance is best facilitated where ICTs are employed to enhance a specific form of engagement between citizen and government e.g. petitioning or registering opinion of specific issues via a poll  Internationally, e-participation best practices often originate from public mass movements or NGO activities – these may be independent of government4. Models for Municipal ICT TransformationAn interesting notion that has emerged in ICT literature is that ICT can shape thevery nature and quality of government. Several authors have postulated that allgovernments advance through certain phases of development as they progresstoward a higher level of ICT integration. These theories are meant to hold,regardless of culture, nationality or the level of government (national or sub-national).Since these models deal with future uncertainty, and try to predict the effect ofrapidly developing ICT’s on all spheres of government, they are strongly abstract andtend to end with a final phase that may be labelled “integrated” or “transformed”.Government progress through such phases is theoretically very desirable, as itallows optimisation of government internal processes and (theoretically) encouragesdirect, controlled participation of citizens and public groups in e-governance, thusPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 19
  • 20. greatly strengthening democracy within a nation. Also it widens the percentage of thepopulation that is empowered to take part in the information society or “networksociety”, (Castells 2000). According to Castells, networked individuals andcompanies have access to tremendous advantages over those that are not, as theycan access global (financial) markets and operate internationally at very low cost.This empowering effect is deemed positive, especially in the South African context.In the thinking advanced by Castells and others, ICT have the potential to empowerselect segments of the population and therefore reduce inequality.The theoretical models presented here end with what is referred to as the“transformational stage” – there is little in the way of literature that tries to predictwhat happens after this stage. The rapid development of ICT’s makes such guess-work error prone, however the progress and evolution of governments through moreadvanced ICT usage seems inevitable.The developmental model frequently referenced in this study is Gartner’s fourphases of e-government model (Baum and Maio, 2000). Gartner Researchpostulates four levels of government maturity: 1. informational (uni-directional) 2. communicational (bi-directional communication concerning minor tasks) 3. transactional (entire transactions, from inception to completion can be carried out online) 4. transformational (government processes are integrated to such an extent that cross-departmental optimisations and synergies can be carried out).[For more information on this model, see e.g. the SALGA e-Government Report2010, p.2.]Personalisation: In contrast to Gartner, the chartered accounting company Deloitteand Touche proposes a six stage model, in which the Gartner phases remainrecognisable. Deloitte and Touche add phases for creation of portals and forpersonalisation of such portals. It is clear that the Deloitte model incorporates adimension, which Gartner sees as orthogonal (independent) to the e-governmentphases, namely that of personalisation (Siau and Long, 2005). This is evident in thefact that each of the Gartner phases can itself be personalised, and thus thisdimension can safely be omitted when theorising. In practice though, personalisationis a key principle of Web 2.0 technology and it has been relegated to that discussion.Participation: Hiller and Belanger (2001) propose a five-stage model where the fifthphase captures public participation in government. This embellishment, similarly tothe Deloitte and Touche additions, seems to be orthogonal to the Gartner model.Each of the four phases represents a deeper aspect of participation by the public ine-government. The authors, however, adopt a broad understanding of participationwhere simply being informed about government actions is regarded as a form ofparticipation. Adding the ability to act on this information naturally increases the levelof participation. Further, the encouragement of participation is not only an electronicconsideration and can occur through a variety of means including non-electronicones.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 20
  • 21. Section Summary  Theorists agree that governments undergo transformation in identifiable phases as they progressively adopt more ICT and the processes that allow efficient use of ICT (and networking in particular).  Since there is no universally recognised theory, the actual progress toward e- government may not be as orderly as surmised and there will be individual variations.  It seems that in a transformed government, the organisation allows communication in a networked manner, rather than enforcing a classical hierarchical pattern on communications. 4.1. Ferguson’s MethodologyWhile the former models describe the phases of development that a governmentmust go through in order to reach greater ICT maturity, Ferguson (2002), developeda methodology, which a government could use to transform itself. Ferguson’s modelfor e-government transformation at local government level involves four basicmethods that address all facets of implementing full e-government in a municipality.The models developed in this study go further than describing the South Africanmunicipality. They make also make suggestions about how a pilot project may beexecuted in compliance with best practices. This section and the following one relateto theories about transformative ICT projects that inform the development of themodel in Section C.Below, we have selected and para-phrased some of the key methods as they relateto the topics being addressed in this study.It is also interesting to note that participation and inclusion play a strong role in thismethodology and that it is thus applicable to any findings in this study.Involvement - Be sensitive to local community needs - Involve a wide variety of stakeholders - Be aware that no single model works for all municipalities - Get on and do something and actively learn.Access Priorities - Work towards outcomes sought by citizens - Balance process with an understanding of customer needs - Learn with communities and interact to expand the scope for local e- government - Champion the use of electronic media and build citizens confidence in this regardPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 21
  • 22. Collaborating and Redesigning - Improve information management for better on-line services - Use expertise from private and other strategic partners to improve front-line services - Consider value of information generated and returns / investments that might flow from this - Seek practical arrangements for data sharing but keep security considerations in mindSearching for Innovation - Seek out the unexpected and look for new opportunities to make progress on change - Consider the role and capacity of citizens and customers to innovate when developing your e-government solution.The relevance of this model to this study is that it roughly describes a methodologyfor local government transformation where the centrality of stakeholders isrecognised. The search for best practices in the remainder of this study takes intoaccount the perspectives of as many stakeholders as possible. Stakeholders that areimmediately apparent with respect to e-governance in South Africa are presented inFigure 1.Figure 1. Stakeholders in South African Municipal ContextPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 22
  • 23. Section Summary  Ferguson’s methodology seems to be universally applicable, and it also seems to be in line with the South African policy frameworks as described in section 7.  This methodology provides a starting point for Part C of this document, see section 1. 4.2. Developing Criteria for SuccessThe previous section made recommendations about how a government mayprogress towards the transformational phase of e-government, with a focus onparticipatory practices. In this section, criteria or methods by which one may be ableto objectively judge whether progress has been made are reviewed.Murray, Caulier-Grice (2010) and SALGA (2010) mention several metrics that can beapplied to measure how well an intervention or implemented model is proceeding.The following are criteria which may apply to an ICT intervention:  Cost-effectiveness analysis has been the most widely used method, primarily by public authorities and agencies to assess a particular proposal or project taking into account costs and benefits not reflected in market prices. As a method its goal is to quantify financially what is external to the market, and is now standard for assessing transport investment and large development projects.  Social Impact Assessment methods have been in use since the 1960s, trying to capture all the dimensions of value that are produced by a new policy or programme. They attempt to estimate the direct costs of an action (for example, a drug treatment programme), the probability of it working, and the likely impact on future crime rates, hospital admissions or welfare payments.  Measuring Public Value (particularly associated with Mark Moore), explores the value associated with public policy. Some of these tie value to notions of opportunity cost, i.e. what people would give up in order to receive a service or outcome whether through payments (taxes or charges), granting coercive powers to the state (for example, in return for security), disclosing private information (in return for more personalised services), giving time (for example, as a school governor) or other personal resources (for example, giving blood). The BBC in the UK uses this method as an aid in decision making.  Life Satisfaction Measures are a particularly interesting new set of approaches (led by Professor Paul Dolan) which compare public policy and social actions by estimating the extra income people would need to achieve an equivalent gain in life satisfaction. One imaginative study of a regeneration scheme, for example, showed that modest investments in home safety which cost about 3% as much as home repairs, generated four times as much value in terms of life satisfaction.  User Experience Surveys. This approach takes the emotional reactions of the users’ into account in a survey and reflects the development of biographical methods as qualitative research techniques in the social sciences.  Outcome Benchmarks, e.g. a survey asking whether people feel a sense of influence over local government decisions after a particular intervention hasPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 23
  • 24. been implemented to raise such influence. Outcome benchmarks generally provide a much more objective measure of social dynamics than the indicators chosen by the implementers of a project.Measuring success objectively is important in any ICT project as different elementsimpact stakeholders in a variety of ways (see Figure 1). Further, it is good practice toobtain consensus on which method should be used before beginning a pilot. Sincemany interests are represented in local government, multiple metrics apply whenmeasuring different aspects of a pilot project, For instance, outcome benchmarksmay be a good way to measure success across the project in general, whereas acost-effectiveness analysis may address administrative imperatives.Section Summary  Several criteria and methods of measurement and analysis may be used to track progress of any ICT intervention. This may be critical to understanding the results of any pilot project. 4.3. South African e-Governance Access ModelsA CPSI e-government access study released in 2003 by the South AfricanDepartment of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the State InformationTechnology Agency (SITA) named seven e-government models that could beadopted in South Africa to allow citizens to access e-Government. These methods ofaccess are important as they address the issue of limited public access to websites,especially in the poorer municipalities. Below, we briefly outline each access method.a) Smart Service Gateway Service PointsThis model enables the provision of services to citizens using technology such asthat of widely accepted ATMs. The CPSI study noted that the model allows thecitizen to perform entire e-government transactions via self-service or just accessinformation. Unfortunately the ATM technology itself poses problems for manydisadvantaged citizens. The Thusong Centres are a realisation of this mode ofaccess.b) Smart Plug-InThis model foresees a closer interaction with the extensive telecommunications andICT networks of agencies. Currently, South Africa boasts the highest deployment ofICT platforms on the continent. Agencies such as Uthingo, the Post Office and PostBank have a wide reach at local level throughout the country. The modelemphasises the need to integrate some plug-ins with, for instance, the Uthingonetwork (CPSI 2003).c) M-ServicesThe model embraces the multitude of mobile subscribers in South Africa. Hence, it isa cornerstone to the implementation of e-government functionalities. One suchexample of e-government strategy rooted within this model is the rapidly growingpopularity of cell-phone banking being implemented by banks and mobile phonecompanies. Government could also integrate e-government functionalities before themobiles reach the customers. The model addresses the objectives of extension ofservices to under-serviced areas (CPSI 2003).PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 24
  • 25. d) Government OnlineThis is the government website, which is discussed in detail in the next section(technology overview). This is a very important mode of access to e-government andhas been legislated as mandatory for local government.e) Gateway Service CentreThis model is reported to be the most visible face of e-government service delivery.The Gateway Service Centre will provide one-stop interaction to the citizen. Themodel emphasizes the need to consider the location, which should ease the citizens’movements, proximity to other services and traffic flow. However, the study reported,the model realizes only the need for centres to be confined to high population densityareas. It is therefore more applicable in big cities and high density suburban areas(CPSI 2003).f) Talk-to-Government: the plain old telephone.Apart from being an appropriate model for under-serviced areas, this model has thecapability of transactions if there is a payment system in place with effectiveauthentication mechanisms (CSPI 2003). The study suggests that the model can bereferred to as an information service model, which can be based on two applications– IVR and call centers. The application of IVR will be best suited to rural areas, thestudy noted. A current example is the presidential hotline.The 2009 presidential hotline is an excellent example of such a service, whichshowed how publicity using the name of the president and technology could becombined motivate citizens to contact the government. According to the Office of thePresident, 30000 calls were serviced in a single year of operation (more than 100per day).g) Computerized Counter ServicesThe model is a key one when e-government is in its initial stages of implementation.The main objective of strategies behind this model is to reduce repeated visits bycitizens. However, the location of the e-government functionality will still be ingovernment offices, though computerized (CPSI 2003).The CPSI is continually upgrading its National Access strategy as applicable toNational and Provincial government (via interview with Kgatliso Hamilton, CPSI).Local government should be more closely tied into these efforts, especially as localgovernment is enabled to provide access through the ECA and is closest to thecommunities.Section Summary  This section focuses on providing e-inclusion to disadvantaged constituents in South Africa. This study attempts to find ways to boost e-participation in such segments of our society.  The South African government is developing and has developed several types of access, which should also be taken into account in any recommendations.  There has not been much success in the past in connecting the masses at a broad based level using technologies. However, connectivity prices are falling and mobile usage is increasing, and thus access methods need to be re- evaluated from time to time.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 25
  • 26. 5. Process and Systems Overview using Gartner’s Hype CycleThis section tries to make sense of the process and systems possibilities open tolocal government to improve or implement e-participation. In order to growgovernment and transform it, its processes must also be transformed (as mentionedabove in the section “ e-Inclusion”). ICT’s, on the other hand, embed particulargovernment business processes in systems. This section investigates the questionof process and systems relevance and priority in government, looking specifically atthe systems that may be required to achieve local government’s goals. Specifically itfocuses on the Gartner publication “Hype Cycle for Government Transformation,2010”. It summarises Gartner’s findings and interpolates to the case of localgovernment, given the South African context.In section 5.1, we review the processes that must be implemented by government inorder to reach the final (“transformational”) level of e-government maturity. Thereason for focusing on the final level is two-fold:  since the final level builds on the previous levels it also encompasses those levels and adds to our understanding of the previous levels  technologies are developing rapidly and may enable us to skip certain initial steps, or one may be able to get ahead with respect to certain technologies, despite other aspects of the e-government lagging behind.In section 5.2, the technologies required or being implemented in developed nationsto bring about transformation are discussed. Several techniques can be utilised topromote e-participation without full integration of government systems.In section 5.3, the innovative governmental IT systems that Gartner has identifiedare reviewed and described in terms of enabling e-participation in the South Africancontext. 5.1. Transformational level of maturityAccording to Gartner, governments are transforming themselves for financial andsocial reasons, and this change, which involves technology, is unavoidable. Thetransformation exists along several technological dimensions, enabling differentkinds of benefits, according to Gartner:“Seamless Socialisation”Gartner refers to the possibility of using data openness along with analytic tools andsocial media and web technologies that can disseminate information widely toincrease government transparency and to enable citizens to understand governmentprocesses better and take part more actively (see also the World Economic ForumAnnual Report, Dutta & Mia, 2011, p. 95). The WEF report lists the followingbeneficial effects of this transformation: a) Create a single version of the truth by consolidating data from all relevant sources, cleansing the data and transforming them so that they are ready for analysis.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 26
  • 27. b) Gain insight into the long-term economic impact of expenditures and make better, more reliable decisions with large-scale forecasting and optimization. c) Clearly communicate the value and results of programs by developing a performance management system that has meaningful, targeted outcome measures. d) Provide valuable insights and essential decision- support information to stakeholders and policymakers by delivering accurate and timely reports on spending and program effectiveness.These technologies are meant to enable a specific form of democracy, which ispresent in many nations that score very highly on the transparency andaccountability index, such as Sweden and Germany. In these countries, participationand awareness of civic duties is promoted nationally and facilitated throughlegislation. Although voting is not compulsory, high voter turnout (above 85%) isnormal. These democracies experience a “seamless socialisation” becausegovernment and the public understand themselves as being part of the same team –i.e. that they are part of the same society; that citizens have an important role to playin government and that government staff are also citizens themselves.It is not in the scope of this document to ask whether South African society can bemoulded to fit models that try to transform government to allow seamlesssocialisation. The approach in this document is rather to note technologies that canwork in the South African context and which to bring government and citizenstogether in a practical fashion.“Commoditisation”Here Gartner refers to the rationalisation of costs of assets that local governmentcontrols and produces as part of its operations. Examples include the sharing ofservices between departments and use of common off the shelf software (COTS) toreduce costs. Additionally, there may be the possibility of local governmentbecoming an information service provider, thus commoditising its own assets.In the case studies in section B, we see that municipalities as producers of data canattract wide audiences, which can in turn generate revenues for the municipality. Anobvious example of this is the Cape Town electricity saving campaign. One of theservices the City would like to offer its citizens is a service to identify the easiestways to save electricity and the nearest shops where necessary supplies could bebought. This service could bring in advertising revenue from suppliers (who couldalso register themselves for the service online), all legalities being observed.“Information Continuum”Here Gartner refers to the future idea of integrated local government systemsadvancing far enough to allow integration with citizen created public data. Suchpublic data sources could augment or even replace some local governmentdatabases, thus blurring the distinction between local government as informationservice provider and consumer.In the South African context, this idea can be equated with public input into the IDPand budget processes (among others). Wards and special interest groups could useICT’s to create their own data sets and change requests, which could automaticallybe communicated to government.“Employee Centricity”PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 27
  • 28. With this idea, Gartner refers to the employees of local government, whose efficiencycan be improved through integrative IT.In the South African context, this most likely translates to capacity building andawareness training that shows the value of systems and processes to theemployees. In the transformational context, it refers to the fact that employeesrecognise that over and above their responsibilities as civil servants, theythemselves are civic actors as individuals who have additional responsibilities inmaintaining transparency and accountability.“Confluence of Information, Operational and Consumer Technologies”By this Gartner refers to the increased technological level of all aspects of society inWestern Nations, which allows a more integrated planning and problem resolutionapproach for governments.Section SummaryThis section outlines in terms of very broad process and technology baseddescriptions, the vision of a new kind of government and society. Such agovernment and society are at the transformational level of maturity. They aretransparent and accountable, and public participation in the government is high. Thecollaboration is enabled through specific ICT systems, which are discussed in thenext sections. 5.2. Web 2.0 and Gartner Technology MaturityIt is not only governments that can be assessed by maturity - the technologies usedalso have varying levels of maturity. Gartner’s Hype Cycle concept prioritises thoseIT supported processes that governments must prioritise during their process oftransformation. This section briefly looks at the IT technologies Gartner recommendsusing, because of their stable nature.The following technologies are listed in the Gartner e-government hype cyclesanalysis 2010. Gartner selected these technologies, because they are the onesmaking the most difference in the business of public authorities at the moment.The list is presented in order of lowest to highest risk when implementing a projectusing such technologies.Mature Technologies - Packaged ERP for GovernmentMaturing Technologies - Advanced Analytics for - Geographic Information Systems Government - Service Oriented Architecture: - Enterprise Content Management Government for Government - Federated Identity ManagementHigh Risk TechnologyIn these cases, some experience has been gathered (sliding into Gartner’s trough ofdisillusionment)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 28
  • 29. - BPM for Government - Internal Communities in Government - Government Domain-Specific COTS - Whole-of-Government Enterprise Architecture - External Communities in Government - Business Intelligence for Performance Management in - Shared Services Government - Government Data InteroperabilityAt the Peak of Hype - Government Cloud - Consumer Social Networks in Government - Private Cloud Computing - E-Discovery for Government - Open Government Data - Public Cloud Computing - Cross-Agency Case Management in GovernmentOn the Rise - Enterprise Information - Open-Source Public-Sector Management Programs Vertical Applications - Citizen Data VaultsThe Gartner Hype Cycle classifies technologies according to their end-user functionand it does not focus on implementation technology. Many of the technologies thatGartner mentions are thus not only concerned with software and hardware, but alsowith the business process of (local) government. This is an important caveatconcerning IT system driven transformation, namely, that IT systems are only asbeneficial as the processes they implement. Very few transformations can be drivenby technology, e.g. from the list above there is perhaps only one topic that could bedriven by IT and not by process and regulations, namely Government Cloud.Nevertheless, it is clear as one delves into the Gartner publication, that the drivingforce behind the transformation is the increasingly networked nature of society andthe emergence of Web 2.0 – technologies that connect “consumers directly toconsumers” in business terms (Andriole, 2010), or citizens directly to citizens. Web2.0 technology can be used to implement portions of most of the functionalityrelevant to citizens and especially to e-participation. Web 2.0 has spurred vastamounts of involvement by the public in content creation and it is perhaps the hopethat this technology can also spur citizen involvement in government that is the ideabehind this study. On the other hand, Gartner sees integrating public web 2.0technology and social media into the municipal ICT infrastructure as risky anduntested and at the peak of hype – everyone is talking about it.Andriole (2010) performed a study on web 2.0 technologies including social mediaand their perception and impact on business organisations. He found that theexpected benefits were generally much higher than the actual benefits. Hecategorised benefits and outcomes of web 2.0 into an impact metric, which hePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 29
  • 30. systematically investigated in US businesses. A rather small sample wasinterviewed: 15 senior managers in 5 large companies. The results of the surveyshow that the expectations regarding benefits to collaboration and communicationimprovements within the companies were realised. However, benefits regardingcustomer relationship management, which is perhaps the closest to citizenparticipation in the governmental sphere, were usually not realised, or the resultswere disappointing. Although not conclusively shown, the managers attitudestowards information sharing, security and privacy may have contributed to thedisappointing results in terms of improving customer relations through web 2.0technologies.An important “maturing technology” is the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) forGovernment. SOA, in general, is used to structure enterprise-wide systems that canoffer the entire organisation access to information and shared services to maximisetheir utility within the enterprise, and also without (in the case of externally availableservices). This technology requires close cooperation in organisations between ITdepartments and business functions (within the municipality these would equate toline departments as well as core departments such as finances, strategy andplanning). SOA, according to Stal (2006) has the important function of bringingbusiness departments and the IT department in an organisation together, and forcingthem to speak the same language. The fact that SOA for Government is considereda maturing technology indicates that developed countries are standardisinggovernment processes and finding a common language among Government and ITpractitioners. A consideration in the South African context is the CPSI InnovationCentre7, which is responsible for bundling best practices and innovation acrossgovernment departments. This new centre has two core offerings. It has created avisual process planning tool, which allows planners to visualise all governmentprocesses in their department (only available at National level at the moment) and itpresents awards to the most innovative departments and units at all levels, annually(information from interview with Kgatliso Hamilton, 2011).Section SummaryThis section serves as a warning that we should not expect too much fromtechnology driven change. Many of the technologies that should be investigated inthis study are only being used in an ad hoc fashion and are noted by Gartner as stillbeing relatively immature and badly understood technologies. Because they are atthe “hype” phase of the technology maturity cycle, they are receiving a great deal ofattention, nevertheless, to expect productivity gains from them is not reasonable.This is especially true of the corporate market where expectations of web 2.0 orsocial software technologies have exceeded the actual impact of the technologies.On the other hand, service oriented architectures (SOA) for government are amaturing technology. SOA require a clear understanding of an organisation’sbusiness processes and they specifically focus on bringing IT and core businessdepartments together and enabling them to speak the same language. This couldalso be critical for the adoption of ICT’s in local government.7 http://www.cpsi.co.za/innovation_centre.phpPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 30
  • 31. 5.3. Process Technology for the South African ContextThis section relates the Gartner publications discussed to the South African localgovernment context. First we look at a core e-government service that Gartnerexpects advanced nations will be implementing within 2 years, but which it would beunreasonable to implement at the SA local government level in the near future.Thereafter, we look at three technologies which could be incompletely implementedat the LG level, and which to some extent are already being used.Challenges to local government in terms of ICT skills availability and ICT awarenessprevent most advanced technologies being implemented at the local level [SALGA,2010]. Strategic e-government initiatives seem to be better housed at the nationallevel, but as surveys have shown, the public do not readily differentiate betweenlevels of government – they expect better service regardless of which level ofgovernment is responsible [IDASA civic report, 2011]. This suggests that any partialbroad based e-government solutions are likely to lead to misunderstanding andconfusion, unless, perhaps, very well advertised and free of charge. The SARS e-government solution is an often quoted example of a successful e-governmentservice, but it is careful to avoid the grassroots population and the informal economy.ICT’s aimed at this segment need to be well supported by municipal processes andtechnologies, otherwise they risk misleading civic users, either because:  the services are not “deep enough” and the citizens never receive an answer, i.e. the automatic processes simply result in more issues clogging the inboxes of civil servants who are not able to process the sudden influx (perhaps part of the problem with the Gauteng e-services crisis), or  citizens receive an answer that is unsatisfactory, e.g. that they are 211 th in the queue and will be serviced within two weeks.Federated Identity Management, is a core topic for any e-government initiative(including such ideas as the electronic citizen file), while useful for e-participation atlocal government level may be a topic for National Government, because of its corenature in describing citizens across all government levels and departments (see theexamples following). Gartner advances the following arguments about FIM:  Federated Identity ManagementAlthough popular, system-by-system identity management is often painfullyinefficient and ineffective:  Users have the problem of different names and passwords for a frustratingly large number of systems.  Systems managers have the cost and difficulty of managing identities, something they are often unqualified to handle.  Also, systems are not very strong — leading to an enormous rise in identity theft and other fraud and abuse.“Federated identity management (FIM) seeks to solve these problems throughcollaboration among institutions, to gain economies of specialization and scale.Federated management is well positioned to provide a cost-effective infrastructurefoundation for citizen, consumer and business identification, authentication andauthorization.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 31
  • 32. The primary benefits for users will be improved convenience through reducedauthentication failures and single sign-on. For service providers, and society at large,federated identity management promises reduced mistakes and increased trust at arelatively low identity management cost.” [Gartner 2010:47]FIM could boost participation in the South African context, for several reasons.Assuming that FIM allows collaboration between silos of information: FIM could, forexample, enable municipalities to access information, which the RICA database,DHA and SARS collect. Such collaboration would have a number of applications fore-participation:  This could allow highly personalised targeting of segments of the market, which have previously been unreachable or very silent – targeted communication has a higher effectiveness.  E-government mash-ups could be enabled – for instance, an eFiling user could be polled on local government issues and her response could be routed to the correct local authority.  Indirect participation could be enabled: the public could vote through their interactions with public facilities, which require that they be identified when they use the facility; for instance if only certain segments are known to use the public access facilities, campaigns could be launched to spread awareness to other segments through capacity building. Similar arguments could apply to use of the clinics, or as another example, registering for social grants through the Department of Social Development could automatically reflect on municipal indigent registers.On the other hand, there are technologies that can be piloted now (without requiringa strategic intervention at the highest level) by ordinary South African municipalities,including the following 3 technologies: 1. Consumer Social Networks in Government:Consumer social networks in government refer to the use of a variety of social-networking sites to better communicate and engage with citizens. This can eithercomplement or be an alternative to the establishment of external communities bygovernment organisations themselves.There are two different uses of consumer social networks that can be (and usuallyare) very independent of each other: a) Establishing an institutional presence to communicate with constituents in virtual spaces where they already are, as opposed to drawing them to government-driven external communities. Such presence includes pages on mainstream social-networking sites, including microblogging sites. b) Empowering employees to use these social networks in the context of their work. By linking social networking profiles with documents, it is feasible, that responses and interaction among employees of large municipalities might be facilitated. These technologies may improve interactions within small municipalities, which possibly have a number of different offices spread across town. Many modern Document Management Systems include social networking aspects.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 32
  • 33. “While the institutional presence on consumer social networks will have a positiveeffect on improving communication with citizens, the real transformational impact willcome from the regular engagement of employees in those networks. The reason isthat this allows them to tap into external content and knowledge that can help thembecome more effective and efficient (for examples, see the Gartner publication "Web2.0 Opportunities Abound in Most Government Domains"). Further, participation inexternal social networks creates more opportunities for informal collaboration withother government employees, possibly competing with collaboration tools deployedinternally. The main business impact will come from the possibility of blurring theboundaries between external and internal collaboration.” [Gartner 2010, p. 20]Consumer social networks include Twitter and Facebook and these are already inuse by many municipalities throughout South Africa. Their use is uncoordinated andthus far there is not much evidence that they have been used effectively. Perhapsthe most effective services seen thus far are by the City of Cape Town, and theseservices are related to service delivery and not e-Participation. It is doubtful that useof consumer social networks for interaction between municipal staff would improveproductivity. 2. Open Government Data“Open government data is public data that is in machine-readable, raw and notaggregate form, accessible to anyone without any requirement for identification orregistration, and for any purpose, possibly in an open format and not subject to anytrademark or copyright. The purpose of open government data is to increasetransparency, favour participation of citizens and other stakeholders, and support theemergence of new services that are based on that data. Early examples of opendata were feeds provided by state and local governments to give visibility to theirperformance.Government organisations that either are required to comply with the mandate ofpublishing open government data or decide to do so autonomously should prioritiseopen datasets in order to maximise the value generated for the organisation. Thetotal cost of ownership as well as the benefits and risks should drive suchprioritisation. Unfortunately, some (if not most) of the uses of the data are hard topredict in advance, and therefore, it is difficult to gauge the value in advance,particularly when the data is integrated in third party applications and consumedthrough multiple channels (mash-ups) and for analytical applications that might, forexample, be able to identify important trends and relationships (in the data) that theoriginating government agency was unaware of.” [Gartner 2010, p. 17] 3. External Communities in Government:External communities are groups of persons or institutions that share a commoninterest in an aspect of local government and have an interface with governmentthrough some form of ICT’s, usually a website. The communities may be well-defined along institutional boundaries, or they may have an ad hoc nature andPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 33
  • 34. include some government employees. Generally, though, the members of thecommunities are external to local government, hence “External communities”. Theidea is that these communities can provide beneficial impulses, feedback and raiseinterest for government initiatives both in the community and in general.Technically, external communities can be hosted and supported by municipalinfrastructure, using technology such as blogs and wikis. Gartner mentions that thismethod may be appropriate where there is a clear purpose and where consumersocial networks do not have "interest" and "capabilities" for getting involved.“External communities will certainly improve the image of government, will improvethe way to engage with established constituencies in policymaking (such asconsumer and industry associations, nongovernmental organisations, and lobbyinggroups), and will have moderate success in engaging individuals or groups that haveno direct interest in politics. Impact is related to: a) how engagement can be more directly connected to service delivery and areas that are of immediate concern for larger audiences; b) the transparency of idea ranking and rating mechanisms; and c) the complementarity and connection with spontaneous initiatives taken by citizen and other groups on consumer social sites” [Gartner 2010, p. 30]An excellent example of an external community is the LED (Local EconomicDevelopment) Network. The website is hosted by government and any interestedparties are welcome to get involved. The LED Network is a project that is usedprincipally to join municipalities and SALGA in focusing on local economicdevelopment issues, although its great strength is that any external organisationscan join and add to the discussion. As the website reports, it is “a forum for theexchange of knowledge and successful LED practice, for municipal peer-to-peersupport and learning across disciplines;” and also “a platform for networking amongpractitioners from different sectors.”Can such communities also be harnessed for other local government issues?Certainly, a community around transparency of tenders for specific municipalitiescould also be instituted as a best practice and other examples can also be raised.One possibility is to look for existing networks of community based organisations andto attempt to incorporate these into government process through ICT’s.Section SummaryThis section looks at the use of specific technologies in the South African context.While some technologies cannot be adopted quickly because they requirewidespread systemic adoption, others are already being used and could be improvedthrough wider marketing, better integration and more effective strategic planning.6. Computing Technology OverviewIn this section, we attempt to draw inspiration for the actual computing technologiesused from as wide a sample of existing and announced projects as possible. All ofthe hardware or software mentioned in this section either exists or will soon exist.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 34
  • 35. Hypothetical or new technologies which could be developed do not form part of thisreview.To guide the research, a categorisation of computing technologies has been drawnup, set out in Figure 2 below.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 35
  • 36. Figure 2. Mindmap of ICT’s relevant to e-participation in municipalities in South AfricaPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 36
  • 37. The list of ICT’s relevant to local government in some respect or other is constantlyexpanding, especially if the innovations in terms of hardware and software are takeninto consideration. This means that examining theoretical results such as modelscannot explain in sufficient detail the kinds of options that are open to localgovernment. A detailed examination of and understanding of some technologicalconcepts is required for government to make informed IT choices.The computing technology chosen is auxiliary to the process technology, asdiscussed in the previous section (5). In this overview, nevertheless, we artificiallyisolate technologies from processes in order to provide some deeper informationabout the key features of actual technologies8.This raises the possibility of undue optimism, as the technological solutions to a hostof participatory problems already exist and may in fact be cost effective in an idealworld. However, the complex parts of the puzzle are the municipal processesrequired to achieve the municipalities’ goals.Local government must thus decide which kinds of processes can help attain itsgoals (for instance e-inclusion) and then attempt to implement those processes usingtechnologies. On must note that, it is possible to develop all processes using a widevariety of technologies, each having different effects and costs.This section begins with a brief overview of the top categories in figure 3, namelyhardware and software in sections 6.1 and 6.2, respectively.In the following sections, the most important technologies are looked at in moredepth:  Section 6.3: mobile technology.  Section 6.4: the World Wide Web (WWW) for local government.  Section 6.5: other technologies that may make a difference and are becoming increasingly popular.South African inventions in the software field are also mentioned in section 9.1. 6.1. IT Hardware CategorisationThis section refers to Figure 2. To gain more understanding about the individualcategories, please refer to the figure, as it contains examples.End-UserEnd-user hardware is hardware which is used by people to do their job. We referhere to devices that the end-user actually touches and with which she interacts. Thiscan be contrasted to hardware deployed in the server infrastructure.8 Gartner (2010) lists possible technologies that “are relevant” to each of its process technologies inthe hype cycle paper discussed in the previous section, but without any further explanation of thecircumstances in which each technology might be used. The Gartner list may be useful as a checklist, with which one can confirm a proposal made by an IT specialist.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 37
  • 38. MobileMobile devices were classically taken to mean cellular phones, but they include anew class of devices – tablets – with a larger viewing area and similar connectivity tocellular phones. While laptops may also be moved, they are usually not counted asmobile, because they are used in a relatively stationary position.FixedFixed hardware is infrastructure which may be difficult to move (because of weight orother physical characteristics) or is not intended to be moved e.g. mesh networks,such as those implemented by “mesh potatoes” (a product9 being promoted by theShuttleworth foundation to improve grassroots access to networking and undercircumstances Internet).HybridThe hybrid class includes devices such as smart cards – portable devices which areprogrammable and contain logic as well as information. Such devices are usually nouse on their own, until they are activated by some fixed infrastructure – similar to abank card and ATM.ServerServers create the skeleton of the IT infrastructure. They are typically always on andserve many clients. Security is of paramount importance in the server world, asservers often constitute a so-called single-point-of-failure. That means that byincapacitating a single machine or a single cluster of machines, vital governmentfunctions may be affected.Cloud ComputingCloud computing is a technology which is revolutionising business at the moment.The use of cloud computing for government is judged to be five years from maturityby Gartner. Cloud computing removes some of the risk of server styleinfrastructures, by providing many machines which provide basic functionalityirrespective of the applications they host. This provides economies of scale for ITadministrators, lowering costs and potentially reducing skill requirements atindividual sites.Section SummaryICT hardware is relevant to e-participation in as far as it allows the variousstakeholders to connect to each other. How people connect and what kinds offunctionality are offered by the hardware is a matter for software applications. Somekinds of applications require a mix of hardware solutions (e.g. web servers arerequired for web sites). 6.2. IT Software CategorisationThe categorisation of software relevant to e-government is a complicated matter. Wehave limited ourselves here to a functional categorisation – i.e. we try to answer thequestion what do people want to do with the software? We are not interested in non-functional aspects such as price, speed of execution or political aspects. Since weare concerned with the participatory aspects of local governance in this overview, wedo not consider internal functioning of the municipality, which requires accounting9 http://www.villagetelco.org/mesh-potato/ - accessed on 2010-04-12PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 38
  • 39. software, CRM packages, ERP packages, etc. even though these may have aneffect on end-user participation, because they can help build trust in the municipality.Instead we focus on technologies with which the end-user will come into directcontact. Since this study attempts to deal largely with the enabling of bidirectionaldata flows between citizen and municipality, we thought it useful to categorisesoftware applications according to their communicative properties:  Internet enabled  Intranet enabled  OfflineSome of the assumptions that underlie the categorisation are:  Mobile devices as well as fixed PC devices are simply computers, which run software and can be connected to the Internet or to an Intranet (or Virtual Private Network – a technique to make Intranets accessible through the Internet).  The difference between mobile devices and fixed PC devices is thus in their physical capabilities, not in their software capabilities. Owing to technology convergence to the Internet Protocol, there is no difference between communication with a cell phone or a PC. Voice is merely another form of data.  Open source vs. proprietary software makes little or no difference to the functionality of a software package.  Non-functional aspects are also irrelevant because of Moore’s “Law”, which states that computing power doubles roughly every two years (while consumer prices stay constant or drop). This law has correctly predicted the trend in computer hardware manufacturing since 1958. It is not just computing power which is growing so rapidly; all other aspects (disk storage, camera capabilities, etc.) are growing just as rapidly. For instance, the amount of data that is transferable across any fibre optic cable doubles every 9 months (so- called Butter’s Law).  An end-user can also be an employee of local government, who is acting as an intermediary for a member of the public.What this software categorisation attempts to do is to rid the discussion in this studyof the confusion between technology categories in order to put the relevanttechnologies into perspective. This is essential in order to focus attention on whatneeds to be done rather than on how it is to be done. Modern software applicationscan be adapted for mobile phones or large screen monitors, as all but the mostrudimentary of cell phones have Java technology. In fact, this is what has made MXitthe largest social network in South Africa with around 27 million registered users.Thus, while websites currently form the technology of choice for local government,this does not necessarily exclude mobile users, although it may require moreinvestment on the part of government to improve the communication efficiency tomobile telephones. Improvement may lower costs for cell phone users and mayimprove usability.Figure 2 contains more examples about the individual categories. Important aspectsabout these categories are dealt with in the following three sections.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 39
  • 40. Section SummaryThis section outlined why the top-level software categorisation was kept to online,intranet and offline, namely that the focus is on communicative aspects of software,in order to help connect citizens and government. Particular attention has been givento explaining the place that mobile devices take in the computing categorisation. 6.3. Mobile TechnologyThis section looks at mobile technology more closely, and explains what kinds oftechnological options are open to local government.Importance of MobileStudies on mobile use and mobile projects, although not specifically for governmentsin Africa, show little mobile use for government purposes (Shackleton, 2007).Recognising this, the World Bank recently released an ICT Sector StrategyApproach Paper (2011). In Annex 3 (ICT, Poverty Reduction and Empowerment) ofthe approach paper, the World Bank states that improved local government is one ofthe main strategic aims into which investments should be made. At the same time,the paper makes it clear that mobile technology is the way to reach the majority ofpeople on the planet.Cellular PhonesCore mobile communication technologies:  Voice – early mobile companies provided no other service, and competing standards such as GSM and CDMA meant that devices were not interoperable between countries. Nowadays, smart phones allow one to make voice calls over 3G data connections, which can be considerably cheaper (when making international calls, while roaming). Prepaid voice calls cost between R1.40 and R3 per minute per call depending on a multitude of factors.  SMS – short message service, is an instant messaging service, which uses cellular and not Internet technology, see the discussion in section 6.5. Costs are variable and carriers are careful to make their pricing strategies as complex as possible in order to prevent direct comparisons among one another. In the following table shows normal advertised rates for single SMS’s (SMS bundles have different rates and conditions): Off-peak Carrier Peak rate rate MTN R0.50 R0.25 Vodacom R0.75 R0.25 Cell-C R0.60 to R0.21  USSD - Unstructured Supplementary Service Data is a method used by the network to allow a mobile phone access to a software application on the network, usually via text menus. It typically costs around R0.60 per minute.  Data – this is the Internet. 3G and GPRS are merely access technologies that influence the speed of the data connection. Costs vary from R2 per megabytePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 40
  • 41. to R0.30 per megabyte. A typical 10 minute VoIP call might consume around 10Mb, and thus cost as little as 3 Rand. Cellular phone operators shape the data transmission, which hinders VoIP calls, by introducing pauses and other residual effects in the conversation. Typical uses of mobile data transfers are: o Browsing regular websites on the Internet (these may automatically detect the mobile access and adapt themselves) o Using custom applications10 like MXit. Although MXit is the most popular, applications exist for thousands of uses such as weather, news, gaming, etc. o Email o VoIP o Updating the telephone software itself. Most cellular telephones support the browsing of regular websites. For the other functionality mentioned above, more advanced handsets may be required. See also the discussion below under “Applications Development for Mobile Devices”.  Please Call Me (PCM) – Most cellular phone operators in South Africa allow their “subscribers” (or prepaid customers) to send free messages to others, with a request to be called back. These messages are absolutely free to the sender. The receiver gets an SMS notifying them that they are requested to call a certain number. The SMS notification also usually contains very brief advertising material.  Informal methods – “Missed calls” and private calling “codes” allow rural cell phone users to escape all costs. “Missed calls” refer to the practice of calling another person and terminating the call after one or two rings. This takes advantage of the fact that mobile phones inform the user of calls that were “missed”. Private calling codes are pre-arranged agreements whereby a certain number of missed calls have a certain meaning to a certain person.  WAP and i-mode – although still used (e.g. in the Multimedia Messaging Service MMS) are technologies that were not widely adopted in Europe, the USA or Africa and have been superseded by the Internet.Beside the cost issues of using cellular technology, not all users are able to learn thetechniques required to use SMS, USSD and data services, as some literacy skillsare required. Nonetheless, it has been shown in studies that even older and lessskilled persons will engage with technology if they perceive that benefits will be worthwhile. Such perceptions are easy to adopt when a critical mass of persons aroundone are using the technology (Melenhorst, et al, 2006). This may be an explanationfor the high MXit usage rates in South Africa, despite the barrier of having to installan application on the cell phone to use the system.Why Blackberry?Blackberry pioneered email on cell phones and made it their signature use case.Even today, Blackberry’s and mobile email are a phenomenon. However, they offerfunctionality that is in essence no different to that offered by other brands that arepopular these days, e.g. iPhone, Droid (Android), Windows Mobile, etc.10 The advantage of applications is that they use the less data intensive web services – eXtensibleMarkup Language (XML) over Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – as opposed to web pages(Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) over HTTP).PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 41
  • 42. Tablet PCsTablet PCs offer richer content without the need for expensive equipment, as thehardware is much less expensive. Because the viewing area is so much larger, theycan be used to view informational video messages, or as a training aid whenspeaking to a group of people. They can offer the same modes of connectivity as amobile phone, via wireless, cellular technology, etc. They also feature intuitive touch-based user interfaces, which have proven to be popular in the educational field.There is currently a great deal of hype surrounding these devices, which could beused to generate interest by municipal workers, e.g. council members or CDWs etc.that would otherwise not be interested in using ICT, to engage with technology.Usage experience would need to be tested in the pilot projects, since these devicesare new and there is no literature available on the use of tablet PCs in the localgovernment sector.Some advantages that the devices would offer in the municipal field: data analyticscould be performed in the field and detailed graphs or GIS maps could be viewed inhigh resolution; the mobile device could double as a teaching aid, by allowing itsuser to show video material to an audience etc.Applications Development for Mobile Devices  SIM card programming – small Java programmes can be embedded directly on the SIM card by the mobile phone operator. Such programmes can extend the functionality available on the cell phone. This technique works on any cell phone device.  Cellular Device Application Programming – it is possible to load programmes onto all but the most rudimentary cellular devices today. In a survey of a poor rural area in the Eastern Cape, Rhodes University found that only 20% of the devices could not load Java programmes, and that 80% of inhabitants had a cellular telephone. While Java may not access all of a devices functionalities, because of differences in the telephone functionality (most telephone makers have a separate special programming language for their device, e.g. Windows mobile, Android, iPhone’s Objective-C, Symbian C, etc.), it is a lowest common denominator for cellular application development. 6.3.1. Established Mobile Application Fields Mobile Money (m-money): Wizzit, e-Wallet or M-PESASo-called mobile money (M-Money) systems: these allow banking online via cellphone and also allow the unbanked to have a bank account. Kenya is a leader in thistype of technology, the leading company being M-PESA. South Africa is also verystrong in this segment. South African banking services in the mobile sector are ledby Wizzit and FNB (in terms of longest operation and highest up-take), and all majorbanks now offer cell phone banking. Banks can make significant savings on staff(teller) costs, as well as reducing cash (transport and transaction) costs through cellphone banking.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 42
  • 43. Mobile Social Networking: Facebook, MXitFacebook allows mobile access and is fast becoming one of the services most usedby mobile Internet users in South Africa.11 A recent survey commissioned by FNBfound that MXit is the leading mobile telephone application in use by 24% of mobileInternet users, and Facebook is a close second at 22%. This is a very good reasonto take note of these communication channels, as they can instantly gainmunicipalities wide audiences, if properly targeted.For a general discussion of social networking, see section 6.5. Mobile Health (m-health): loveLife, Cell-LifeThere are several applications of cell phones around health issues. Examples of m-health include:  reminders to take medication (e.g. for TB sufferers),  HIV awareness and testing campaigns (e.g. Cell-Life), and  HIV any-time counselling and communities (e.g. loveLife).Despite all of these application fields, Cell-Life founder Peter Benjamin claims thatthere is no m-health project with demonstrated (proven) health benefits 8. This is acautionary signal to any m-government or ICT4D project.Cell-Life is a hi-tech NGO, which has been tasked with testing 15M people for AIDSacross 7000 health clinics in South Africa in 201112. They use mobile technology andhave several good ideas about engaging people to get them to participate. Cell-Lifeplaces advertisements such as “if you want to get information around the TreatmentAction Campaign send a Please Call Me to this number.” Or, “if you want to find outwhere your local HIV clinic is, send a Please Call Me to that number.” This methodcompletely removes the cost factor from the target audience in a manner that theyare familiar with. Although operators are now able to offer phone numbers wherebythe callee is billed, the audience is used to high charges for special numbers andmay be prevented from using such a number.loveLife has launched MYMsta13, a mobile based social network that offers not onlySMS messaging, but an online community featuring blogs, forums, information andquizzes delivered through a mobile platform. MYMsta offers registered users accessto HIV and sexual health information and the ability to submit questions andconcerns to a trained counsellor who will respond within 48 hours. No publicinformation regarding subscription numbers to this service were found online.Mobile Crowd Sourcing: UshahidiCrowd sourcing is the web 2.0 concept of getting individuals in a crowd to performvery small tasks, which when added up present a significant body of work, whichwould have been costly to make otherwise. The U.S. Army recently performedexperiments to quantify how powerful this concept is by releasing 10 red heliumballoons at random locations throughout the USA and offering a prize for the retrieval11 ttp://www.sagoodnews.co.za/science_technology/internet_usage_on_cellphones_soars_in_sa.html- accessed on 2011-04-2812 http://www.globalhealthhub.org/2011/01/26/scaling-up-south-africas-mhealth-system/ - accessed on2011-04-2813 http://www.mobilehealthlive.org/discussions/mymsta-using-mobile-connectivity-for-social-change/1050/ - accessed on 2011-04-28PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 43
  • 44. of all ten, by a single team. All ten balloons were found within 9 hours by the MIT“team”. The MIT team had placed advertisements in national media and offered apyramidal reward scheme to create a huge crowd of virtual team members14.Ushahidi uses the concept of crowdsourcing for social activism and publicaccountability, serving as an initial model for what has been coined as activistmapping - the combination of social activism, citizen journalism and geospatialinformation. Ushahidi offers products that enable local observers to submit reportsusing their mobile phones or the internet. The instructions for the simple steps thateach member in the crowd needs to follow in order to submit a report are oftenpassed on by word of mouth, allowing the programme to spread through the crowd.These reports are pieced together by a server to create a temporal and geospatialarchive of events.15Ushahidi was used to cover the following disasters and political events, providingvital information to rescue teams: 2010 - Haiti, Chile, Washington DC and Russia &2011 – Christchurch, Middle East and Japan.From the Ushahidi website comes a notable quote, regarding motivation of the publicto participate: “Mapping data [timeously] is important for ‘accountability’. The fact thatpeople see their report […] is [their] biggest [motivator].” Oscar Salazar - Cuidemosel Voto16. This also supports the conclusions to section 3.4, that feedback isimportant in motivating participants.Mobile Local Government: Cape Town, Gauteng, Knysna, etc.Municipalities already use mobile technologies (SMS) for service delivery issues.Mobile phones are also extensively used to coordinate municipal activities. However,in terms of engaging with the public, mobile technologies incur costs that can rapidlyaccumulate, hence their use primarily as a service delivery tool, where cost andbenefit analyses are easier to make than in public participatory issues. During theresearch no example of mobile telephone grassroots campaigns that were led by themunicipality to engage the public in e-governance or e-democracy issues was found.The above established mobile sectors (m-money, m-health, mobile social networks)do, however, show the scope of mobile phones in public participation. Interactiveapplications such as cell phone banking are similar to surveys. Social networks allowopinions to be monitored, exchanged and formed in a public virtual space. The m-health example shows reminders and free methods of communication being used.All of these techniques can be applied for e-participation.In cases of disaster mobile crowd sourcing could be used by local government togauge the extent of the disaster. Crowd sourcing might also be applied to general e-participation (see section 13.8).14 https://networkchallenge.darpa.mil/darpanetworkchallengewinner2009.pdf15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushahidi16 http://www.ushahidi.com/PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 44
  • 45. More examples of mobile applications for local government are listed in section 9.1.This topic is examined more fully in the Case Studies (Section B) and Analysis(Section C).Section SummaryThis section introduced the core concepts of mobile technology from a computingpoint of view. These technological concepts have then been put into context inmobile application fields such as m-health and m-money. Finally, we have alsolooked very briefly at how these technologies could relate to local government, andhow local government is currently using mobile technologies.Mobile technologies can enable many various kinds of interaction with a largeproportion of the population in South Africa. They are already being used for servicedelivery issues and accounts, however, the participatory aspects require someinnovation. 6.4. Web sitesThis sub-section looks at web sites and how they have been used in localgovernment both internationally and in the South African context. The general pictureof ICT programmes and systems within South African government has already beenoutlined (see Farelo, M & Morris, C. 2005). In contrast, studies on ICT’s in localgovernment are rare and seem to have mainly focused on evaluating municipalwebsites.Section 6.4.1 looks at the international context. Sections 6.4.2 & 6.4.3 look at twoSouth African website reviews and recommendations. 6.4.1. International Web Site StudiesThis report has already presented a number of ways of understanding the value ofmunicipal websites and how they may be assessed. Should more in-depth casestudies be required the following examples may be worthy of further investigation. City Country Best Practice Seoul Republic of Korea Cyber Policy Forum – facilitate discussion and feedback on policy issues Hong Kong Hong Kong User-friendly, searchable data base for ordinances / regulations Helsinki Finland On-line feedback to administrative departments On-line newsletter / surveys / polls / policy discussion Report crimes / violations of city laws etc Singapore Singapore On-line discussion forums and surveys Provision for online payment of taxes, utilities, permits etc Report crime and violations of city laws etc Madrid Spain Searchable database for minutes of public meetings, budget documents in downloadable formats, city ordinance, city regulations and contact information[Source: Holzer and Kim 2007]PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 45
  • 46. The work of Holzer and Kim (2007) suggests that small / medium municipalities are avalid area of study as large municipalities across the world already have highcapability in terms of e-governance. The African city municipal websites evaluated byHolzer and Kim were:Accra (Ghana)* Cotonou (Benin)* Khartoum (Sudan)*Algiers (Algeria)* Dakar (Senegal) Lagos (Nigeria)Cairo (Egypt) Dar-es-Salaam Lome (Togo)*Cape Town (South (Tanzania)* Lusaka (Zambia)*Africa) Harare (Zimbabwe)* Nairobi (Kenya)Casablanca (Morocco) Kampala (Uganda) Tunis (Tunisia)As indicated by the asterisked list above, eight of the 16 selected cities i.e. half hadno official municipal website in 2007.The criteria for evaluating municipal websites as used by Holzer and Kim are similarto the models already discussed and the approach adopted by Van der Zee (2009).These criteria therefore present a potential checklist for a best practice municipalwebsite.Privacy/ Security  A privacy or security  Use of “cookies” or “Web statement/policy Beacons”  Data collection  Notification of privacy policy  Option to have personal  Contact or e-mail address for information used inquiries  Third party disclosures  Public information through a  Ability to review personal data restricted area records  Access to non-public  Managerial measures information for employees  Use of encryption  Use of digital signatures  Secure serverUsability  Homepage, page length.  Font Color  Targeted audience  Forms  Navigation Bar  Search tool  Site map  Update of websiteContent  Information about the location  Budget information of offices  Documents, reports, or books  Listing of external links (publications)  Contact information  GIS capabilities  Minutes of public  Emergency management or  City code and regulations alert mechanism  City charter and policy priority  Disability access  Mission statements  Wireless technologyPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 46
  • 47.  Access in more than one  Calendar of events language  Downloadable documents  Human resources informationService  Pay utilities, taxes, fines  Request information  Apply for permits  Customize the main city  Online tracking system homepage  Apply for licenses  Access private information  E-procurement online  Property assessments  Purchase tickets  Searchable databases  Webmaster response  Complaints  Report violations of  Bulletin board about civil administrative laws and applications regulations  FAQCitizen Participation  Comments or feedback  Online survey/ polls  Newsletter  Synchronous video  Online bulletin board or chat  Citizen satisfaction survey capabilities  Online decision-making  Online discussion forum on  Performance measures, policy issues standards, or benchmarks  Scheduled e-meetings for discussionHolzer and Kim include further detail on how the criteria were interpreted andapplied. In the following section of this report we discuss specific South Africanwebsite studies and the assessment criteria adapted for the South African context. 6.4.2. Website Studies: SALGAA key contribution to this small body of relevant literature was the Local Governmente-Government Review dated 31 May 2010 which arose from a joint project betweenSALGA, the Department of Communication and the Presidential NationalCommission on Information Society and Development. The SALGA review was adesk-top exercise that highlighted important trends in using ICT’s and provided someinitial assessment according to Gartner’s 4 Phase e-Government Maturity Model, tomake local governance more “citizen centred.” The review also describes to somedegree, the legal and policy parameters for participation via ICT’s (SALGA 2010: 3).The main focus of the study was on websites, as they are amenable to a desktopstudy. This not only underscores the importance of websites to local government, italso shows that ICT’s are a very wide and specialised topic, which open manypossibilities and are not intuitively understandable.The review found that of the country’s 283 municipalities, 44 were not compliant inthat they had no functioning websites and were therefore not compliant with section21 B of the Municipal Systems Act (presumably they had also not made thenecessary motivations to the SALGA / National Treasury for the publication of therequired information on the SALGA website on the basis of affordability.) The reviewPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 47
  • 48. attributed this to lack of understanding, budget constraints, the absence of politicalwill and poor prioritisation. Other attributed reasons were differing capability bymunicipal type and category and weak impacts by related government programmesand policies. Using five measures of household use of ICT’s (cell phone, television,telephone, computer and internet) averaged to a single ranking the review found thestrongest ICT usage in the Western Cape (both metro and non-metro) and Gauteng(metro). The weakest ICT usage patterns were in the Eastern Cape (both metro andnon-metro), Kwa-Zulu Natal (non-metro) and Limpopo. The Northern Cape, KZNmetro, North West, Mpumalanga and Free State areas were ranked as middle orderICT users. (Ibid: 6).The review also found much inconsistency in website design, content andfunctionality and noted, “… almost every Municipality goes with their own approachand follows no template or standard guidelines. This makes user navigation and thetask of finding relevant information difficult.” (Ibid) The most commonly availabledocuments were IDPs, Budget Reports, Annual Reports and by-laws, however onlyabout half of the municipalities have these documents online. Other importantdocuments like Financial Statements, Supply Chain policies and procedures, BudgetPolicies and Rates and Tariffs were found on about a third of municipalities that havewebsites and Local Economic Development Strategies, Spatial DevelopmentFrameworks (SDFs), Performance Management Systems (PMS), DisasterManagement Strategies and Performance Review Reports were even lesscommonly posted. (Ibid: 7). Many websites also contained information that was up tosix years out of date. At a technical level, municipalities also did not use a standarddomain / URL and there was single, up-dated listing of all municipal websites. Almostall websites were in English and only eight were in Afrikaans – the other elevenofficial languages were not accommodated. (Ibid: 8)Using the Gartner e-Gov Maturity Website Index, the review found that mostwebsites were at the static or interactive level i.e. in the former, information is simplyprovided while the latter allows for some level of feedback / input. Very few were atthe transactional level and none were at the integration-transformation phase.Despite the high prevalence of mobile phones, municipalities made little use of thisICT to deploy e-government services like Log and Track Online, Service CustomerInformation, Service or Technical requests or Registering for SMS alerts. The reviewnotes missed opportunities for saving time and money for citizens, improving projectand SMME facilitation and generally extending the reach of e-governmentservices.(Ibid: 9)The review also revealed shortfalls in the quality of basic information available onmunicipal websites e.g. 31% failed to include the physical address of themunicipality and only 28% had the switchboard number. While IDPs are availablefrom 60% of websites and tenders and staff vacancies are posted with similarfrequency, from a governance point of view it is alarming that only 13% includeperformance review reports. (Ibid: 18) The review also revealed a few customerservices that do not necessarily appear in evaluation matrices but nonethelessconstitute potential good practice e.g. the on-line payment for pre-paid electricity andthe ability to make changes to an address. (Ibid: 19)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 48
  • 49. In terms of citizens’ participation, 68% of municipal websites offered no functionalitywhatsoever and only 13% allowed the public to post comments. The use of polls,blogs, video streaming of key events, twitter and Facebook was negligible at 0-4%. 6.4.3. Website Studies: Van der ZeeMartin Van der Zee (2009) researched the content and functionality of municipalwebsites in the Eastern Cape as part of his post-graduate research at RhodesUniversity on website evaluation. Van der Zee used existing tools for websiteevaluation (see extensive discussion of different evaluation tools and applicability onpgs 38 – 43) and attempted to define the parameters of a “successful municipalwebsite” through the identification of nine criteria or pillars applied within a range thatallowed for high, moderate or low rankings. (2009: 13)Van der Zee related website usage to the obligations and responsibilities of localgovernment as set out by section 152 of the Constitution and postulated thatwebsites were (Ibid: 34): - a channel for communicating government information to communities - an assistance in providing sustainable services – primarily through e-services that allow for s bill payments, fine payments, meter readings and queries, - a tool for promoting social and economic development by advertising investment and business opportunities in the locality and providing tourism information - a tool in promoting a safe and healthy environment by promoting paperless services and advertising and providing information on ‘green’ campaigns and energy saving initiativesVan der Zee also postulated that municipal websites could involve communities inlocal government by posting information about proposed government decisions,meetings and activities, and encouraging public comment and “voice their opinionthrough the use of facilities on the website.”(Ibid)Scanning seven metropolitan and large local municipality websites, Van der Zeesuggested that apart from the legally required information, the following were alsotypically included in the websites (2009: 29) - Tourism information - Investment information - Information regarding opportunities for employment and tenders for business. - Information surrounding the responsibilities of the municipality i.e. service information and how they can be obtained. - Contact information: Phone/fax numbers, email addresses and physical addresses of the municipality, key officials and service managers. - Local news and announcements. - Information regarding government projects, upcoming events & municipal council meetings. - General information, service alerts, updates announcements and news regarding the governed areaVan der Zee (2009: 21) found that Johannesburg, Tshwane & eThekwinimunicipalities’ websites provided electronic services such as on-line accountPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 49
  • 50. payments and queries, on-line valuation, fine payments etc. Other systems to aidcitizens included GIS maps, video feeds from traffic routes, beaches and otherfacilities, social networks, weather updates and RSS feeds. In general however Vander Zee concurs with the SALGA Review (2010) that there is little consistency inwebsite design and management and that great discretion is afforded to webmasters/ web teams.Synthesising both practical examples (mainly large municipalities) and differenttheoretical models, Van der Zee postulated nine pillars of a successful municipalwebsite (2009: 57): 1. Navigation 2. Aesthetics 3. Search function 4. Local language translation 5. Community participation / public outreach 6. Security 7. Personalisation 8. Support 9. ContentFor each of these pillars or measures, a set of sub-pillars is defined. (Ibid) The sub-pillars or indicators that compose the ‘community participation/public outreach’ pillarcover: - Email contact link – reflects whether or not a general enquiry email contact link is present on a website. - Feedback facility – reflects whether or not a feedback facility for questions/comments/complaints is present on a website. - User interaction facilities - reflects a website’s level of adoption of user interaction facilities such as message boards, surveys polls and the ability to comment on articles and announcements - Email updates/newsletters - whether or not a website provides a facility for the user to subscribe to email updates/newsletters which keep the public updated with municipality activities, news, and announcements.Clearly a useful attempt to unpack participation as a measure of website quality, theformulation represents a limited breakdown that focuses mainly on the basiccommunication / accessibility measures and fails to factor the linkages between thedifferent indicators e.g. content quality and relevance will determine whether postedinformation is worth accessing.Using this model Van der Zee evaluated all 45 district and local municipalities in theEastern Cape through an evaluation tool based on the described framework. Multipletypes of rating scales were used to cater for different types of criteria. Two primaryrating scales are used, namely a dichotomous scale and a 5 point likert scale. (2009:67) Van der Zee ((2009: 73-76) found that as of September 2009: - Seven of the 45 municipalities had no websites - Only 31 websites (67%) were operational - About 71% were easily navigable (site structure is understandable and well communicated)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 50
  • 51. - Aesthetically most sites (97%) had consistent branding, slightly less had consistent presentation and 81 % made good use of website technology - The search capability was weak – 65% had no function / or it was not operational - Virtually no personalisation was possible on any sites - About 77% had no privacy policy - 97% did not provide language translation - 81% did not provide for any form of feedback and most had very poor interaction facilities - Virtually none provided email updates or newsletters - Only slightly more than half provided the contact details of key municipal officials - Virtually none provided any form of e-services - Less than half described the services they provide - Only 10% responded to an email query and support was generally non- existent - 52% carried both the budget and annual report on the site but only 48% were up to dateVan der Zee (Ibid: 80-81) concluded that in general most sites had good structureand few had broken links or error statements. In terms of aesthetics most sites faredquite well and most also allowed download of content to a mobile phone. Most siteshowever, did not cater for diverse user groups of differing technical capability. Thesearch capability was generally weak and no effective provision was made forfeedback and interactions such as polls, surveys or message boards – theparticipatory ‘pillar’ therefore emerged as one of the weakest. 6.4.4. Government Web 2.0Wiki’s (from the Hawaiian word for “quick”) allow collaborative online work to createshared knowledge bases. Andriole (2010) found them to be the most valuable toolfor intra-organisational information sharing in his survey. Advantages of thistechnology are:  They are installable on local infrastructure for safety.  They allow “versioning” of content (security and transparency). This means that at any time, a particular page of content can be changed back to a previous snapshot of the page, in case the page was changed erroneously or with malicious intent.  They allow ideas to be documented throughout the process of brainstorming.  If desired, the ideas can easily be shared with others, as they are explicitly documented.It is possible that wikis could be used to allow ward committees to keep track ofideas and let them grow in a transparent manner.The City of De Leon (USA) Case StudyIn September 2010, the municipality of Manor, which had already piloted thesystems mentioned here, assisted the city of De Leon with the installation of newPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 51
  • 52. Web 2.0 systems. The systems they installed are detailed online17, and make use ofmany software packages that are hosted in the Internet as a service (Software as aService, commonly abbreviated to SaaS). This means that the cities pay monthlyfees to use the software. The following systems were installed: Website, IdeaSuggestion System, Citizen Reporting Platform, Crime Reporting, QR Codes, OpenData Management System, E-Forms and Processes, Records Retention (archivesthe website as it changes), etc.(Geo-referenced) Citizen reporting platforms: These are very similar to crowdsourcing (see above in section 6.3, Ushahidi), except that they note some problem,such as a pothole on the local map. There are several online services that providethis functionality.Idea Suggestions from the Public: A structured and transparent process channelsthe ideas of the citizens of De Leon, helping them make new suggestions. Inaddition, citizens are rewarded for their participation, through game-mechanics, tomake the process sustainable.QR-codes: are a type of barcode that can be read with most newer model cameraphones. The city of De Leon used them to link places in the real world withinformation on the city website. Citizens can download a free application and simplyscan the barcode using the camera on their phone. Once a code is scanned, thecitizen’s phone will display the information that was linked within it. QR-codes canbe generated for free.Commentary on the City of De Leon Case StudyThe City of De Leon case is built, from a technical point of view, using Internettechnologies. Many of the services are hosted in the Internet and not by the Cityitself, with the effect that:a) monthly fees have to be paid to the software service providers (roughly USD 2000 per month, revenues which would in our case leave the country)b) the Internet connectivity must be in place for the services to workc) there may be other unexpected problems.Aside from these basic problems, this new kind of approach turns cautious ICTadoption on its head and appeals to the public, as well as municipalities all over theworld. However, since these technologies are still emerging, there are no studies asto their efficacy, and they should only be piloted in a limited South African context. Ifthe pilot is shown to improve e-participation the solution may be engineered usingSouth African technologies.Section SummaryWeb sites are probably the most important single computational technology, as theyare so versatile and interactive. They can also be accessed and customised to workon mobile devices (automatically detecting that difference between the end-userdevices).17 http://govfresh.com/2010/10/gov-2-0-guide-to-a-city-makeover/PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 52
  • 53. Web sites are thus also reasonably included in legislation and have to have certainfunctionality and characteristics. Two studies were presented that make best practicerecommendations for the South African context. Both suggest clear criteria wherebywebsites can be assessed. Some of these criteria relate to interactive potential andthus measure participation, however regular websites fare worst against thismeasure.Web 2.0 is a term describing websites which change through interaction with theuser and thus encourage participation. An extensive set of tools exists for variousaspects of local government, these are however of limited use in the South Africancontext, because of relatively expensive, slow and unreliable connectivity amongother factors. 6.5. Other TechnologiesAs demonstrated by both the international and South African studies on municipaluse of ICT’s, there is a strong bias towards website based assessments. We shouldnot lose sight of the fact that other ICT applications may be as relevant if not more sofor municipal government in promoting participation – here we mention othertechnologies and their strengths:Instant Messaging (IM)Instant messaging (colloquially termed “chatting”), is a form of real-time direct text-based communication between two or more people using mobile phones or otherdevices, along with shared software clients. The users text is conveyed over anetwork, such as the Internet, typically via cellular data services (e.g. GPRS or 3G).The cellular Short Message Service (SMS) also allows IM to take place via thecellular networks, albeit at a greatly inflated price.Because of pricing differences between SMS and data services on cellular networks,it is possible to transmit more than twelve times the number of messages via thedata service than via the SMS, i.e. the identical content transmitted via SMS coststhe typical end-user at least 12 times as much as if the user had transmitted theinformation via a data service. The South African market leader in IM technology,MXiT, takes advantage of this discrepancy to offer cheap messaging to the SouthAfrican market.In addition to this technology a number of new services have been built. Most ofthese have been experimental (e.g. MobilED), although some such as JamiiX have avery promising business future ahead of them. These technologies are alsopotentially relevant to this study.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 53
  • 54. eMailRural community members are increasingly using the Internet on their cell phones arecent study commissioned by FNB found18. World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstucksaid, "The fact that [e-mail usage by rural cellphone users] was almost non-existenta year before means the 12 percent penetration reported for 2010 indicates mobilee-mail becoming a mainstream tool across the population."Emails from municipalities would have to be carefully targeted and would facerestrictions in length and language in order to become widely adopted.VoIPVoice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) refers to the technology used to place telephonecalls over the Internet. VoIP allows one to talk with others on the network at only thecost of the data transferred.This means that in free mesh networks, such as the public network in Knysna, it ispossible to talk to others for free (excluding secondary costs such as the powering ofequipment and depreciation on equipment, etc.). Depending on the Knysna networkbandwidth to the Internet, it may not be feasible to talk to someone overseas, buttechnically it should be possible to talk to someone else in Knysna.Social Networking“A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses onbuilding and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., whoshare interests and/or activities. A social network service essentially consists of arepresentation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety ofadditional services. Most social network services are web based and provide meansfor users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. …Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interestswithin their individual networks.”19 (Wikipedia, 2011) Perhaps the most popular socialnetworking site in South Africa is Facebook; in the mobile sphere it is MXit. Thereare several technologies that allow one to implement one’s own social network.According to Andriole, 2010, social networks also make the relationship networks inthe organisation explicit and may enable faster project turn-around times (althoughthe initial findings from industry are disappointing).In section B (9.1) we look briefly at how cities use Facebook. Currently, this is still anavenue that is reaching only a minority of the population, but given the growth rates,there is potential for local government in this arena. Section 9.1 also looks at thepossibility of using MXit in e-participation.Artificial Intelligence TechniquesThe combination of high computing power available at low price and advancedalgorithms (software logic) is allowing motor vehicles to successfully drive thousands18 ttp://www.sagoodnews.co.za/science_technology/internet_usage_on_cellphones_soars_in_sa.html- accessed on 2011-05-0319 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking - accessed on 2011-05-03PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 54
  • 55. of kilometres, unassisted, on public roads20. Similar technology underpinstechniques such as biometric identification and even machine translation. Many ofthese techniques could be used in offline devices, thus saving connection costs.Sample usage applications relevant to e-participation may be automatic translationof documents on site, expert systems (similar to the instructions that call centreoperators follow to resolve cases) and others. Automatic translation could also be afocus for the presentation of websites in all official languages, which is currently aproblem. Although the machine translations are not perfect, they do often deliverunderstandable results, and these can be improved if the domain of translation (e.g.local government) is known beforehand.Perhaps the most realistic application of such technologies would be to enable fieldworkers with mobile devices that incorporate the required functionality. The fieldworkers could then allow the public to participate electronically in an inexpensiveoffline manner, which could automatically feed participation results into municipalsystems.The reason that we mention this class of applications here, is because thesemethods are entering the mainstream more and more rapidly, and one should beaware that there is potential to innovate in this area too.Section SummaryThis section presented some of the software technologies that might be useful in thee-participatory local government case. The section also shows how varioustechnologies tend to overlap. The technologies presented here can all beimplemented with websites or custom applications (see previous sections) and thenused on desktop PCs, or using mobile devices.While we looked at general classes of application software in this section, thefollowing section presents concrete examples of such projects. 6.6. Non-Local Government Case StudiesThe projects below use a combination of the technologies described above.Nowadays most ICT functions are also available via websites, and many of the casestudies below also have a web component, however, they also have other significantaspects, e.g. mobile devices, mesh networks, etc.  Living Labs – the living labs concept enables a grassroots environment for experimentation with new technologies. The South African Association for Living Labs was established in 2009 as an umbrella body for these centres. Living labs encourage the idea of co-creation of technology together with communities and are thus focused on participation. A number of technologies have been piloted in Living Lab context, including infopreneurs, wireless mesh networks and village scribes (see following paragraphs on Infomediaries).20 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html - accessed on 2011-05-03PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 55
  • 56.  MXit – MXit, as described above, also allows third party software applications access to the 27million users registered on the network. Several capacity building projects have been run over MXit, including the M-Tutor, a mobile Maths learning environment developed by Meraka CSIR and Yoza, a mobile literacy project (supported by the Shuttleworth foundation), which allowed users to read an entire novel online. About 30 000 young people read the novel.  JamiiX – JamiiX is a web based tool allowing one to manage multiple conversations from different Social Networks and Instant Messaging platforms. JamiiX has been tested by several NGOs to run low cost hotlines for counselling services. Clients needing help are able to use cheap Instant Messaging (MXit) to connect to the helpline.  Digital Doorway – The Digital Doorway is a self-service kiosk produced by the Meraka Institute, which resembles modern tourist information points found in major cities nowadays. It is a stainless steel column housing a PC running Ubuntu Linux, which has up to 4 terminals connected to it. Internet connectivity is supplied via VSAT and an EDGE/GPRS connection connects the access point with a central server for the purposes of monitoring and maintenance. Several of the units are deployed in rural areas Internet connectivity is used to allow access to content supplied by Meraka, free Internet access is not provided. Offline functions such as games are also supplied and widely used. (Gush, 2008, and per interview with Mr. Gush).  Inati SysCare – iNathi SysCare is a Clinic Management System that specifically targets the Public Primary Healthcare Sector and the challenges it presents. Combining and balancing technology and simplicity, SysCare computerises the daily functioning of Primary Healthcare Clinics and provides managerial and statistical reporting for accurate data collection. The interesting technology use which informs this study is around the combination of smart cards and biometric readers that are used to link patients to their electronic record. These techniques aid turn-around time on consultations.  Mobile survey applications – as demonstrated at the SAFIPA conference (see SALGA documentation).  Mesh network applications – awareNet is an open source social networking solution for on-/offline environments. It allows learners in a mesh network to collaborate irrespective of whether an Internet connection is present or not. Should an Internet connection become available, the network synchronises with a global network of learners, allowing usage of low-cost or free access times for the function.  Infopreneurs (Meraka, CSIR) (Van Rensburg, 2008) & Village Scribes (Village Scribe Association): Several models exist to empower communities through ICT-skilled community members who use cellular phone technology and computers21. There are examples of such projects achieving significant successes in India (e.g. Drishtee and Grameen Telco). The South African context is not the same because of population density, culture and various other factors, however, there are possibilities that these models could be applied here, especially in the context of local government. The models have21 http://safipa.com/2011/01/31/infopreneurs®-a-new-paradigm-in-understanding-how-ict-enabled-networks-can-enhance-development-actions/ - accessed on 2011-05-03 http://www.dorfschreiber.org/en/Village_Scribe_Project.html - accessed on 2011-05-03PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 56
  • 57. not been tested beyond limited trials involving infopreneurs in the Limpopo province in 2009 and 2010, achieving enough success to warrant further trials, involving the software company SAP and the Metro wholesale group. Working together with municipalities, such intermediaries (or infomediaries, because they work with information) could stimulate local economic development in marginalised areas. They could also provide information services to municipalities, giving local government a better picture of the grassroots situation and the opinions prevalent there (Van Rensburg, 2008). This could even be a way of soliciting IDP and budget input, informally. If such services are based on a process and supported by IT, it may be possible to engage Community Development Workers (DPSA) in such tasks.Section SummaryThis section attempts to put the technological contributions and innovations that areavailable into a South African local government context. It looks at projectsaddressing issues such as access, required functionality and public motivation.This section and the preceding sections raise the question, “why, if there is such awide variety of technologies available that could be bringing the constituents andtheir municipalities together, is this not happening?” The technical answer might lie inthe fact that municipalities lack skilled staff and are thus moving carefully through e-government transformation processes and are not adopting the technologies asreadily as individuals and companies.7. Legislative and Policy FrameworksUsing ICT’s to promote participatory local democracy requires consideration of therelevant laws and policies that shape the system of local democracy, the specificreferences in law and policy to the use of ICT’s to achieve these objectives as wellas the broader principles for electronic communication and information managementset out in policy instruments.In the legislative and policy framework below we have reviewed:  Provisions related to participatory democracy in local government  Provisions related to advancing the above through ICT’s  General provisions relating to electronic communication and information management 7.1. Section 152 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996)The Constitution requires local government to provide democratic and accountablegovernment to local communities and ensure the sustainable provision of services.Local government must also promote social and economic development, promote asafe and healthy environment and perhaps of most relevance (e) encouragecommunity involvement in matters of local government.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 57
  • 58. 7.2. The 1998 White Paper on Local GovernmentParticipation: The 1998 White Paper on Local Government identified 4 levels ofcitizen’s participation:22 5. As voters to ensure the maximum democratic accountability of the elected political leadership for the policies they are empowered to promote; 6. As citizens who express, via different stakeholder associations, their views before, during and after the policy development process in order to ensure that that policies reflect community preferences as far as possible; 7. As consumers and end users who expect value for money, affordable services and courteous and responsive service; 8. As organised partners involved in the mobilisation of resources for development via for-profit businesses, NGO’s and community-based institutions.The White Paper on Local Government also contains an extensive range ofprinciples related to citizen’s participation that were, to varying degrees, entrenchedin the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Structures Act: (ibid)  The White Paper also called for citizens’ input on policy matters and monitoring of decision-making processes and suggested that this was best achieved through community-wide development visioning or forums that focused on issue-specific policy.  In terms of the structures of council, the White Paper envisaged that certain committees, perhaps temporary in nature and issue specific, were to be accessed by identified stakeholder groups.  The municipal budget would become the subject for participatory initiatives that would allow community priorities to be linked to spending and investment programmes.  Needs and priorities within communities would be identified in partnership with NGO’s and CBOs using focus groups and participatory research techniques.  Citizen’s associations, particularly in poorer areas would be assisted to develop organisationally in order to enhance the skills and resources for participation.As the consumers and users of municipal services, citizens could expect servicesthat remained consistent with the Batho Pele White Paper. Thus municipal serviceswould be subject to consultation, quality service standards, accessibility, courtesy,openness and transparency, redress and value for money. In addition Batho Peleprinciples affirm that, with regard to the delivery of services, a member of the publicshould be treated as a customer.22 Ministry for Provincial Affairs and Constitutional Development, 1998. The White Paper on LocalGovernment, p33 - 34PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 58
  • 59. In the context of limited resources for service delivery, the White Paper on LocalGovernment also urged municipalities to mobilise “off-budget resources” i.e.resources that businesses and NGO’s would bring to the development challenge.Various service delivery partnerships were outlined including public-privatepartnerships, public-community partnerships, sector-based partnerships (e.g. LEDjoint ventures, stokvels, social housing ventures) and job creation strategies linked tomore innovative ways of performing municipal responsibilities.23 7.3. The Municipal Structures Act (No 117 of 1998)Ward CommitteesThe ward committee system is the most tangible and significant structural initiative toadvance citizen’s participation that came out of the White Paper and the MunicipalStructures Act of 1998 (Part 4 of Chapter 4.)In terms of section 73 (1), councils of aspecific type may decide whether to have ward committees, but should they decideto do so, these committees should be established in each ward. Council is requiredin terms of section 73 (4) to make administrative arrangements to enable wardcommittees to perform their functions and exercise their powers efficiently. In termsof section 74, the role of a ward committee is to make recommendations on mattersaffecting its ward to the councillor or through the ward councillor to the council. Ingeneral, sections 72 and 74 of the Act clarify that the objective of a ward committeeis to enhance participatory democracy in local government.In terms of section 74, ward committees are expected to discharge theirresponsibilities by making inputs on any matter affecting the ward, in the form ofrecommendations to council via the ward councillor. The ward committees functionas advisory committees to the ward councillors. The ward committees may not incurexpenditure on behalf of council. Council reserves the right whenever it deemsnecessary, to amend or revoke any power or function delegated to a wardcommittee.Traditional LeadersIn terms of section 81 (1) of the Municipal Structures Act traditional leaders whohave been recognised by the MEC for local government (see Schedule 6 for criteria)in the province, may participate in the proceedings of council. In terms of section 81(2) of the Act, the number of participating traditional leaders is limited in relation to10% of the overall number of elected councillors. In terms of section 81 (3), councilmust consult the traditional leader of a traditional authority before making decisionson matters that would affect that area.The Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (41 of 2003) sets out toremodel the institutions of traditional leadership and make them compatible withdemocratic government whilst safeguarding social development imperatives in ruralcommunities.23 Ibid, p35PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 59
  • 60. 7.4. The Municipal Systems Act, 2000Participatory local democracy: Section 16(1) - requires the municipality to develop aculture of municipal governance that complements formal representative governmentwith a system of participatory governance.Service feedback: Section 4 (2) - Municipal Councils must encourage theinvolvement of the local community. Municipal Councils must consult the communityabout the level, quality, range and impact of services – see Section 4. 21B.Monitoring and review of performance: Section 16 (1) (a) (iii) – including outcomesand impact of performance.The preparation of the budget and deployment of resources in terms of the budget:Section 16 (1) (a) & (c) – including initiatives to build community capacity forparticipation.Planning and decision-making: In terms of Chapter 4 and 5, members of thecommunity have the right to contribute to the decision-making process of themunicipality, including the IDP. Integrated Development Planning (IDP) is thestatutory planning system for local, district and metro municipalities in South Africaas required by section 16 (1) (i) and Chapter 5 of the Municipal Systems Act. Thegovernance attributes of IDP lie both in its participatory provisions and theprescription for intergovernmental coordination and cooperation. The keyparticipatory requirements of IDP have been elaborated in the IDP Guide Pack(Department of Provincial and Local Government: undated) and relate to four basicplanning activities: 1. Citizens involvement in situation analysis and needs identification 2. Stakeholder engagement in prioritisation and strategy development 3. Public input for the setting of performance benchmarks 4. Participation in the planning review processFinancial Transparency: A key element of participation is the public’s right to accessimportant financial information concerning their municipality. A critical provision inthis regard relates to the legal obligation to include the audited report on themunicipality’s finances in the annual report which must be prepared for eachfinancial year (Section 46 (1) of the Municipal Systems Act). The municipality musttable the annual report in council within one month of receiving the audit report.Information provision- Websites:  Section 21B (1) each municipality must: o Establish its own official website if the municipality decides that it is affordable; and o Place on that official website information required to be made public in terms of this Act and the Municipal Finance Management Act.  Section 21B (2) If a municipality decides that it is not affordable to establish its own official website, it must provide the information in terms of legislation referred to in subsection (1) (b) for display on an organised local government website sponsored or facilitated by the National Treasury.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 60
  • 61.  Section 21B (3) The municipal manager must maintain and regularly update the municipality’s official website, if in existence, or provide the relevant information as required by subsection (2). 7.5. Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003In terms of Section 75, subsection (1) of the Municipal Finance Management Act,2003 the accounting officer of a municipality must place the following documents ofthe municipality on the municipality’s website:  The annual and adjustment budgets and all budget-related documents.  All budget-related policies.  The annual report.  All performance agreements required in terms of Section 57(1) (b) of the Municipal Systems All long-term borrowing contracts.  All supply chain management contracts above a prescribed value.  An information statement containing a list of assets over a prescribed value that have been disposed of in terms of section 14(2) or (4) during the previous quarter.  Contracts to which subsection (1) of section 33 apply, subject to subsection (3) of that section.  Public-private partnership agreements referred to in section 110.  All quarterly reports tabled in the council in terms of section 52 (d), and;  Any other documents that must be placed on the website in terms of this Act or any other applicable legislation, or as may be prescribed.  (Government Gazette, 2003)Subsection (2) of section 75 further stipulates that any document referred to in thissubsection (1) must be placed on the website no later than five days after its tablingin the council or on the date it must be made public, whichever takes place first(Government Gazette, 2003).In recent years there has been a tendency to conflate policy with ‘sound principles’or good practice and Van der Zee (2009: 25) does this in relation to the principles ofmunicipal website content as suggested by Cape Gateway. The Cape Gatewayproject was launched by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape in 2001 todrive its e-governance initiative. The project proposed guidelines for municipalwebsite content that included (Ibid): - Notices and proposed municipal boundary demarcations by the Municipal Demarcation Board in terms of the Municipal Demarcation Act, of 1998 - IDPs, Annual Reports, notices of meetings, municipal by-laws and codes, plus resolutions and policies on service fees and tariffs (this is in any case a requirement of the Municipal Systems Act) - The manual of information available to the public and the procedures, systems and costs for accessing such information as required by section 14 of the Promotion to Access to Information Act, 2002. - All information described in section 75 of the MFMAPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 61
  • 62. Policy and legislation related to e-Government has generally been layered in on topof existing legislation. An early example is the Department of Public Service andAdministration’s ‘Electronic government: the digital future; a public service IT policyframework‘ (South Africa, 2001), which detailed the utilisation of various technologiesto ensure government service became more productive and delivered services fasterand cheaper to citizens. Other policies and laws of similar intent include: 7.6. The Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004 - Section 4, requires that the draft rates policy be published on the website as part of the community participation process for at least 30 days before a municipality adopts the policy - Section 49, requires that a municipality’s certified valuation roll must be published on the municipality’s website, with 21 days of being received from the valuator and that the public be notified of such a posting 7.7. The Electronic Communications Act (Act 36 of 2005)The ECA’s objective is “to provide for the regulation of electronic communications inthe Republic in the public interest”, and it attempts to do so by specifying a widenumber of fields that fall within its scope, including communications infrastructureand licensing issues, security and national interests (including South Africanownership of broadcast services and provision of services to the under-servicedareas and under-privileged persons).The ECA attempts to specifically “promote the empowerment of historicallydisadvantaged persons, including black people, with particular attention to the needsof women, opportunities for youth and challenges for people with disabilities”. It doesso by paving the way for competition and pricing regulation to keep prices low(sections 37,67,71), as well as focusing on the Universal Service and AccessAgency of South Africa (USAASA) as the managing body of the Universal ServiceFund (sections 80-91).Regarding infrastructure, Section 5.(5) says, “Electronic communications networkservices, broadcasting services and electronic communications services that requirea class licence, include, but are not limited to — (a) electronic communicationsnetworks of district municipality or local municipal scope operated for commercialpurposes“. Thus local government is able to provide connectivity to its citizens interms of the ECA.If local government is to act as a service provider in terms of the ECA, then thefollowing Acts also become relevant:  Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002. This act protects personal privacy of the communicating persons and provides facilities for law enforcement through interception of messages.  Films and Publications Act, No. 89 of 1998 (as amended by Act 3 of 2009). This act protects children who may also be affected by the information being broadcast, and there is some overlap with the ECA in this case.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 62
  • 63. Broad Band Policy for South Africa (Government Gazette 33363) developed in termsof section 3 (1) of the above Act. In general promotes the usage of broad band (BB)to create an “information society” where access to information is increased,expanded and made more equal. Broad band and ICT’s are to be used foreducational, health service benefits, improving general government efficiency,increasing investment, reduced communication costs, overcoming themarginalization / disadvantage that results from spatial patterns / urban rural inequityand increasing access to employment / job creation. The policy outlines a role for allspheres of government including local government i.e. obligation to make ownpolicies (general and BB) consistent with the NBB policy, define need for BBservices ito of infrastructure provision, develop own BB policies and align to NBBP,provide electronic communication services in cooperation with provincial andnational government, obligation to connect with NBB services and enable investmentin and distribution of e-government services to “drive demand for BB” and “promoteuptake and usage.”!8. Conclusion to Section AThe main aim of this study is to identify ways of improving participation andaccountability in local governance through the use of ICT’s. The basic precepts oflocal democracy are clearly outlined in the South African Constitution and theresulting legal framework. Adherence to these principles however remains weak inthe actual practices of many municipalities. South Africa’s struggling localgovernment sphere is confronted by a rapidly expanding IT industry that includesinternational players and purveyors of ICT’s that ostensibly offer comprehensivesolutions to municipal challenges, mainly within the e-government realm butincreasingly also in relation to e-governance. Many of these applications haveproven successful in well-educated societies of middle to high household income,high levels of connectivity and mature democratic systems. The local authorities whooperate such systems are typically skilled with strong systems and infrastructure,backed up with adequate budgets. It would be ill-advised therefore to assume aneasy transfer of the same ICT’s to the South African context for similar outcomes.Success in the South African municipal sphere is more likely to be achieved throughthe selective application of particular ICT’s for very specific gains in localparticipatory democracy.Improving public service and convenience in government / municipal transactions todisadvantaged communities and to the public in general is a key objective of e-government. e-Government alone however, does not guarantee citizens a strongervoice and greater control over elected local councils – indeed there are manygovernments in the developed and developing world that offer excellent services butlittle functional democracy (or recourse should government decide to withholdservices). The ICT discourse, including that currently active within the South Africanpublic service, that conflates e-government and e-governance, therefore needs to betreated with caution.Highly beneficial ICT innovations in municipal services and delivery mechanisms arenonetheless a good indication of possible applications / adaptations to advance e-PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 63
  • 64. governance i.e. gains in participation and accountability. Most ICT’s are able to serveboth e-government and e-governance objectives, however, the scope for theirfunctional impact on participation is often limited. Studies of ICT performancefocusing on municipal websites for example are instructive and able to use differentcriteria to arrive at an aggregate ranking. While undoubtedly a sound scholarlyundertaking, this offers very little in the way of understanding how discrete, highimpact ICT best practices that advance participation could be promoted amongstmedium / small municipalities.The meta-process of implementing an ICT initiative, to promote participation,engagement and accountability between the local state and civil society needs to: a) Focus on e-governance (or digital democracy) and recognise that participation and inclusion are preconditions to having a meaningful voice in local government and holding leadership accountable b) Recognise the linkages between the above as primary objectives and the practice of good e-government that optimises service efficiency and citizens feedback, customer convenience etc c) Take into account that ICT interventions that are not specifically geared towards vulnerable sectors of society may simply empower existing elites at the expense of the former d) Begin to understand and document the minimal levels of institutional maturity that are required to support specific ICT interventions – this may mean that certain ICT best practices are specific to municipalities of a specific size and capability e) Seek to empower existing systems for participatory local democracy where ICT’s can clearly build on existing achievements or turn around past failures – very realistic assessments of likely impact are required here, especially in terms of systems with deep seated problems e.g. ward committees f) Seek quick tactical advances that are not constrained by broader institutional weakness or inertia g) Unleash independent momentum for engagement / discourse from within civil society – good reliable reports and financial records on websites could for example boost the quality of media reporting on municipal affairsTaking the lead from Ferguson (2002) and adapting for the South African context,certain procedural points seem apparent for any municipality wishing to use ICT’s toengage local citizens 1. A clear vision of the kinds of outcomes desired by local government is required (e.g. optimisation of internal functioning, improvement of civic participation, etc.). 2. Where the ICT has a defined user / stakeholder base, the business processes that may lead to these outcomes should be selected in conjunction with all the stakeholders. It is very important to lobby all stakeholders in this process. 3. Where new capacities are expected of municipal staff or civil partners, training needs to occur so that the people implementing the processes are aware of the importance of the new actions they must undertake. 4. Accountability, the people implementing the process must feel accountable for their actions. They should see themselves as owners of the system.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 64
  • 65. 5. Finally, the systems must be adjusted to reflect the experience of its users e.g. high tech call centres that increase the time and effort that it takes to query an account need to be rapidly overhauled or scrapped.Based on the theoretical framework already described, the next section of this studymakes particular reference to points 1 and 2 above in selecting an initial pool of tenmunicipalities that appeared to offer good examples of ICT practice. Where auxiliarybest practices are discovered, which may lead to more efficient internal localgovernment systems i.e. good e-government, these are also included. In manyinstances the value of the study lies in the municipal champions who were willing todiscuss and analyse their achievements in a frank manner.Rensie Van Rensburg, a researcher at Meraka Institute says, “ICT’s can’t do it.People can do it, enabled by ICT’s.” This is also the impression we get as far as ICTand local government are concerned.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 65
  • 66. SECTION B: CASE STUDIES INTO SOUTH AFRICAN MUNICIPAL PARTICIPATIVE BEST PRACTICEPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 66
  • 67. 9. Introduction 9.1. Potential Case Studies in ICT Usage24The research team, in close consultation with SALGA / GIZ conducted a broadliterature scan or first cut in order to identify projects which seemed to offerinnovative use of ICT’s to advance citizen’s participation in local governance. Thisexercise resulted in the following selection:  Metro broadband projects – infrastructure is the key to access. Ekurhuleni, Ethekwini, City of Cape Town and City of Jo’burg municipal broadband projects are reviewed in the SALGA ICT Review (SALGA 2010).  Tzaneen – wireless mesh network (with Meraka): this network will include a sustainability model for servicing of the infrastructure via technical micro- enterprises called Village Operators. Meraka have calculated how many nodes in the network are required per Operator and the network is currently (2011) being implemented.  Orange Farm – wireless mesh network (Dabba Telecoms): this network has been operating and expanding since 2007. It includes a sustainability model for micro-enterprises based on sales of talk time, similar to the community telephones.  Mbhashe District – the rural Siyakhula Living Lab provides a hybrid mesh network to provide Internet access at schools, as well as a model to share this connectivity with the communities. Currently the main effort related to connection with government has been in the sector of Education, but plans exist to include local government via the Ward Councillors.  Knysna – a widely celebrated project, this initiative connected municipal offices (incl. schools, hospitals, etc.) and also allowed free WiFi access from several hotspots throughout the city also based on a wireless mesh network installed by Uninet. The project contract terminated in July 2010 and although the infrastructure is still present, it is switched off. The municipality has created its own network infrastructure connecting just its offices. [Information received telephonically from Knysna IT department, 2011-01-25]  Makana – an initiative has been approved to create a training hub in a disadvantaged area (Grahamstown East), including a telecentre and connectivity. Civic groups will be able to access information and social media online, while receiving training.  Cape Town Metro – the Smart Cape initiative is a multi-pronged effort to rationalise municipality services and provide access to the disadvantaged, and it has been ongoing for several years. The Digital City concept plans for citizens’ access not being dependent on commercial rates. Of interest to this study are the Internet café’s run as businesses by community members with subsidized pricing, intially. The initiative called Silulo Ulutho has won awards and seems to be self-sustaining. The Cape Town municipality continues to24 Complete copies of the Case Studies can be found in Appendix APCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 67
  • 68. fund ICT-related training for children at municipally owned sites [interview with project trainer]. This point requires more investigation regarding the depth and breadth of the grassroots involvement by the municipality.  Cacadu District – this district municipality provides free Internet access at municipal libraries – the “Connect to Cacadu” programme. Currently about 200 libraries around the district are being included in the programme. Internet access has to be booked for a period of 45 minutes and then renewed. The number of terminals at the libraries varies from 1 to 4 computers. Offline educational software is also present on the machines, as well as information relevant to the district government.Municipal Innovation  Langeberg Local Municipality25 – has attempted to use Facebook to reach citizens by creating a Facebook city page, which should be created by an authorised person. Facebook city pages currently (Jan 2011) supports the following functions for city pages: o A basic information page is displayed. This could be useful if kept up to date – this is not the case for Langeberg municipality. o It shows a message such as “John Doe and 3 other friends live here.” o It can display posts throughout Facebook, which relate to the city in question. This is potentially the most useful function for users, however, it relies on relevant posts being correctly marked as referring to the city and on the undisclosed search algorithms finding the information correctly. o It allows one to select whether this is the city one lives in. o It allows one to “like” (similar to a vote of confidence) the city. o It does not allow any significant amount of interaction. Other interesting Facebook facts: o Johannesburg26 and a host of other places also have city pages – it seems that these have been imported automatically from Wikipedia (an open access online encyclopaedia). o Other cities on Facebook are not authorised but simply created by private persons:  Grahamstown and Durban pages also exist. They do not however, use city pages – in other words, these pages are created for civic purposes. These pages seem to be much more in use than the official city pages on Facebook.  Nelson Mandela Bay Metro – development of smart transportation systems for the world cup, with extension to disadvantaged areas. More investigation is required on this point.  eThekweni Metro: use of open source software to run websites & Voip to reduce telephone costs  uThungulu District Municipality (KZN) – Document Information Management System could allow ward committees to track project progress in their areas25 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Langeberg-Local-Municipality/133175220047089?sk=info - accessed on2011-01-1426 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Johannesburg-Gauteng/108151539218136 - accessed on 2011-01-14PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 68
  • 69. Ten of the most promising municipalities were selected for the development of briefICT profiles. A further round of comparison / screening resulted in the selection ofthree municipalities for the development of more in-depth profiles. The criteria forselection arise directly from the discursive material under section A in an attempt toidentify and study concrete examples of best practices in e-governance in SouthAfrica.The case studies are in turn used to make more general conclusions andrecommendations which form the final section of this report. 9.2. Top ten case studiesTen municipalities were selected after the initial scan of the 21 municipalitiesdescribed above. The selection criteria examined a number of different forms of ICTusage as a proxy indicator for good practice in ICT enabled participation.The principal method of ranking the municipalities relates to their score in differentforms of ICT usage; however this has also been off-set by: - Where applicable, an adjustment of the score due to a recommendation by GIZ / SALGA - The general assessment of the researcher who conducted the desk-top research on the case study (related to institutional, political or other feedback) - Detailed scoring criteria are reflected in Appendix B in a table showing the score of all 21 municipalities reviewed.From the literature review, the research team predicted a bias towards metropolitanand district municipalities based on their institutional maturity and access toresources. While the team specifically sought to favour local municipalities, this wasnot always possible and in the interests of uncovering good ICT enabledparticipation, a degree of bias towards the metros / districts has been accepted.The team also acknowledges that a general measurement of ICT usage, whilst themost logical screening criteria, does not guarantee that a good ICT practice relatedto participation actually exists. In the course of working up the case studies thereforetwo options seem likely: 1. participation via ICT’s proves to be weak but the case study is completed on more general forms of e-governance as a useful contribution towards setting the broad context of ICT usage 2. removal of the municipality and replacement with another case study of similar score;Each individual case study would be developed via two main actions, after SALGAhad approved both the selection and the selection process: 1. Further desk-top research (web search etc) 2. Targeted interview/s using Telephonic Survey Questions (Appendix B)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 69
  • 70. Case Study Score Comment Outcome1. Inxuba 7 Average score, poor assessment but use Removed and replaced Yethemba LM of mobile technology directly with with Emakhazeni LM community2. Sekhukhune 7 Average score but good assessment – Included DM Living Labs initiative3. Knysna LM 9 Fair score and assessment Included4. Msunduzi LM 10 Fair score and assessment Included5. Tzaneen LM 10 Fair score and assessment Included6. Langeberg 10 Fair score but poor assessment – has Removed and replaced (formerly received acknowledgement for ICT with Cacadu DM Cape participation (GIZ) Winelands) LM7. uThungulu DM 10 Fair score and assessment Included8. Eden DM 12 Good score and assessment Included9. Nelson 15 Good score and assessment Included Mandela Metro10. Cape Town 22 Good score and assessment Included MetroReserve MunicipalitiesBoth of the reserve municipalities Emakhazeni LM and Cacadu DM were assignedafter an initial contact revealed obstacles to the study i.e. in Inxuba Yethembaservers were offline for an extended period, and Langeberg declined to take part inthe study. 9.3. Top three case studiesThe criteria used for selecting the three in-depth case studies took into account afurther set of considerations:  Spread of type – metro, district, local (if possible)  Indication of good e-government / e-governance: strong ICT practices for a range of government functions e.g. billing alerts and updates, provision of community-based ICT facilities (hubs etc), integration of social networks into IT network to keep citizens informed and updated, ICT enabled service transactions AND/OR specific elements with a direct participation / accountability focus e.g. on-line discussion forums on municipal affairs, electronic input / interaction with IDP, performance reports, budget etc, transparency around tender awards etc, on-line polls on key policy or operational decisions  Willingness of key contact staff to cooperate with further case study research  ICT enabled participation / e-governance should be substantive and practical i.e. real systems that work or have been tried – not just plans or theoretical commitments (the sector abounds with failed pilots, proposed projects, etc.)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 70
  • 71.  Availability of relevant performance reports, assessments or other documentation would be a distinct advantage  Contactable respondents from civil society who have used / interacted with the relevant ICTIt should be noted that in relation to the last three bulleted points, there are very fewstudies that were found to comply. The three in-depth case studies that were finallyselected were: 1. Cape Town Metro 2. Eden District Municipality 3. Tzaneen Local MunicipalityApproachFollowing up on the queries set out in the 2nd level research, each in-depth case wasassigned to a researcher who was tasked with the following: 1. Against the backdrop of the 1st level case study report, clearly identify the most significant practices for follow-up and list key queries / follow-up questions 2. Arrange further interviews with relevant staff and request documentation related to topics 3. Conduct in-depth focused interviews with identified officials / review documents 4. Conduct in-depth focused interviews with identified civil society counterparts where present 5. Where feasible test key components of claimed on-line systems e.g. participate in a municipal poll. 6. Compile in depth case study report as per existing templatePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 71
  • 72. SECTION C: FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 72
  • 73. 10. IntroductionThis final section of the report presents the findings and conclusions of the study anduses these to frame a set of recommendations explicitly for future SALGAinterventions in the arena of ICT enabled participatory local governance. Within thetime and resources available to this study we have endeavoured to provide anoverview of the theory and concepts, both national and international that haveshaped investigations into the use of ICT’s to advance e-government and e-governance. We have then related these to the imperatives of democratic localgovernment in South Africa and the emerging reality of engagements between civilsociety and municipal government.The ICT sector is strongly shaped by theorists, purveyors of products, consultantsand other players who generally foresee huge potential to improve governancesystems through constantly improving IT solutions. The case studies and theprocess of investigating these ICT-based governance solutions suggests a need fora sober and cautious assessment. Our assessment has therefore tried to gauge thereal impact of ICT’s in:  Municipal institutional environments where basic systems and business procedures are often weak or absent  Municipal institutional environments where such systems are stronger and more mature and are operated by skilled personnel with adequate budgets and appropriate infrastructureThis section of the study therefore begins with a summary of the findings andconclusions drawn from the various sections of the report. These insights are thensummarised in a matrix which describes the procedures and practises of formal andinformal participation in local government and relates this to relevant technologies orcomposite ICT systems that have demonstrated potential or have actually beenshown to be effective in promoting participation and accountability. We then makepractical ICT-related recommendations for SALGA’s consideration that could formthe basis of future interventions.In the final part of this section we use the findings of the study as a whole, butparticularly the research on medium -small local municipalities, to construct a genericmodel of beneficial ICT usage for the advancement of participation andaccountability.In the final part of this section we make practical ICT-related recommendations forSALGA’s consideration that could form the basis of future interventions.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 73
  • 74. 11. Findings and Conclusions 11.1. Clarifying the Meaning of e-Governance in the Municipal SphereThe South African government discourse on ICT’s and governance tends to conflatee-government with e-governance. Although the former constitutes the building blocksof the latter, any further interventions around ICT enabled participatory localgovernance must factor in the distinct values of democracy and accountability ofpublic institutions that makes e-governance unique. In the municipal sphere, thismerging of e-governance and e-government creates a fairly complex notion ofservice considerations mixed in with work culture, performance feedback andparticipatory considerations. Municipal officials, particularly those in technical posts,have difficulty understanding that streamlined service, the opportunity for consumersto provide feedback and good customer care do not cover the full ambit of e-governance. Direct participation in decision-making and accountability by electedleadership or senior management through ICT vehicles or other means, is seen asbelonging in the political realm.Related to the above but somewhat more complex in definition, is the interestingnotion of e-inclusion. Non-discriminatory access to ICT’s is increasingly seen as ahuman right in the EU community. If such a principle is adopted in South Africa, it isincumbent on the state as a whole and not just local government to expandbroadband penetration. In the same vein, the use of ICT’s for protest and civicresistance has recently been strongly demonstrated in Northern Africa and theMiddle East. Certain municipalities e.g. Cape Town Metro, seem to recognise themerits of e-inclusion in attempting to expand access for marginalised communities.In some instances this is for PR-communication purposes or to assist / streamlinemunicipal functions, but it also seems to serve broader developmental imperativessuch as education. In the current climate of municipal politics and administrativechallenges, local government should also be aware that e-inclusion might includeICT’s being used to criticise service performance and municipal leadership and tocoordinate community protests or attempts to force accountability. 11.2. General Factors that Shape e-ParticipationProgress in e-inclusion is obviously shaped by network coverage, levels of literacyand especially ICT literacy – these constitute structural obstacles to expanded ICTusage. e-Participation is however only partly shaped by issues of connectivity andICT literacy and basic questions of the legitimacy of government, the exercise ofcitizenship and trust in local government, also determine the scope for e-Participation. Different ICT technologies offer different degrees of relevance. Web-based ICT interventions have limited relevance for the majority of South Africansunless facilitated by intermediaries (community-based organisations, NGOprogrammes or social movements that deliberately set out to work with ICT’s).Other high-level forms of ICT engagement e.g. the use of Wikis for co-drafting ofofficial policies and laws seems to be currently beyond the scope of both governmentand societal capability in South Africa. By contrast mobile phone technology is widelyunderstood and used even in poor communities – in 2009 cell phone ownership orPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 74
  • 75. usage was around 93% (46.436M)27. The case studies also demonstrate widespreadmunicipal awareness of the possibilities of this technology for basic transactions,notices and account reminders.In addition to the question of which ICT’s should be used, there is also the issue ofhow they should be used. Although we cannot quantify explicit trends, generalengagement and interaction with municipalities, apart from e-transactions, seems tohave had limited take-up by the public. This is consistent with internationalexperience that suggests that e-governance is best facilitated where ICT’s areemployed to enhance a specific form of engagement between citizen andgovernment e.g. petitioning or registering opinion of specific issues via a poll. 11.3. ICT’s as Tools of Government TransformationAn interesting notion within ICT literature is that ICT can shape the very nature andquality of government and possibly even governance. A number of ICT expertsreferred to in Section 4 have developed models around the idea that all governmentsadvance through certain phases of development as they progress toward a higherlevel of ICT integration. These theories are meant to hold, regardless of culture,nationality or the level of government (national or sub-national). The argumentprobably has appeal because it hints at the removal of certain elements of humanagency that is regarded as fallible and instead places technology in the driving seatof governmental change.The idea of hierarchical advancement through phases of ICT capability outlined byGartner, Deloitte and Touche, Hiller and Belanger and others may be overlysanguine and blind to the contextual realities of local government but it does offersome useful benchmarks that could be used to peg objectives and indicators for ICTenhancement programmes. For example, the first step may simply be to getinformation out, the second step is to get feedback on specific issues, the third stepmight be to open up more open debates or interactions around policy, performance,economic future etc. Notions of shared or free flowing data between wardcommittees and IDP units for example, fit in with Gartner’s idea of an informationcontinuum. Such a progression can obviously be factored into the municipalreference model developed within this study. Ferguson’s attempt to frame a modelspecifically for local government results in a fairly generic but still useful set of projectdevelopment guidelines e.g. balancing process imperatives with customer needs –Ferguson’s most useful advice may be to “get on and do something and activelylearn.”The e-governance discourse offers up the seductive notion that ICT can unlockdemocratic practice and participation in modalities previously not recognised inliterature on government and politics. The evidence from the case studies suggeststhat ICT’s, while offering many new possibilities in e-government and customercare, can only really increase the impact or scope of participatory / accountabilitysystems that are already familiar and in place – if not always practiced. The value of27 http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/material/excel/MobileCellularSubscriptions00-09.xls - accessedon 2011-05-01PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 75
  • 76. the ICT may therefore be in making these participatory systems more affordable orpracticable or extending their scope and scale.Other measures of ICT progress are outlined in Section 4.2, and are similar togeneric project management indicators e.g. cost effectiveness, social impacts,customer experience etc. These criteria would be useful if applied against some sortof uniform institutional benchmark for local government (which does not really existin SA). Where strong performance management systems exist i.e. at Metro level orthe stronger District Municipalities, the use of such indicators may be feasible.Gartner’s Hype Cycle highlights the issue of how ICT adoption may be impacted bythe nature of government and society where it is implemented and the understandingof citizenship that consequently applies within those settings. The leaps of progressin governance promised by these “maturing ICT’s” are interesting and inspiring butneed to be treated as emerging lessons rather than guarantors of success. 11.4. e-Government Models: South African Government ProposalsSeveral e-government models have been described which could allow SouthAfricans to access e-government i.e. gateway service points, plug-ins, mobileservices, websites, government hotlines and call centres, computerised counterservices. Within these systems a wide variety of technologies may be applied. Mostof the models are geared towards customer care and convenience althoughanecdotal evidence suggest that these objectives are not always met. Adaptability ofthese models to participation and e-governance seems likely although this was notexplored in depth. Key options are outlined in the case studies and the analysismatrix.ICT enabled access services are frequently let down by institutional factors withintheir host organisations over which ICT has no control. This is usually because theservices are not “deep enough” to respond efficiently and effectively i.e. theautomatic processes simply results in system overload or simply confirms that thesame poor service will result e.g. a call centre that responds “you are 211th in thequeue and will be serviced within two weeks.” (See also the discussion in section5.3.) 11.5. Infrastructure and back-office, not participation requires e-focusThere is a long history of ICT projects that have attempted to develop communities insome way and have failed (see for example Heeks, 2005 or Batchelor, 2002). Advicefrom the ICT4D field is to invest not in e-participation, but in improving the efficacy ofthe municipal administration itself (for various reasons, see Heeks, 2005). “The back office not the front office: ICT initiatives reaching out to citizens are beloved by politicians and agencies because they grab media attention. They are also the ones that fail. Far more effective are the back office applicationsPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 76
  • 77. that help better planning, decision-making and management. They may not attract the limelight but they are more likely to sustain and to have a mass- scale impact. Here, the motto could also be [:] the data centre, not the telecentre”. (Heeks, 2005)As explained in this report, often even simple technological improvements rely onstandardised and effective back-office ICT usage and processes within localgovernment. One of the core technologies that local government can harness toachieve the kinds of technology maturity required is that of Service OrientedArchitecture (SOA). SOA carefully aligns business processes and technologies,while providing business processes with well understood interfaces. This means thateveryone in the organisation understands what the purpose and capabilities are ofeach unit, so that requests can be routed straight to the responsible person or entity.This increases efficiency and allows new participatory technologies to be deployed.As we saw in Section A, SOA is one of the more widespread technologies. More andmore governmental agencies will soon be using it in their daily operations around theworld (Gartner, 2009). There seems to be a gap in the developing (or BRIC) nationsaround this topic as discovered by this study, since there are no conclusive projectsthat could be found that relate to e-participation there. This could prove to be anopportunity to local business. It may be fruitful to consider a public-privatepartnership in the realm of back office infrastructure.The City of Cape Town case study demonstrated an integrated and functional back-office system improving service delivery, with 90% of valid queries being handled bythe call centre agent. 11.6. Hardware and Software OptionsSouth African society and government are confronted with a very broad array ofhardware options that could serve e-governance objectives. ICT hardware simplyallows the various stakeholders to connect to each other. How people connect andthe kinds of functionality that are offered by the hardware is a matter for softwareapplications. Some kinds of applications require a mix of hardware solutions (e.g.web servers are required for web sites). Existing hardware usage patterns e.g. localgovernments prioritisation of websites does not mean the exclusion of moreaccessible and widely used technologies like mobile users – with further investment,connections to mobile telephones can be integrated into the system.This study consciously tried to avoid a bias towards web sites, however, these ICT’semerged time and again as the most important single technology. They are versatileand interactive and can be accessed and customised to work with other ICT’s suchas mobile devices. Because of their mention in the Municipal System Act, websitesare also a point of leverage for communities and other spheres of government inobtaining key information from municipalitiesThe two web-based studies that were presented in this survey outline excellenttemplates for design, access and other operational benchmarks that make for bestpractice. Both suggest clear criteria whereby websites can be planned andPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 77
  • 78. assessed. Some of these criteria relate to interactive potential and thus measureparticipation, however, websites fare worst against this measure.There is a vast array of other technologies, many overlapping that can be used topromote e-participation, however, their real potential only emerges through specificICT based projects such as Living Labs which connects remote villages throughwireless mesh networks. Projects also provide cheap instant messaging to receiveassistance or counselling, Internet access in remote areas via VSAT andEDGE/GPRS connection units and surveys conducted via mobiles.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 78
  • 79. 12. Analysis 12.1. ICT’s and Formal Participation in Local Government Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development e-Governance Ward committee Municipal Structures Act Logging key concerns / issues per ward to free None as yet This could be expanded into system 1998 Section 72-73 sms number – also option of dedicated page on the Mxit or general IM website space, once in place Municipal Systems Act Bi-annual sms polls on performance of ward None as yet Include results in annual Section 4 & 16 councillors. Verifying the poll responses against a report registry of numbers or RICA information would Include poll information on validate the process. website, in real-time. Monitoring of ward projects via website link to key uThungula (partial via doc Ward-based hubs with documents on intranet / municipal data bases management system) authorised access Internet-based ward profiles & data including eThekwini NA images Full contact details for ward councillors published Polokwane LM - most Include email or sms post on internet municipalities box for posting comments on ward issues IDP Review Municipal Systems Act Registration of interested parties via web or email Most Metros and some larger NA Chapters 5 for input on key components e.g. spatial LMs frameworks, land use plans etc Provision for electronic input into IDP e.g. email, Eden DM, Nelson Mandela NA SMS or other link Metro, CT Metro By-laws and policies Municipal Systems Act Wiki facilitated joint drafting by expert panels / None Email / sms alerts for new or input Section 12 (3) (b) interest groups amended by-laws & policies Email register of key interest groups / advocacy None bodies by topic – targeted feedback on draftsPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 79
  • 80. Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development Website facility for public comments / feedback Nelson Mandela Metro Others allow this via Twitter, Facebook (CT Metro, Tzaneen, etc.) Annual Reporting / Municipal Systems Act Publishing of Annual Report in required format and Most municipalities conform Automated (“robot”) financial accountability Section 21 B content on municipal website watchdog that reports Municipal Finance transgressions, empty Management Act 2003 documents, etc. to SALGA Section 75 (1) (See section 13.8) The Municipal Property Electronic drafts circulated to registered interest None Rates Act, 2004 Sections 4 groups / CSOs for comment prior to publication & 49 Ward-based planning Municipal Systems Act Identify and register particular ‘infomediaries’ for None Infomediary selection to / CBP Chapters 4 & 5 particular wards to facilitate on-line needs analysis form part of ward nomination / service prioritisation – could be existing advice process offices Indabas / consultative Municipal Systems Act General use of chat rooms, Wikis, MXit or other CT Metro * Schedules of e-meetings & forums Section 16(1) social media platforms to generate discussion on topics for on-line discussion. key topics * Minuting of forums to wiki or blog format, allowing public to comment on past meetings. Community Municipal Systems Act CDWs could be enabled through mobile ICTs such None NA Development Workers Chapter 4 as tablet PCs or smartphones. These technologies (CDW) could be used together with a purpose-built ICT toolkit, for a number of applications, including enabling the CDWs as a conduit of public participatory input and feedback.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 80
  • 81. Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development Traditional authority Municipal Structures Act Use of rural hubs at schools, clinics etc to provide None Mesh networks are a 1998 Section 81 identity of traditional chief for the area, focus of promising technology to recent consultations, projects scheduled for area & provide e-participation in The Traditional Leadership priorities rural areas. and Governance Framework Act (41 of 2003) Municipal information Municipal Systems Act Provision of all information as required by MSA and CT Metro See section 13.8 provision / Section 21 B MFMA on website, with a functioning easy-to-use communication Municipal Finance search facility Management Act 2003 Section 75 (1) The Municipal Property Email updates to registered subscribers during Nelson Mandela Metro NA Rates Act, 2004 Sections 4 times of municipal crisis e.g. budget / cash flow & 49 crisis Additional function-specific website e.g. key Eden DM – Edengateway The actual function of this document library or consolidation of LM info at Tzaneen website has still to be district level (council and sub-council meeting clarified – loosely modelled minutes) on Capegateway (See section 13.8) Municipal Municipal Systems Act On-line feedback to departments via website, sms, CT Metro Structured score cards performance Section 4 (2) & Section 16 call centre, mixit or email – specific emails for Msunduzi LM related to specific line management different business units / line departments can be Eden DM (partial) functions for easy input & created Nelson Mandela Metro measurement NMM seems to offer example of good response method (see case study)PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 81
  • 82. Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development Municipal Systems Page on website None Include individual HoD, s 57 Municipal Systems Act Act Section 16 summarising results of manager assessments and Section 16 performance assessment implication for performance from Annual Report related bonus Municipal Systems On-line provision for None NA Municipal Systems Act Act Section 17 (2) (a) receiving registering & Section 17 (2) (a) acknowledging petitions and complaints Municipal Systems Conduct on-line polls on Ethekwini Metro Publish all results in Annual Municipal Systems Act Act Section 16 key LG issues e.g. re- Report Section 16 naming suburbs and Cross-publish results in streets electronic and print media to stimulate interest in issue (campaign). Municipal Systems Free sms service for Msunduzi LM Safe City Targeting of key informants Municipal Systems Act Act Section 17 reporting crime / violation e.g. Mall managers etc Section 17 of municipal by-laws (referral, response & tracking are important) e-Government Formal democracy Municipal Systems Act Register for sms alerts of council meetings, Knysna LM Include outline of key Section 19 standing committees, IDP representative forums Tzaneen LM agenda items or issues etc arisingPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 82
  • 83. Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development Performance Municipal Systems Act ICT enabled customer satisfaction surveys Several Disaggregate per ward and management Section 4 (2) & Section 16 (website, sms, call centre) simply for sms / mobile feedback Service access and Municipal Systems Act ICT enabled services at Multi-purpose Resource CT Metro NA management Section 16 (1) & (2) (Thusong) Centres, kiosks, internet cafes & other Eden DM28 hubs – also provide experience in social media & Cacadu DM Connect with training Cacadu Nelson Mandela Metro Connection of the above i.e. public access facilities CT Metro NA within a broadband network operated by the Tzaneen municipality Provision for online payment of taxes, utilities, CT Metro NA vehicle licenses, permits etc – sometimes through Many municipalities provide a third party facility such as Easypay for basic account payment Call centres – currently limited to service issues / CT Metro & Eden DM Detailed call logs can reflect account queries but have potential for expanded type of service disruption, feedback & performance monitoring locality etc – low volume periods can be used for polls & more general feedback28 Eden DM has no direct role but MPCCs are in place in several localitiesPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 83
  • 84. Form of Applicable legislation ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation development Provision of high level user services such as CCTV eThekwini Metro NA traffic flow patterns and water quality info from CT Metro beaches to website or mobile Sms alerts for accounts due and service Knysna LM disruptions – also used for severe weather Inxuba Yethemba LM warnings, strikes / work stoppages Networked staff Municipal Systems Act Making provision for key staff to use social media CT Metro NA Section 68 to enrich work content and access external expertise Information provision Municipal Systems Act User-friendly searchable data base on web of key CT Metro NA Section 21 policies, minutes and by-laws arranged by most relevance for service users29 Creation of a Facebook municipal page and use for Langeberg LM (not Proper maintenance to public engagement on municipal issues maintained) ensure updated info and Tzaneen (partial) news and feedback / polls via posts Communication Municipal Systems Act On-line newsletter – can be an e-version of hard Nelson Mandela Metro Generally used for Section 21 copy newsletter uThungula DM has good marketing / promotion but example could refocus on core issues of governance and invite outside input29 Policies and by-laws loaded on municipal websites are currently ad hoc and not always organised from a public user perspectivePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 84
  • 85. 12.2. ICT’s and Non-Structural Forms of Participation in Local Government Form of Applic ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation able development legisla tionSocial Movements Some powerful social movements such as Abahlali www.abahlali.org/node/16 Further developments Basemjondlo have their own websites and other ICT’s depend on the strategies of which they use to engage targeted municipalities, the movement / sector generally in a critical manner – these are increasingly sophisticated media / advocacy platforms used to criticize failures in local governance and resist what are seen as unjust municipal actions against informal shack settlements and other marginalised groupsNGO lobby / NGO networks like the Good Governance Learning www.ggln.org.za Further developmentsactivist groupings Network provides some level of electronic interface for depend on the strategies of civil society organisations working on issues of local the movement / sector governance – mainly a website, newsletter and email groups. The GGLN also publishes its annual State of Local Governance Report electronically and uses its website for advocacy purposesRatepayer Hundreds of ratepayer associations have formalised www.saproperties.co.za Further developmentsAssociations their structures and now have well designed websites www.southbroom.org/constitution depend on the strategies of with blog links, forums and other platforms. Many are _ratepayers.htm the movement / sector linked to municipal websites and track developments in www.mpra.co.za/ policy, services, rates increases, tariffs etc – many www.nbusa.org/ have also adopted environmental and development http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search? control lobbies. Engagement with local government is q=cache:8yHJc2AwI7AJ:www.mpra.co.za/+Rate strong and often conflictual. Some appear to receive payer+associations+in+South+Africa&cd=20&hl support from the real estate industry. The National =en&ct=clnk&gl=za&source=www.google.co.za Ratepayers Association now claims to have about 320 member associations across SA and makes extensivePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 85
  • 86. Form of Applic ICT Enablement Practical examples Scope for further Participation able development legisla tion use of posts to update news of local campaigns and inform its members of expert views on property taxIndividual citizens Limited links between internet and intranet allows select Eden (partial) Quid pro quo deals that trade/ service users access to key internal data / documents for access for research outputsconsumers research / empowerment purposesPrivate business Parallel websites and other platforms that market Edenconnect Scope for more rationalised localities, give voice to organised business etc division of functions / responsibilitiesSchools Capacity building and training can begin at an early CT Metro age, and schools and municipalities can work together to teach children the value of participation, democracy, etc.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 86
  • 87. 13. General Recommendations 13.1. From e-Government to e-GovernanceBetter services and efficiency may be the correct priority for a poorly performingmunicipality but there should also be distinct strategies to advance e-governance i.e.the democratic / accountability dimension. SALGA could facilitate the followingprocess of incremental growth in ICT usage: 1) Assist municipalities to audit their IDPs and programme plans for obvious options for quick wins around ICT enhanced e-government i.e. where service delivery and customer care can be improved by adopting appropriate and affordable ICT’s – this should be regarded as a basic level of ICT maturity. 2) After completing stage one, municipalities should conduct a further scan of their public participation / local democracy functions and select one or two that would benefit from ICT enablement – the list of examples in column 2 below could act as a guideline. One or two of these initiatives (depending on the assessed capacity and resources of the municipality) should be regarded as a medium level of ICT maturity with start-up e-governance initiatives. 3) Municipalities that have reached stage two should be encouraged to put in place additional forms of ICT enabled participation (3-4) and take on one or more innovative projects (column 3) that demonstrate advanced e- governance Basic ICT Maturity Medium ICT Maturity High ICT Maturity with (e-government) with start-up e- advanced e-governance governance Register for sms alerts of • Logging key concerns / issues  Bi-annual sms polls on council meetings, standing per ward to free sms number / performance of ward committees, IDP website councilors representative forums etc • Internet-based ward profiles &  Monitoring of ward projects via ICT enabled customer data incl images website link to key documents satisfaction surveys (website, • Full contact details for ward on intranet / municipal data sms, call centre) councillors published on bases ICT enabled services at Multi- internet  Wiki facilitated joint drafting of purpose Resource (Thusong) • Registration of interested by-laws or policies by expert Centres parties via web or email for panels / interest groups Provision for online payment of input on key components e.g.  Electronic drafts of annual taxes, utilities, vehicle licenses, spatial frameworks, land use Report circulated to registered permits etc – can be through a plans etc interest groups / CSOs for third party facility such as • Provision for electronic input comment prior to publication Easypay into IDP e.g. email, SMS or  Identify and register particular Call centres – mainly for other link ‘infomediaries’ for particular service issues / account • Email register of key interest wards to facilitate on-line queries groups / advocacy bodies by needs analysis / service Provision of high level user topic – targeted feedback on prioritisation for ward / services such as CCTV traffic draft by-laws, policies etc community based planning flow patterns and water quality  General use of chat rooms, • Website facility for public info from beaches to website Wikis, mixit or other socialPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 87
  • 88. Basic ICT Maturity Medium ICT Maturity High ICT Maturity with (e-government) with start-up e- advanced e-governance governance or mobile comments / feedback on draft media platforms to generate Sms alerts for accounts due by-laws, policies etc discussion on key topics and service disruptions / other • Publishing of Annual Report in  On-line feedback to municipal warnings required format and content on departments via website, sms, Making provision for key staff municipal website call centre, mixit or email – to use social media to enrich • Use of rural hubs at schools, specific emails for different work content and access clinics etc to provide identity of business units / line external expertise traditional chief for the area, departments can be created User-friendly searchable data focus of recent consultations,  Conduct on-line polls on key base on web of key policies, projects scheduled for area & LG issues e.g. re-naming minutes and by-laws arranged priorities suburbs and streets by most relevance for service • Provision of all information as  Ability to create ICT enabled users required by MSA and MFMA links e.g. website link with Creation of a Facebook on website independent social municipal page and use for • Email updates to registered movements, ratepayers, public engagement on subscribers during times of NGOs, organised business – municipal issues municipal crisis e.g. budget / such links should facilitate On-line newsletter – can be an cash flow crisis debate / interaction e-version of hard copy • Additional function-specific  Install webcams at council newsletter website e.g. key document meetings enabling those who Free sms service for reporting library or consolidation of LM reside far away to watch crime / violation of municipal info at district level proceedings at a municipal by-laws (referral, response & • Page on website summarising library. School children could tracking are important) results of performance also watch these meetings as assessment from Annual part of the Life Orientation Report curriculum. • On-line provision for receiving registering & acknowledging petitions and complaintsShort – Medium Term Medium Term – Long Long Term TermIn the longer term, SALGA, perhaps in collaboration with COGTA, may wish todevelop a set of minimum standards for ICT enabled public participation that apply torespective levels or grades of municipality. For example, metros will have to complywith more complex requirements, while a small rural LM will only have to meet verybasic requirements such as ensuring the IDP and budget is on the website and thephone numbers of all councillors are listed.This could be reinforced through the adaptation of IDP and IDP review formats,performance / annual reports to reflect reporting on how ICT’s have been deployedto enhance participation.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 88
  • 89. 13.2. Focusing e-ParticipationAs described in the literature review, much of the discourse around e-governanceignores the well established conventions and systems of participatory localgovernance and suggests that the technology may shape the form of participation.While this may have merit in municipalities with strong local democracy (as a form ofinnovation), it is recommended that ICT’s be deployed, as a first priority, to theestablished and well understood systems of participatory local governance namely:  Ward committee systems  Municipal performance  IDP Review management  By-law and policy input / review  Ad hoc and issue-based  Annual Reporting / Financial consultation Accountability  Community safety / crime  Ward and Community-based reduction planning  Service feedback  Indabas / consultative forums  Formal democracy (public  Traditional leader interaction scrutiny)  Community Development Worker Programme  Municipal information provision / communicationThe actual forms of participation within each of these functions have been providedin the table in Section 12.1. More detailed examples of such participatory formats areprovided later.Bridging the language gap between IT practitioners and municipal practitioners is avery important step in creating stable processes according to the Service OrientedArchitectures for Government technology as discussed in Section 5.2. 13.3. Institutional CultureThere is a widely held view amongst officials (e.g. Knysna) that direct administrativeaccountability to the public, via ICT’s or other means, is incongruous with the role ofcouncil or even subverts political leadership – few seem to see it as a supplement toparticipatory local democracy. Future SALGA training, guidelines and resourcematerials need to reflect that certain levels of direct public accountability betweencitizens and the administration is not only appropriate but can be beneficiallyunlocked through the creative use of ICT’s.Communication, public participation and IT functions are not always integrated andcoordinated for the best impact on public participation and accountability. ICTresource and infrastructure deployments tend to favour communication, brandingand public relations functions at the expense of participation and transparency.SALGA should facilitate targeted workshops or other interactive events that couldunpack this contradiction and stress the importance of placing relevant andPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 89
  • 90. significant information in the public domain through ICT’s. Local media andNGOs/CSOs could be important partners in such events. 13.4. Shared Services and MentoringShared services e.g. financial applications are often ICT enabled but theunderstanding of shared services differs greatly. Here we refer to everything fromsharing a software package for cost reasons, to a fully rationalised municipal functionfor improved economy of scale (e.g. spatial planning / GIS), where expertise andresources are centralised and deployed in support of several municipalities. Thelessons generated should be carried directly into shared services for ICT enabledparticipation. Eden district municipality is a case in point where a shared service callcentre could easily expand its functions to measuring service performance throughcustomer input.Shared services methods seem particularly well suited to promoting effective ICTdeployment, particularly when a competent district municipality is able to assemblethe necessary skills and resource base and deploy this in support of multiple localmunicipalities thus allowing economies of scale. Cost effective software and themost economically efficient use of infrastructure are also likely benefits. Sucharrangements will receive additional impetus where the core / mentor municipality isrecognised or supported in this role by an agency such as SALGA, DBSA, Cogta orNational Treasury. A national scale intervention of ICT shared services /piloting /modelling/ mentoring could be supported with guidelines, learning opportunities,capacity building etc. The training should not just be for the Communications/ITDepartments but staff from all municipal departments. These staff members could betrained on uploading information from their departments on to the website, workingwith email, using document management systems and other basic ICT skills. TheNelson Mandela Bay Municipality webmaster has done this and thus increased therate at which information is loaded. Cape Town communications department goes asfar as to formalise the agreement with departments and to put the onus on individualdepartments to update content. A SALGA task team supported by a service providercould also seek partnerships with key players in the ICT industry – trading brandingand marketing opportunities (depending on legal requirements) for knowledge /hardware / software inputs. The final objective would be an e-governance municipalnetwork with ever expanding membership focusing on ICT enabled participation andgood governance.Private public partnerships and an opening of municipal activities to outsiders, evenother municipalities, would reinforce the Gartner concepts of seamless socialisationand commoditisation, as explained in Section 5.1. 13.5. Independent Civil SocietySALGA should consider launching a research project to track and analyse theimportant lessons that are emerging from civil society groups, especially socialmovements and ratepayer bodies on how they would see forms of e-participationPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 90
  • 91. being conducted. Using a case study approach, SALGA could then facilitate ICTbased engagement / rapprochement through the relevant municipality.This recommendation arises from the application of the Gartner “ExternalCommunities” concept (section 5.3), together with the Ferguson Model (section 4.1)which advocate that all stakeholders with interest in a particular topic be involved indeveloping an ICT intervention. Civil society groups are (on the whole) wellnetworked and some evidence of the formation of external communities was noted inKnysna (civil societies), Cape Town and eThekwini (supplier community), etc. 13.6. Incentives for ICT Enabled ParticipationThere are numerous opportunities for incentivising e-governance. Possibilities formotivating local government are: • Independent quality audit of municipal website functionality and key content conducted according to a Salga template – resulting in an annual award (NT and Cogta as partners) • Pro-poor award for innovative use of mobile technology to promote service provision and accountability in indigent communities (sponsorship via mobile service providers) • Increasing the profile of CPSI Innovation centre awards for local government.Civil society could also be incentivised: • Communicating with local government should not cost the citizens, or the costs should be commensurate with the benefits. 13.7. Implementation ChallengesFinding the correct vehicle for making improvements to local government systemsand procedures and tracking this process is obviously key. The CPSI InnovationCentre may be a way in which SALGA can collaboratively improve local governmentprocesses (see section 5.2). The concept of the “Data Continuum” (Gartner, seesection 5.3; World Economic Forum (WEF) see section 5.1) may be applied to allowthe public to monitor its own input into the system more easily. The provision of suchdata could enrich the function of the ward committee system. The City of Cape Townhas achieved significant savings in staff time and other resources through such aprocess. The WEF believes, that data analytics, which requires standardised datagathering and open interfaces to publicly generated data, as well as ward forumdata, could aid such an undertaking. 13.8. More Detailed Examples of Technology Enabled ParticipationExample 1: Public Voices in the IDPCommon technology could be used to set up an IVR (interactive voice responsesystem), which would allow the public to record their spoken opinion in an IDPPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 91
  • 92. system. These comments could be reviewed, categorised and summarised forconsideration in the IDP, by a municipal staff member.Such a core system could then be extended with the following functionality: a) a VoIP interface would allow people using systems like Cape Town’s red telephone to phone in for free. Further, all public access terminals that have microphones and loudspeakers would be able to record opinions into the system through web VoIP technology (see e.g. drupal VoIP) b) inclusion of an automated “please call me” (PCM) system. This would make usage free for anyone with a cellular telephone. An extension to the core system would allow the system to make outgoing calls as well as receiving incoming calls. c) automatic publication of inputs. The results of the review by the staff member could also be published in some form, automatically on a public forum such as a Facebook site. The published information could be summarised as e.g. “2011-05-06: IDP comments from the public currently 6 concerning water, 25 concerning safety, and 3 concerning roads.”Example 2: SMS Services Hosted by SALGA (or other central authority)A premium 5-digit SMS hotline to local government could be instituted. The noveltyabout this service may be two-fold: a) the callee pays, i.e. the service would be completely free to the citizen, and b) geographical information could be supplied concerning the SMS and automatically attached to the message, allowing the message to be passed to the relevant local authority.Additionally, SALGA could undertake to have a staff member review and categorisemessages, before they are sent to the relevant local authority. Such a step wouldenable a feedback to the public in a geo-referenced manner, similar to the crowd-sourcing application, Ushahidi.Such a service might also incorrectly geo-reference a particular complaint orsuggestion, thus good monitoring and follow-up in trials of the technology would berequired.The existing JamiiX system could extend such a service by providing access to thisservice from MXit. This would further allow the service to identify the person sendingthe message, as well as allowing an answer to check details of the submission.Example 3: Automated Website Document System (for monitoring, collationand search)Using off the shelf software robot technology, it is possible to monitor all the websitesof all the municipalities automatically.The primary value of the system would be to ensure that legal requirements arefulfilled and to publish these. The following applications (and several others) wouldbecome possible at low cost:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 92
  • 93. a) The same system could also provide added value, for instance by collating all LM annual reports for a particular DM. This is something that Eden DM is doing manually at the moment, but such grouped repositories of information could be provided automatically for all DMs. b) Further, regular software robot systems would also allow all the documents under review to be indexed, making a unified, sensible search for local government documents in South Africa available to all. c) Automatic translation may assist in making the documentation available to all South Africans.The initial setup of the system would be quite labour intensive, but once installed, thesystem would require ongoing monitoring and maintenance by one technical staffmember of the responsible agency (perhaps SALGA). Mechanisms would need to beput in place to ensure that this type of system does not encourage municipalities toonly lodge the bare minimum on their websites in order to achieve compliance.Example 4: Tablet PC based information mediationTablet PCs could be particularly effective in the rural areas, where the population iswidely and thinly spread. Community Development Workers and other municipalworkers need to cover large distances here. A mobile yet maximally enabling devicecould improve the way such field workers work.A tablet PC based system could host a number of Internet enabled applications(using GSM or 3G technology) that would allow the field worker to be an infomediarybetween the rural citizen and the municipal structures. Thus, rural citizens could beempowered to take part in a wide manner of municipal structures, without travellinglong distances. At the very least they could be shown videos of important meetingsand their messages, opinions could be recorded.Example 5: Video Streaming Equipment in Council MeetingsCheap Intranet enabled video equipment (e.g. webcams) could be installed atcouncil meetings, thus enabling residents who cannot travel from their town to themeeting to watch proceedings at a municipal library or school. School children couldalso watch these meetings as part of the Life Orientation curriculum. This would beparticularly cost effective within a wireless mesh network such as the oneconceptualised at Tzaneen, since the schools would not have to pay any fees towatch the video stream. Key items on the agenda could thus also be followed by thecommunity, perhaps stimulating public participation in e-governance.14. Model of an ICT enabled Local MunicipalityThis section introduces a light-weight technology based model for South AfricanLocal Municipalities, with the aim of boosting public participation in governanceusing ICT. The model is also specifically aimed at the broader populace (i.e. alsolarger, poorer communities).PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 93
  • 94. The model has the following distinguishing features:  It is intended to be practical and scalable: o Low staffing requirement o Can be centralised o Makes no assumptions about an existing ICT based back office system  Low cost, higher cost scenarios are included.  The model has three levels: Infrastructure level, Software Level, Informational Level 14.1. Infrastructure LevelThis level concerns itself mainly with the “how” of access and focuses on publicaccess methods as discussed in Section A, with a particular emphasis on mobile andvoice. Hearing people speak may still be the best way to reach a broader audience;consider the high usage rates of the presidential hotline. Local Government couldultimately implement something similar but more sustainable by distributing the inputand feedback across municipalities instead of trying to handle the feedback centrally.It may even be possible to reuse the technology used for the presidential hotline andto improve on it. 14.2. Software LevelHow citizens could reach the municipalityPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 94
  • 95. 14.3. Informational LevelOn the informational level, we define the content and operational process of themodel. These processes and requirements are kept light on purpose, so that theyare easy to implement, monitor and adapt.Similarly to what the City of Cape Town does, each local municipality would need tolook at the content topics that are important to its citizens (e.g. planning, budget,strategy, jobs, etc.) and pick a well-defined topic to promote among the population.This part of the informational level is not really definable in advance and has to beworked out for each municipality in order to meaningfully engage the people there.Note well: Content topics should be kept apolitical.Operational process relates to what is to be done with messages coming into thesystem. Promoting the use of the system among the citizens is not part of thisdocument (there are several ways that traditional methods can be used to promotethe new way of speaking to the municipality).The following simple steps are applied: 1) The call or message is either on topic, or not.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 95
  • 96. 2) If it is on topic, is categorised and added to the statistics on the issue. These statistics can automatically be kept up-to-date on the website and alerts can be sent out via Twitter (or daily SMS to respondents). o The actual message can also be listed on the facebook site if appropriate. This can also in some cases further discussion on the topic. 3) If it is not on topic it is forwarded to the correct line department for processing. While it would be useful to have some kind of feedback on the status of the message while it is being processed, it is recognised that this aspect of the process cannot easily be implemented at all municipalities.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 96
  • 97. 15. ReferencesAndriole, S. J. (2010) Business Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies.Communications ofthe ACM, Vol 53:12, 67-79.Batchelor, S.; Evangelista, S.; Hearn, S.; Pierce, M.; Sugden, S. & Webb, M. (2003)ICT for Development Contributing to the Millennium Development Goals: LessonsLearned from Seventeen infoDev Projects. World BankCPSI (2003) A study conducted for the Centre for Public Service Innovation, CitizenAccess to E-government Services, Department of Public Service and Administration,WITS Link Centre and Sangonet.Dutta, S. & Mia, I. (2011). The Global Information Technology Report 2010–2011:Transformations 2.0. World Economic Forum & INSEAD.Farelo, M & Morris, C. (2006) The Status of E-government in South Africa, MerakaInstitute, CSRI, PretoriaFerguson, M. (2002) Local e-government now: a worldwide view. Improvement andDevelopment Agency (IDeA) and the Society of ITManagement (Socitm).Gartner (2000) by Baum, M and Maio, A. D. The four phases of e-governmenttransformation? Gartner Research Report.Gartner (2009) by Malinverno, P. SOA: Where do I start? Gartner Research Report#G0016554.Gartner (2010) by Bittinger, S. & Maio, A. D. Hype Cycle for GovernmentTransformation. Gartner Research Report #G00205343Heeks, R. (2005) ICT’s and the MDGs: On the Wrong Track. i4d - Information forDevelopment, 2005, 3:3.Jakachira, B. T. (2009). Implementing an integrated e-Government functionality for amarginalized community in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. (MSc Thesis). Universityof Fort Hare.Jakachira, B., Muyingi, H., & Wertlen, R. (2008). Implementation of a web-based E-government proxy for a marginalized rural population. Southern AfricaTelecommunication Networks and Applications Conference, Wild Coast Sun, SouthAfrica.Kholadi Tlabela, Joan Roodt, Andrew Paterson & Gina Weir-Smith (2007). MappingICT Access in South Africa. HSRC Press. Cape Town.Mattes, R. 2007: Public Opinion Research In Emerging Democracies: Are TheProcesses Different? Afrobarometer Working Paper No. 67Melenhorst, Anne-Sophie, Rogers, Wendy A., Bouwhuis, Don G. (2006). Olderadults motivated choice for technological innovation: Evidence for benefit-drivenselectivity. Psychology and Aging, Vol 21(1), Mar 2006, 190-195.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 97
  • 98. Menou, M. J., & Day, P. (2005). Developing A Sense-Making Framework ForCollective Learning In Latin American Community Telecenter Assessment.Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J., & Mulgan, G. (2010). The Open Book of SocialInnovation. NESTA and The Young Foundation.OECD. (2003). Seizing the Benefits of ICT in a Digital Economy. Meeting of theOECD Council at Ministerial Level.Siau, K. & Long, Y. 2005, Synthesizing e-government stage models - a meta-synthesis based on meta-ethnography approach, Industrial Management + DataSystems, vol. 105, no. 3/4, pp. 443.Shackleton, S.-J. (2007). Rapid Assessment of Cell Phones forDevelopment.Technical report for UNICEF.The South African Local Government Association (2010). Local Government E-Government Review. Report to the Management Committee 31 May 2010,Directorate: Economic Development & Planning.Sey, A. (2008). Public Access to ICT’s: A Review of the Literature.Van der Zee, M. (2009) The Evaluation of Municipal Websites in the Eastern Cape,2009 BComm (Hons) Thesis, Rhodes Universityvan Rensburg, J., Veldsman, A., & Jenkins, M. (2008). From technologists to socialenterprise developers: Our journey as “ICT for development” practitioners inSouthern Africa. Information Technology for Development, 2008, 14:1, 76-89PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 98
  • 99. SECTION D: APPENDICESPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 99
  • 100. 16. Appendix A: Case StudiesTen Initial Case Studies 1. Cacadu District Municipality Name Cacadu District Municipality Contact Lynne Niemann Public Relations 082 5780054 Officer Other ICT Staff IT Division under Corporate Services (4 staff – 1 has just resigned) Date of Interview 6 April 20111. Original Motivation as Case Study Essentially Cacadu was chosen as a case study by default due to the unwillingness of Langeberg to participate in the study. The DM, did however, receive a high score after the initial scan due to the fact that there is a substantial amount of information on the website.2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilities Cacadu DM consists of nine LMs and is not linked to these LMs in terms of ICT infrastructure. The DM itself does not use wireless technology and does not currently have Intranet but Lynne Niemann (PR Officer) says that she is currently campaigning for Intranet to be installed. She also noted that a number of the LMs have requested funding from the DM for setting up and managing their own websites and they are currently assisting where they can. The DM has also contracted a service provider to install wireless technology at Baviaans LM as they do not have access to ADSL.3. Communication via ICTs The municipality does not support ICT Hubs, telecentres or multi-purpose centres. According to Niemann a Thusong Centre is presently being established at Ikwezi LM. The DM does not use SMS notifications to constituents and is not planning to do so. It was noted that Cacadu DM does not have any direct connection with thePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 100
  • 101. community in this regard and sees its role as capacitating its LMs to play this role. The municipality does not use other mobile technologies to communicate with constituents and is unlikely to undertake anything in this regard in the short to medium term.4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of information, feedback / interactive? The Cacadu website is not up to date in all respects and according to Niemann, it is “broken”. A new site was set up by a service provider on 28 February 2011 but it has not yet been “released”. However, the current site does contain some fairly up to date information as well as information that is completely outdated. The most recent IDP on the website is the draft 2010 version – posted in March 2010. The latest Annual Report is available on the website. Tenders, official notices and an events calendar are posted on the website but in some cases appear to be outdated. The homepage has articles on the World Cup and the 2010/2011 budget. Apart from the Municipality section of the website, there are also sections on Trade and Investment and Tourism – the information on both these sections is outdated. The GIS server is currently under construction but a link is provided for accessing base data. RSS feeds are also available. There is no provision for feedback / interaction via Wikis, surveys, feedback forms or discussion forums. The Tourism and Trade and Invest sections include components for the use of Twitter and Facebook.5. Other ICT Applications The municipality has no ICT enhancements for formal systems of participation i.e. ward committee system, IDP reviews etc. It does post draft of IDPs, Budgets and Annual Reports but it is unclear as how the public can input on these drafts. None of the components of the municipal website have been designed specifically to improve local democracy or participation etc. There is no call centre and no alternative methods for the public to access answers to frequently asked questions. Niemann indicated that the DM is currently considering ways of facilitating public enquiries and feedback. The municipality has set up an initiative called “Connect with Cacadu” which provides free public access to the internet and email in 26 community libraries throughout the district. The DM has provided the computers and programmes to these libraries and another 10 are planned for the near future. This initiative alsoPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 101
  • 102. provides school leaver advice, information on government departments, reading tutorials, “adult assist” and access to Childline etc. According to Niemann approximately 13,000 individuals have already accessed the system. While not ICT driven, the municipality also publishes a quarterly community newspaper, the “Cacadu News.” This newspaper prints 55,000 copies in three languages and contains information on the budget, elections and other district related information. There is a section for community feedback via letters to the editor and Niemann claims that the DM has acted on and resolved a number of complaints and issues raised through the newspaper. Cacadu DM has also assisted Ikwezi LM (with financial assistance from GIZ), to publish its own local newspaper. In addition, the Speaker of the municipality has a regular radio slot to publicise municipal issues such as the IDP and budget - this initiative has received positive feedback from constituents. The DM also sets up a big screen in a rural area on an annual basis to publicise and obtain feedback on issues such as the budget.6. Conclusion and recommendations re further study The district municipality does not really see participation as its core function and does not appear to have prioritised ICT in this regard. This is partly due to the “low level of ICT literacy” in the district. However, there are significant initiatives within the DM to encourage participation both through ICT and other means This municipality could be considered for an in-depth case study. 2. Knysna Local MunicipalityMunicipality name: Knysna, Western CapeInterviewee: Grant Easton (Finance and IT Director) 044 3026300Other Staff Elsabie Petersen (IT Manager) Nicci Schmidt (Communications Manager) Audrey Vermaak (IT Officer)Initial scan: Overall Impression: mixedThe municipality is very strong on access and hosted the Unify wireless network,which allowed all residents to access the Internet from the vicinity of 40 wirelesshotspots. Because of problems with Uninet the service provider, the Unify networkPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 102
  • 103. was halted. The Unify technology was also not adopted elsewhere, although suchwireless mesh technologies have become well established in other areas, especiallyperi-urban and rural. The municipality replaced Unify with its own network, which isnot quite as large.The municipal website is advanced. It is up-to-date with all the legally requiredinformation as well as notices, links to additional real-time info, e.g. the weather. It isalso tied into back-office account systems for registered users.Summary of detailed scan and recommendation:The Knysna Municipality is interested in providing access to Internet to all itsconstituents, as it sees the value in this initiative.Regarding the website and other ICT’s, a stratification of customers is undertaken bythe municipality to give the ratepayers service focused on their needs. As far asICT’s are concerned, the municipality could not really name any initiatives aimed atdisadvantaged / township / non-rate-paying groups. It seems that ICT’s are a cost-effective way of servicing second-home owners who live in Johannesburg and alsoown homes in Knysna. This seems to be an important market segment for Knysna,as they pay much of the rates. They also support a tourist based economy during thepeak times of the year. Ratepayers have access to their accounts online, and theyare also sent SMS notifications about certain events.The municipality does not see the value in e-participation and has no strategicinterest in harnessing ICT’s to involve the community in democratic process at themoment. Two reasons were mentioned: there is no best practice for e-democracywhich one can follow to guarantee success, and the political will to design andimplement a new strategy appears to not be present in the leadership, because theconstituents do not show any interest in e-participation. As such we recommend notincluding this municipality in the detailed study, except perhaps to examine how sucha relatively advanced municipality, in ICT terms, would further motivate its strategy.Interview results: 1. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesThe Knysna Municipality generated very much public interest by becoming the firsturbanised area to offer wireless Internet access throughout its urbanised municipalarea. The municipality still sees Internet access provision via the municipality as anexcellent model. It is a valuable service that the municipality can provide to itsconstituents at a very reasonable rate. This could also be done for disadvantagedcommunities, and in fact some of these do use the wireless system occasionallyfrom three township located hotspots, which are not equipped with computers, sousers have to bring their own laptops.The municipality does provide free Internet at its libraries.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 103
  • 104. 2. Communication via ICT’sThe municipality uses an SMS Gateway to inform ratepayers of work closures,upcoming meetings, storm warnings, etc. Many of these ratepayers are resident inJohannesburg. Perhaps as a result of this, public meetings are not any betterattended than before the SMS service was started. This does not seem to be a veryeffective way of raising customer interest.There is no use of MXit, although the municipality has been thinking of starting apilot.At the time of performing the study, it was not possible for several days tocommunicate with the municipality via email from a regular Internet Service Provider,which had erroneously been marked as a spam distributor. It took less than a weekto find and fix the problem. 3. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive, etc.The website was set up by an external provider and staff are able to update it via aCMS.The website is very well setup, the search makes it easy to find information on topicssuch as tariffs or IDP documentation.There was a survey on the website but it was discontinued, because of a lack ofinterest from the public.Ratepayers can access account information and even process some transactions onthe website. This feature is well used by ratepayers “living in Johannesburg”. 4. Website use / integration of other ICT’sThe website has little integration with outside sources, with exception of the weather.There is no opportunity to collaborate or engage socially via the website.The mayor is planning to use Twitter once the elections are over. 5. Use of ITs to advance formal participationThere is no specific strategy in place to use ICT’s to advance formal participation bythe public or by public groups in municipal affairs.The only contribution the municipality makes in this direction is by offering groupssuch as FAMSA, the Rotary Club, and other civic groups free access to Internetthrough the municipal wireless infrastructure. This access however does notincrease the group’s interest in the municipal matters, as they can use it for whateverpurpose they like.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 104
  • 105. 6. Other ICT applications for public discussion and feedbackPublic discussion has not been promoted, as it is not seen as a desire of the publicto get involved on the basis of ICT’s. In the opinion of the interviewee, this view wassupported by a study tour made in the UK, where municipalities with much moreadvanced and connected constituencies were failing to engage with their public via awide variety of innovative ICT solutions, because of lack of public interest.7. Call centreThere is no call centre, only the switchboard. A joint call centre has been discussedwith Eden DM, however, there is nothing solid to report there.8. Additional comment: Suggestions from this small municipalityIt is crucial that the political leaders of the municipality make the move to engagewith the public. Information Officers, Financial Officers (as the interviewee), and ITOfficers cannot drive a strategy to awaken public interest. This has to be done at apolitical level and can then if appropriate be supported by ICT’s.As such, this municipality is sceptical about e-participation. 3. Msunduzi Local MunicipalityName Msunduzi Local MunicipalityContact Suresh Maharaj Executive: 033-39222248 Information ManagementOther ICT Staff Msunduzi has 28 IT staff including call operators however many are secondments from other departments Lucas Holtshauzen Manager of Safecity 0828536262 or 033 3940101Date of Interview 18 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case StudyMsunduzi was originally listed because of indications in literature of a telecentre,training, access, job creation etc and some indication that the Area BasedManagement model is ICT enabled. This first scan was able to confirm little of theabove. There was however some indication of good ICT practices – especially theSafe City SMS service for reporting crime.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 105
  • 106. 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesSuresh Maharaj has been the Executive: Information Management for the past 18months and oversees a large complement of IT staff. Many are secondments fromother departments however and even the call operators have other functions e.g. aspayment clerks. Apart from Maharaj, the core of the IT section consists of twomanagers, one technical and the other business. The MLM has a cash flow crisisand is under section 139 administration – in this climate, ICT growth has been put onhold and all departments are focused on recovering service costs / generatingrevenue.ICT infrastructure: Twenty two (22) satellite offices are linked by fibre-optic cable(80%) and Diginet (20%). In total 80% of all municipal facilities are connected withthe remaining 20% on the agenda for the next five years.Currently the network is purely for internal use as the municipality does not see itselfat the maturity level that would allow other governmental or non-government entitiesto use the facilities. Maharaj notes, “There are far too many loose ends – thiscoupled with the lack of policies and procedures, a scarce and chronic shortage ofskilled ICT staff…we have chosen to be more inward-looking over the next two-threeyears adopting the “get our own house in order” approach until we are cleared bythe Auditor General.”There is however an existing project with the DBSA and Korean investors to set upICT hubs in disadvantaged communities. The Koreans have provided 30 computersand four technical experts. The concept is one of decentralised kiosks for accountpayment in poor communities. Maharaj seems to feel that the concept is somewhat‘imported’ and of questionable local relevance. The project has also experiencedpolitical intervention and Maharaj is unhappy with the involvement of multipleconsultants and would like to see a more streamlined approach. 3. Communication via ICTsThe MLM makes some use of ICTs to communicate with registered constituentsaround key events, payments due etc. It does so in the form of a subscription to abulk SMS usage facility. The system is not automated and the SMSs are sent out byMLM operators. This is a limitation of the ERP system they use – which should caterfor automatic sending of electronic messaging. Maharaj notes that the softwarepackage is not ideal and that they are in the process of evaluating ERP systems forthe organisation.The municipality does not use other mobile technologies to communicate withconstituents and is unlikely to undertake anything in this regard over the next 18months while it remedies its weak financial situation.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 106
  • 107. 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive?The MLM website has current annual reports, budgets, by-laws, policies (includingpolicy on access to information as per the Act.), financial statements (2009),schedules of meetings, SDBIP and an SDF i.e. the documentation available is morecomprehensive than the legal requirement. There are some problems with contenthowever e.g. the IDP is in the form of pages on the site, rather than the fulldocument and is therefore a summary. All of these resources are manually loadedand there is no link between the site and core municipal IT systems. There is goodcoverage of key programmes e.g. Area Based Management model – a form ofdecentralised administration and localised democracy but no interaction from thepublic is possible.Contact is reasonable via the website with lists available for all councillors andcommittee members as a separate PDF. Departments are only contactable via emailaddresses on the main page – a sidebar must be used for contact numbers forclinics, airport etc – this separation seems a bit clumsy. There is also a Safe CitySMS service for reporting crime. Emergency services numbers do not appearimmediately and have to be opened as a new page.Supply Chain Management policies & forms for registration are available – also forrates, valuation roll etc but the facility is purely for download – not e-filing. A numberof links (electricity, water, health) etc on the site were broken when tested on 22February 2011.Initial indications of Intranet and blog development as a form of councilcommunication / transparency in decision-making service proved to be unfounded.There is also no provision for feedback / interaction via Wikis, surveys or discussionforums and no components are implemented via public systems like Twitter etc.There is outsourced website design and development to a company known asSesalos. Maharaj was reasonably satisfied with their service. The municipality has afull-time Web Services Administrator who acts as the input point for all webpublishing, both Inter and Intra nets. Maharaj summarised the state of the website asfollows: “The website is in dire need of rejuvenation. It was designed 8 years agoand has only been updated and not enhanced…we have plans to re-float themunicipality’s web presence but funds are an issue at the present time.” 5. Other ICT ApplicationsThe MLM has no ICT enhancements for formal systems of participation i.e. wardcommittee system, IDP reviews etc. It does however have a system for dealing withcomplaints and queries. It provides generic email addresses for all the major servicedelivery units in council. These are in fact an “alias” for the personnel assistants in allmajor Strategic Business Units. The system seems to have arisen to provide the‘PAs’ with more productive work programmes and now accounts for 20% of theirtasks. The public communicate via these published addresses. The system seems tobe a more efficient use of staff time – it was less clear that the PAs can effectivelyPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 107
  • 108. respond to or process all complaints. Complaints are flagged and referred to therelevant managers “…but there is no closure of the loop – reflecting what action wastaken and what the outcome was.”There are no on-line feeds from key events – in this regard Maharaj described theMLM IT system as “archaic and disjointed” and unable to provide on-line real-timeinformation. “At best we are a week behind the ball-game except for billing.”Call Centre: An attempt to contact an ICT respondent at Msunduzi provided an earlyand unfortunate experience of the operation of their call centre. The options offeredby the automated system offer only various queries and transactions related toaccount payments, rates queries etc – no option to reach an operator. If you hang onlong enough you are eventually transferred to a staff member who is not the operatorand seems to have difficulty in transferring to another department or official. Threecycles of being transferred back to the automated call centre were completed beforethe call was ended.Maharaj was fully aware of the failings of the call centre and explained that MLM hasthe latest HEAT software and expensive call centre equipment. Unfortunately,because the municipality is 30% overstaffed, the call centre is run by existing (non-dedicated) staff. The centre also deals exclusively with financial queries as “mostqueries centre around billing and finance.” The absence of a general call centrefunction and the fragmentation of the service “…causes efficiency levels andeffectiveness to be around 27%” according to Maharaj. A new Infrastructure Callcentre is planned but this will further fragment the call centre function – beingdedicated to infrastructure matters and run by call-centre agents.Safe City SMS service.The Safecity project uses the Coretalk SMS program whereby to encourage thepublic to report:  Crime;  Municipal bylaw infringements or  Any suspicious activityUpon receiving the information they divert it to the correct institution for follow up.They also give constant feedback via the system to the sender until conclusion ofthe incident.They have targeted various groups for loading onto the system e.g. shopping centremanagers, Community Police Forum leaders and non ferrous metal dealers. Its doesnot appear that there has been mass usage of the system as yet – ManagerHoltshauzen noted “The problem we encounter is the lack of public participation…”They are attempting to remedy this by giving useful information to the publicregarding events and patterns observed on the CCTV system e.g. patterns of trafficcongestion, public marches which could effect travel time and suspicious charactersobserved near shopping centres. This more interactive approach seems to beimproving public responses – i.e not simply asking for information for publicadministration reasons but providing useful information back to the public.Holtshauzen notes however that “…there is much room for improvement.”PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 108
  • 109. The project has a stand at the Royal Agricultural Show where they hand outbrochures to the public encouraging their participation. They target known usergroups who are competent and frequent users of mobile technology : “We placemuch emphasis on school children especially the younger kids encouraging them toreport incidents of child or drug abuse. Most school kids do have cell phones and aremore competent then us older generation in using it.” 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further studyUnder administration and with a serious cash flow crisis, Msunduzi presents anumber of serious governance challenges that could impede further ICT case studywork. It also seems that the original focus i.e. ICT enabled participation and trackingof the Area Based Management model is not a significant reality. The municipalitynevertheless has a few promising initiatives that potentially involve expandedcommunity engagement through ICTs – these include the ICT Hubs and the SafeCity SMS service. The former seems to be beset by governance problems. Msunduzitherefore has not been considered as an in-depth case study however the usefulinformation emerging on the Safe City SMS service, and its possible refinement overtime to increase public take-up, warrants further study and possible consideration forreplication in other settings. 4. Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality Municipality name: Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality, Limpopo (abbreviated to Tzaneen in the following) Interviewee(s): - Milton Sibuyi (DB administrator) 015 3078085 milton.sibuyi@tzaneen.gov.za - Neville Ndlala (Communications Officer) 015 3078015/45 - Moroka Malale (Manager: Public Participation) 015 3078025 / 073 4375885 Initial scan: Overall Impression: mixedPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 109
  • 110. A recommendation to include the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality was made onthe grounds of:  Meraka CSIR Wireless Mesh Network initiative, to connect 200 municipal and disadvantaged locations  A good, up-to-date website  Use of social media (A static Facebook page was found)  Support of the candidate by SALGA A scan of the documentation on the website showed little interest in ICTs by the municipality management and no mention could be found of the CSIR project on the website. However, this is normal for a very small municipality, and the positive factors indicated that some best practices might be found at the municipality. Summary of detailed scan and recommendation: This municipality seems to be living a dichotomy. While restrictive contracts hamper the utilisation of participative technologies to engage with the public, by forcing the communications and IT officers to use aged and proprietary technologies, these officers are using their own intiative to make use of public web 2.0 platforms to engage the public. Notwithstanding the previous observation, the public participation department does seem to have been experimenting with bulk SMS programmes from the top. These SMS campaigns are in no way linked to back office systems and are all manually driven, as are the processes that ensure that the web site is up-to-date and that all legal requirements concerning the website are maintained. We could not get any hard information about the CSIR project short of that the contracts had been signed and monies transferred. Planning, etc. seem to only be starting now. Further interviews would be required. Tzaneen is potentially a good model municipality for small B4 municipalities, demonstrating what they could be doing and the sorts of problems that they are facing. However in terms of best practices, the municipality does not as yet offer us any practices for e-governance that could be replicated. Interview results: 1. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilities Tzaneen has a radio network which currently links remote locations with the municipal Intranet. The CSIR-Meraka wireless mesh network will incorporate constituents, multi purpose centres and the like into the municipal network, creating a large broadband mesh in the vicinity.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 110
  • 111. The municipality would like to use this new network for VoIP, the current network is too unstable for VoIP applications. Voice services could e very important to the constituents and to municipal service provision. 2. Communication via ICTs The municipality has been using Bulk SMS services. These are approved by the secretariat of the council for specific events, such as public participation (PMS) in IDP. Other methods are not being used. The municipality is using Facebook to communicate with constituents, although not in an automated manner, to do this, they would need to update the content management system (CMS) software. The communication department maintains the page manually. Examples of the Tzaneen Facebook page (above and below), show that the page is kept up-to-date and that fairly lengthy conversations can develop on the medium.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 111
  • 112. 3. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive? etc The website is up-to-date, however, links to the flourishing Facebook page and further applications are missing, despite intentions by the IT department to improve on the situation. The reason is that the municipality has a long- term contract into which it is bound by agreements with the DM. In fact, updating the website is a big problem as it requires HTML knowledge, which means that the communications department cannot do this independently.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 112
  • 113. 4. Website use / integration of other ICTs This is desired, but cannot be carried out as explained above. 5. Use of ICTs to advance formal participation The Public Participation Department does not focus at all on using ICTs. Although SMS are used among the ward councillors, there is not sufficient value add in the municipality to focus on this aspect of governance. There is also no IT Manager currently in place. Emphasis on service delivery among municipal management as well as a lack of skills in IT management seem to downgrade the importance of ICTs within the municipal list of priorities. This is in contrast to the views of the officers in the affected departments, who are convinced that they can do a better job with more support, or at least a new ISP. The officers currently running the website believe that with the permission to host an open source based website (e.g. Joomla), they could greatly improve e-participation without external contractors. The officers mention that they have even petitioned the premier with their concerns, along with other municipalities and are awaiting a response. 6. Other ICT applications for public discussion and feedback The communications department does prepare a quarterly magazine with information, which is also distributed via email. 7. Call centre There is no call centre, only the switchboard. 8. Additional comment: Suggestions from this small municipality The interviewee answered in the following way: There is an inhibition on the part of upper management to invest in ICTs because of historical cases of large projects failing. This should however not prevent investment even in small municipalities in ICT skills. Capable staff need to be placed in positions where they can act to support users and to deliver to their needs, not only in- house but also to constituents. The interviewee put in an implicit word for this study, by saying that municipalities should heed worldwide developments in ICT for municipalities. This is one sector in which South Africa can keep pace with developed nations, especially when considering the high use of mobile phones. Thus the participative practices espoused overseas, need to also be demonstrated here. This is something that SALGA can facilitate.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 113
  • 114. 5. Emakhazeni Local MunicipalityName Emakhazeni Local MunicipalityContact Mr N Carroll Deputy Manager: ICT (0)13 253 1121Date of Interview 18 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case StudyEmakhazeni Local Municipality was selected as it had recently undertaken a numberof improvements to its ICT Services. The website was re-launched in the latter halfof 2010 and a Deputy Manager of ICT was appointed to provide in-house support.Emakhazeni LM has been recognised by SITA the national regulating body of IT inGovernment for the past two years as an example of what can be done by a smallMunicipality. 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesNial Caroll has been the Deputy Manager of ICT since February 2009. The networkwas recently upgraded to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which has resulted ingreater efficiencies for the municipality and has proven to be more cost effective.Due to limited resources the ICT infrastructure is limited and mainly in house atpresent with plans for rolling out further services when funds are secured.Staff have been trained by CISCO in Network Touting, both in Voice Over Internetprotocol and Network Security. 3. Communication via ICTsThe municipality makes use of mobile technologies through the installation of aCommunity SMS Hotline to inform the community of recent developments as well asto receive questions and complaints and has proved to be very popular and the mosteffective way of interacting with the community. The municipality does not supportICT Hubs, tele-centres or multi-purpose centres.There are plans to establish a Facebook Blog for the Executive Mayor. 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive?The website is easy to navigate and up-to-date information on the IDP, Budget etc iseasily accessible. Not all links are working for example all the links to the individualtowns in Emakhazeni are broken. The names and photos of councillors are listed butno contact details are available except for the general phone number this applies tomunicipal departments as well. The municipal newsletter is available on-line.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 114
  • 115. 5. Other ICT ApplicationsEmakhazeni LM has some ICT enhancements such as an SMS system fornotifications as well as a Community SMS (32379) and Email Hotline. The SMS(charged at R 1 per sms) and Email Hotlines have been designed to deal withcomplaints and queries. It provides generic email addresses for all the departments.These emails or SMS’s are then direct to the relevant department by the staff of theICT department. The staff of these departments must then follow up the query orcomplaint. 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further studyEmakhazeni LM has begun a process of expanding its ICT services and with limitedresources and higher priorities such as service delivery the ICT services has notreached its full potential.It is not recommended that this municipality become an in-depth case study. 6. Uthungulu District MunicipalityName Uthungulu District Municipality (KZN)Contact Ted Baldwin IT Manager 035 7992566. 082 6599551 Baldwint@uthungulu.co.zaOther ICT Staff Ivan Chetty IT Technician 0357992713 chettyi@uthungulu.co.za Nozipho Mbuyazi IT Intern 0357992714 mbuyazin@uthungulu.co.za IT Intern Lungelo Mkhwanazi 0357992714 mkhwanazil@uthungulu.co.zaDate of Interview 17 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case StudyUthungulu DM (KZN) was originally selected because it was claimed that aDocument Information Management System could allow ward committees to trackproject progress in their areas. Further literature searches on the UDM did not revealanything of significance related to ICT enabled participation / governance. The UDMdoes however seem to have a strong IT vision and commitment for services &technical functions e.g. planning and water services. Key areas followed up in theinterview were:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 115
  • 116. - CRM IT technology to improve services and communications with water consumers - Ward committee info flows via ICT - Discussion forum 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesThe IT section falls under the Corporate Services Department and makes provisionfor an IT Manager, an IT Technician and two interns. The IT Manager, Ted Baldwinhas been in his post for about 9 months and previously served in the same post forthe City of Umhlathuze (Richards Bay). As indicated above, all IT posts are filled.According to the SDBIP 2010/2011 – 2011/2012, the IT section “provides the ITinfrastructure and mechanisms to help the organization realize its goals andobjectives. It attempts to align functionality requirements of the various departmentsand create an enabling environment for service delivery.” Its KPAs are purelytechnical i.e. provide e-mail and Internet services, printer maintenance and repairs,network compression equipment, IT licences etc.All IT linkages between UDM offices and facilities are Telkom based i.e. phone linesand ADSL. The Intranet is mainly used for sharing documentation between users indifferent departments i.e. purely internal. This document management system allowsdifferent users to work on documents simultaneously and the author of the documentdecides on rights/ permission in this regard.The UDM also operates a shared services system for a financial application knownas Venus. This links five smaller local municipalities within UDM i.e. Melmoth,Eshowe, Nkandla, Nkambanana and Umlalazi. Plans are in place for a sharedservices GIS system that will also serve constituent local municipalities (generateaerial views, maps, erf numbers etc). The service that will be shared will incorporateboth expertise and hardware and will be supported by the Department of EconomicDevelopment. The technology may be wireless or fibre – this is still to be decided.There is some concern that the Department should accept financial responsibility formaintaining the infrastructure and not simply its installation. The main challenge isbandwidth.The UDM does not currently provide ICT hubs, telecentres, ICT community centresetc but plans to do this once the necessary infrastructure is in place – disadvantagedcommunities will be prioritised.Currently the UDM concentrates on water-related services – if public communicationfunctions were to be extended via ICT, it would probably be in relation to thisfunction. 3. Communication via ICTsWater Solutions Southern Africa claims it helped Uthungulu District Municipality touse cellular phone and CRM IT technology to improve services and communicationswith all their consumers, including those residing in remote areas. The IT managerPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 116
  • 117. confirmed these claims with some reservation, noting that the rural areas areextensive and distant from the N2 which is the main source of the cell coverage. Thearea is mountainous and remote with limited cellular network coverage – sometowns are two hours distant from the N2. The impact of this system is thus limited bynetwork gaps.The municipality publishes it own Uthungulu Tourism e-newsletter which seems well-designed for on-line reading. The project seems to have wider dimensions with aBoardwalk Inkwazi Information Hub planned for implementation with an outsideagency (includes an actual building) however this seems to be stalled due a fundingdisbursement problem within the agency.No IT based communication is undertaken with service consumers or constituentscurrently, although this is planned in a limited way for the future. Since UDM ismainly a water services provider and has very limited functions in the urban areas(cemeteries and refuse), the IT manager did not seem to see significant scope forservice feedback / client interaction via ICTs. They do however aspire to use SMStechnology to remind consumers about their accounts.ICT enabled political functions appear to have had a rocky start in UDM. Allcouncillors were provided with laptops that included 3G connections, however theexperience has been that the laptops are little used for council business and are notreturned to the municipality. In the words of the IT Manager, “it has not caught on –perhaps the next generation will take it up…” 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive?Contact with the municipality via the website is weakened due to poor arrangementof the information e.g. councillor and officials contact details. The contact tab on thewebsite provides only the general telephone number. When tested (10 March 2011)some basic links off the main page were broken e.g. Municipal Manager. Someindicated that “new or existing content” was being uploaded e.g. Town Planning. Thewebsite does not provide a user friendly link to key documents like the IDP etcalthough the IT Manager insists that all legally required documentation is uploaded.The site is searchable but very slow. The site includes a Youtube video feed which isfaulty.The IT Manager was clearly unhappy with the state of the website. The contract withthe previous service provider had been terminated due to poor service – the site wasdifficult to maintain and propriety matters had become an issue.The UDM is currently getting quotes for a new website support service and plans tohave a strongly tourism focused site geared to attracting investment – the moreconventional municipal website components will comprise a ‘micro-site’ which willovercome the current deficiencies with the site. The new site will seek an overseashost to avoid bandwidth restrictions.All information that is accessible on the website has to be loaded – there are no linksto other IT systems or data bases or other forms of integration. The site is notPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 117
  • 118. interactive and is not used to conduct surveys, opinion polls etc. This is a pity as theUDM has previously undertaken quality of life surveys which would have been wellsuited to some level of ICT enactment. The level of communication is “one-way” i.e.from the municipality to the community. There are no links to outside agencies suchas Twitter, Facebook etc but the municipality would like to establish these. Thewebsite includes an on-line discussion forum but this does not appear to beoperating and was not mentioned by the IT Manager. Supply chain managementforms can be downloaded but not filed / submitted. 5. Other ICT ApplicationsThere has been no use of ICTs to advance systems of formal participation e.g. wardcommittees, IDP representative forums, budget forums etc and little publicdiscussion or feedback occurs through ICTs. Participation at UDM seems to beconsidered a PR function under a PR manager.The UDM does not have a call centre and uses an automated system that did notanswer when dialled on 10 March at 16.40 – the operator option played music, forany other connections you needed an extension number.A very positive ICT feature is the UDM’s bursary fund and programme for IT interns.The two current interns have moved into contracted positions (Webmaster &hardware respectively) and additional interns will be sought. The IT manager ispassionate about this undertaking and previously ran a successful intern programmeat Umhlathuze Municipality. The internship programme reduces the draw on thebudget and provides a ready source of ICT skills.The UDM Mayor has a monthly, five-minute slot on Radio Ukhozi to talk aboutmatters relating to the Integrated Development Plan. 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further studyThe UDM seems to have an ‘old fashioned approach’ to participation / governanceand as a district municipality, does not see this as its core business. It does howeverhave an IT vision and commitment for services & technical functions e.g. planning,water services etc. It is likely that its future initiatives around ICT will prioritiesinvestment and tourism and while certain forms of ICT enabled participation andaccountability may improve, they will not top the IT agenda.The IT internship programme at UDM is impressive and functional and worthy ofconsideration by municipalities wishing to replicate. It is not recommended that thismunicipality become an in-depth case study.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 118
  • 119. 7. Sekhukhune District MunicipalityName Sekhukhune District MunicipalityContact Phakane Phahlamohlaka Director 082 5780054 Administration – responsible for ICTOther ICT Staff IT ManagerDate of Interview 19 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case Study Sekhukhune District Municipality was originally listed as a possible case study because first impressions of the website are good and it appeared to be a well constructed site that offers easy access to relevant and up-to-date information such as public notices, speeches and press releases, the budget and the IDP. 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilities Phakane Phahlamohlaka has been the Director Administration at the DM since May 2009. There is also an ICT Manager in the Department who has been in the position since July 2009. ICT infrastructure: Eight main offices are linked by wireless but there is no wireless at satellite offices and the municipality is currently investigating the most cost-effective way to link its depots and regional offices. The wireless infrastructure is presently only for use by municipal employees and councillors from the Mayoral Committee. There are no immediate plans to extend the facilities to other entities. The eight main offices were previously not linked telephonically and callers could not be transferred from one office to another. A centralised switchboard was installed in 2009 to alleviate this problem. The municipality does not currently have intranet but a Terms of Reference for setting this up has recently been drafted and will go out to tender in the near future. 3. Communication via ICTs The municipality does not support ICT Hubs, telecentres or multi-purpose centres. According to Phahlamohlaka there are “about” two Thusong Centres, which are based at Local Municipalities.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 119
  • 120. SMSs are used to send information to municipal employees and councillors but are not used to send notifications to registered constituents, this is unlikely to change in the near future. Mr Phahlamohlaka, however, noted that infrastructure has recently been purchased for initiating a Customer Care service but this is not yet fully operational. The municipality does not use other mobile technologies to communicate with constituents and is unlikely to undertake anything in this regard in the short to medium term. 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of information, feedback / interactive? The Sekhukhune website is not up to date in all respects and it was noted that the website was “revamped” last year and the municipality is currently in the process of updating information such as current staffing etc. A Service Provider has been contracted for this task and they are reporting to the ICT Manager. The website is headed by a flash banner that promotes the district but is still advertising the 2010 World Cup. At this stage the information published on the website is mainly confined to legally required documents such as IDPs and Annual Reports and is loaded manually. The latest Annual Report has been posted as a draft for comment and other information such as public notices, event notification and a calendar are up to date. Mr Phahlamohlaka said that service information related to water etc that is available on the website is generally not up to date. None of the municipal policies are available on the site under the policy section, as that particular site is “under construction”. There are a number of policies listed under documents but all of these open as “Integrated Development Plan/Budget 2006/07 MTREF.” There is a feedback link which opens an online form for browsers to send in their feedback but there are no components on the website that are implemented by public systems such as Twitter, Facebook etc. There is also no provision for feedback / interaction via Wikis, surveys or discussion forums. 5. Other ICT Applications The municipality has no ICT enhancements for formal systems of participation i.e. ward committee system, IDP reviews etc. It does however have a system for dealing with complaints and queries, i.e. the online feedback form, but according to Phahlamohlaka, this has not been utilised. None of the components of the municipal website have been designed specifically to improve local democracy or participation etc. Call Centre: Infrastructure has recently been purchased for a call centre but it has not yet been commissioned.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 120
  • 121. There are no alternative methods of accessing answers to frequently asked questions and in this regard Phahlamohlaka referred to a sharecall number but indicated that he is awaiting a report from his staff as to what type of issues have been raised and how/whether these have been responded to. He also noted that Customer Care is supposed to respond to queries/complaints within three days but is unsure as to whether this is in fact happening. 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further study The district municipality does not really see participation as its core function and does not appear to have prioritised ICT in this regard. It was noted that there is “no culture of using ICTs in the area and very little infrastructure for IT.” According to the Director Administration, “IT should be the driver of strategic community participation” but the IT staff within the municipality are “technical” and do not think strategically about the mandate of the municipality. It is not recommended that this municipality become an in-depth case study. 8. Eden District Municipality Name Eden District Municipality (WC) Contact Koos Nieuwoudt IT Manager 082 802 9040 Other ICT Staff Rochelle Louw 082 889 2452 IDP Unit Date of Interview 16 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case StudyAn initial literature scan found good overall use of ICTs and a reasonably interactivewebsite. No specific examples of ICT facilitated participation were evident although,unusually, electronically sourced information revealed some frank discussion of localpolitical dynamics – indications of fairly bitter party contestation of governanceissues. There does not seem to be much indication that the EDM used its over-arching support / facilitation role to enhance participation / accountability amongst itslocal municipalities – but it does try to connect them. The roots of this may lie inshared services via ICTs – an ICT forum has been set up to pursue the sharedservices / skills idea. 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesThe ICT section falls under Kelvin Vollenhoven, the Acting Executive Manager:Strategic Service and is managed by ICT manager Koos Nieuwoudt.Communication is a separate section under the Municipal Manager’s Office. OfficesPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 121
  • 122. and facilities are linked via its own ICT infrastructure based on Telkom and a third-party service provider – an intranet facility allows access by its constituent localmunicipalities but this is managed. There is some form of link between the websiteand the Intranet – known as collaborator – a pass word is required. When scannedthe Intranet seemed to offer some innovative facilities like an online ledger,employee self-service (HR matters) but had some broken links –check further. Therewere for example, RSS feeds to the performance contracts of senior managers.There are multi-purpose community centres at four local municipalities set up byCogta and funded by GCIS: a. Langeberg LM – Riversdal MPCC b. Bitou LM- Simunye MPCC at Plettenberg Bay c. Eden LM – Thembalethu MPCC at George d. Eden LM - Waboomskraal MPCC at GeorgeCapegateway lists free internet access points for: - Bongulethu Library in Oudtshoorn, Eden - Conville Primary School in George, Eden - George Multi-purpose Community Centre in George, Eden - Oudtshoorn Red Door Small Business Advice Centre in Oudtshoorn, EdenThe EDM does not appear to play a role. It does however provide an after hours callcentre on shared services basis to local municipalities within its boundaries. EDMdoes not currently send out SMS notices of key events, bill reminders etc but claimsto have this capability within its system. It also claims that governance is advancedthrough ITIL and COBIT frameworks. 3. Communication via ICTsEDM does not currently use mobile technologies, Mxit etc to communicate withconstituents as it sees this as the function of local municipalities who are the directservice providers for basic services. The Communications Unit of Eden DistrictMunicipality nevertheless won the Ubungcweti award for the best CommunicationsPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 122
  • 123. Unit from the Office of the President in December 2009 – recognises communicationstrategies, originality, innovation, creativity, design, team effort, multilingualism etc –awarded by Government Communications Information Systems (GCIS). The awardseems to have been made for the general functioning of the unit rather than aspecific best practise. 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive?The EDM website is updated internally by dedicated staff within the CommunicationsSection. It seems to have some strong aspects like an RSS feeds to the IDP and theperformance contracts of senior managers. The website includes a good selection ofkey documents that exceed the legal requirement. The material i.e. resolutions,media releases, etc are well organised. There are however no annual reports. Thesite seems more interactive than usual and runs on-line polls on most popularcontent for the website. Other e-government type services are fairly standard e.g.registration forms for Supply Chain Management. The search function appeared tobe weak. The site does not appear to link to more detailed sources of informationcontained within the IT system – this being the function of the Intranet. It is also notinteractive in the sense of using Wikis etc but does appear to make some provisionfor feedback i.e. poll on content.The EDM has a second website www.Edengateway.co.za, that appears to bededicated to public communication however when visited on 23 March 2011 it wasvery poorly set up with no explanation of its purpose and apparent duplication withthe primary website. Although it purports to offer useful downloads e.g. wardcommittees, leaders, advice offices, programmes, news, service organisations,minutes of various structures and forums etc, virtually all information is contained inPDF documents which do not download content – just a single title page. Accordingto Louw the website is intended to be a separate information portal that links all localmunicipalities and allows them to load and share information of mutually interest.The DM and the local municipalities will retain their respective sites. 5. Other ICT ApplicationsThere does not appear to be extensive e-communication between the DM and thepublic and the EDM makes no claim to run ICT enabled polls etc. Communication isprimarily with the local municipalities in the form of email. The most significant ICTbased service provided by EDM was a call centre which focuses on disastermanagement and a after hours call center (Customer Care) on a shared servicesbasis i.e. shared with locals.There is some mention of a link to Eden FM – community radio but this was notelaborated by the IT manager. EDM has also previously co-hosted a seminar withIdasa / NNMU on improving government – media relationsPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 123
  • 124. Private Sector Involvement?The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’stop priority economic sector and call centres in areas outside of the metropolitan areas, like George areregarded as a catalyst for economic development & job creation.This sector created 1550 jobs in 2007 and a further 20 000 can be created in the next 3 years in theWestern Cape.EdenConnect is a member of CallingtheCape, a non-profit organisation, founded in 2002, in apartnership between provincial and local governments and service providers to promote the growth ofthe contact centre and BPO industry in the Western Cape.According to CtC, R100 million has been invested in this industry and the total economic impact of thisindustry has been estimated at between R2,5 – R3,5 billion per year.EdenConnect was established in line with South Africa’s micro-economic development strategy as akey employment driver.EdenConnect received a grant from Western Cape Provincial Government to assist the Company insetting up a first-world infrastructure in George that can compete in the international arena. The grant ismanaged and audited with the assistance from the CSIR.EdenConnect18 Shamrock Place York StreetGeorgeTel 044 802 1500Fax 044 874 4480E-mail:info@edenconnect.co.zamarketing@edenconnect.co.zawww.edenconnect.co.za 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further studyThe EDM has a range of promising ICT initiatives that may function to promoteparticipation. Due to somewhat concise responses to questions and the referral tothe www.Edengateway.co.za, which proved un-useful, very little could be verified.This notwithstanding, EDM is recommended for further investigation as a case study.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 124
  • 125. 9. Nelson Mandela Bay MunicipalityName Nelson Mandela Bay MunicipalityContact Didi van Heerden Webmaster Tel: 041 502 0050 Communications Office NELSON MANDELA BAY MUNICIPALITYDate of Interview 22 March 2011 1. Original Motivation as Case StudyThe Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) received a good score in the initialscan and has been selected as a case study due to the fact that this Metro has aneasy to use and interactive website, information on the site is very up to date, and awealth of documentation and information is available. Residents are able to directlycontact municipal directorates with questions and complaints as well as submitfeedback on the IDP, Budget, By-laws etc via the website. 2. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesThe Director Municipal Information Systems was on leave and the Acting Directorwas not available to be interviewed. This was unfortunate as it meant that certain e-participation questions could not be fully answered. The IT section on the websitementions that the Metro is introducing “e-Government concepts and facilities tostreamline business processes” but without these interviews I was not able to fullyascertain what these e-Government concepts are.Ms Didi van Heerden has been the Webmaster at the NMBM since 2006 and isresponsible for maintaining the site. To ensure that the site is up to date she hastrained NMBM staff members in each directorate to upload their own information e.g.IDP, Tender Notice etc which has helped in creating an awareness amongst theDirectorates of the usefulness of the website and how it can be used to interact withthe public.All IT linkages between NMBM offices and facilities are Telkom based i.e. phonelines and ADSL. The municipality does provide computers and access to the internetfor the general public at all of its municipal libraries. 3. Communication via ICTsThe website has, since its inception grown substantially and the number of “UniqueHits” has increased sharply as a result of the 2010 World Cup. Total unique visits forJanuary and February 2011 were 132 277 hits, roughly 66 000 a month, the mainpages accessed are the home page, tenders, and the dam levels in the NMBM.The NMBM does not use mobile technologies to interact with residents. It has anonline newsletter, all updates, tenders, notices etc are sent out regularly. As asubscriber I can confirm that updates are received via email, for example during thePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 125
  • 126. NMBM budget crises earlier this year almost daily emails were received updating thereader regarding the NMBM cash flow crises.There is an online poll but the questions are “soft” for example “are you savingwater”, “are you going to vote as opposed to getting feedback on service deliveryissues”, etc. 4. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive?The NMBM site has a substantial information portal and document library enablingthe user to access information on NMBM and the Metro in general. The informationis largely up-to-date, as has been stated earlier the Directorates are responsible forloading information onto the site. All the relevant statutory information is availableand easy to find. The search engine on the home page is able to help narrow thesearch quickly without having to click to the various pages.Finding the contact details of ordinary councillors takes some effort but the MayoralCommittee members’ addresses etc are easy to access. Only general informationon Ward Committees is provided, and no information is provided on what wardcommittees are doing in each ward.There is a feedback form that can be filled in and sent to the relevant department.The Home Page has an events calendar as well as the latest press releases. Thereis also a FAQ link. The Website also has a GIS page.The NMBM has a number of directorates and sub-directorates and finding thecontact information although not difficult does take some time to navigate, forexample finding the addresses of clinics or libraries took some time. EachDirectorates’ main page lists the senior mangers as well as the key objectives ofeach directorate. It would be more helpful if the directorates listed current activitiesand any achievements. 5. Other ICT ApplicationsThe NMBM has some ICT enhancements for formal systems of participation,residents can access the Draft IDP, Budget, By laws and email comments to therelevant departments. The difficulty is determining if these comments were read andfed into the formal IDP/Budget processes.It also has a system for dealing with complaints and queries. It provides genericemail addresses for all the major service delivery units in council. The publiccommunicate via these published addresses. Complaints are flagged and referred tothe relevant managers but there is no process that records what action was takenand what the outcome was. Van Heerden indicated the NMBM is developing aprocess to ensure that the senior mangers will be able to report on the number ofcomplaints recorded and indicate what action was taken. From personal experiencea request I lodged via email to the Traffic and Licensing Directorate on behalf of agroup of NGOs for traffic calming measures outside the Refugee Reception Office, toPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 126
  • 127. reduce the number of accidents on this busy road, received a detailed response fromthe head of the Traffic Department with reasons why the request was declinedapproximately eight weeks after the email was sent.The NMBM is installing kiosks in disadvantaged areas to enable residents access totheir municipal accounts. Van Heerden indicated that in 2011 there will be anopportunity for residents to go online to access their account and pay on line as well,which adds on to the existing VOIP system of phoning in to get an account balanceor to provide meter readings. 6. Conclusion and recommendation re further studyThe NMBM has a number of potentially interesting IT initiatives it was unfortunatethat due to the unavailability of senior mangers these could not have been discussedin more detail in the case study. The website is easy to use and interactive. NMBMis recommended for further in-depth study, if appointments can be made with therelevant officials at the Information Services Directorate. 10. City of Cape TownMunicipality: City of Cape Town, Western Cape (abbreviated to CT in the following)Interviewees: Andre Stelzner, Chief Information Officer (Tel: 021-4001250) Martin Pollack, Manager: Communications Dept. (Tel: 021-4004594, 084-8080443) Anonymous Survey of Western Cape MXit UsersInitial scan: Overall impression: Excellent.This was one of the few municipalities to score very highly in the initial scan on allaspects of ICT that are relevant to participatory practices. Notable programmes thatwe were aware of after the initial scan:  Civic SMS Gateway for IDP input  Multi-purpose centres and libraries – the SmartCape concept, allows disadvantaged communities access  Integrated use of social networking to link news feeds to twitter and Facebook.  Construction of a municipal fibre optic backbone network.Not many municipalities in the country have the funding and access to ICT skills thatCape Town has, which is why the municipality has been voted the best in the countryseveral times recently. The city itself is home to a fast growing IT and softwarePCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 127
  • 128. industry, which fuels the innovations that the City itself is able to implement.Inclusion in this survey was thus warranted.Summary of detailed scan and recommendation:The City of Cape Town seems to have earned its awards as a forward thinkingmunicipality. As a result of this intermediate investigation, it seems apparent that theCity should be included in an in-depth investigation. In particular, the development ofan open municipal toolbox, which would allow application developers to makemunicipal functions available to everyone via a wide variety of channels, issomething that could revolutionise e-governance, transparency and accountability, ifit could be shared to the smaller municipalities. This concept needs to be exploredfurther, and it could be one of the major recommendations emitting from this study (ithas already been identified independently by the investigators in this study as apossible recommendation).We can further summarise the achievements of CT in support of the argument toinclude the municipality in further investigation:  CT has created a real community online (although the statistics for usage are only slightly better than those of Gauteng) – it started using Facebook in 2010 and Twitter in 2011 to spread news headlines (automatically), but it has also created a community and following online. Employees at the city have begun using these channels of their own accord – it is said that the motorway monitoring team now posts messages to Twitter about problems, before updating the intelligent roadside boards (installed since the world cup). Logically so, the potential Twitter readership is many times that of persons actually travelling on the roads at the time of the problem occurring.  CT has excellent integrated systems across a number of process levels, recognising the needs of all of its stakeholders.  CT actively promotes the inclusion of disadvantaged areas and marginalised communities through ICT’s.  CT invests in infrastructure and shares it via defined channels with its constituency as well as securing sustainability via sales.  The level of openness demonstrated by the CT communication systems (e.g. wart. tenders), is a great boost to accountability and thus e-governance. Further boosts to e-governance are supported by campaigns that actively solicit user feedback to specific issues.Cape Town has a vested interest in ICT and a thriving Internet and softwaredevelopment community. It seems that this industry has formed a beneficialsymbiosis with its municipality and is propagating IT best practices through to themunicipality.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 128
  • 129. Interview results: 1. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesPreviously the municipal connectivity was achieved via an ISP (Telkom) using leasedlines. After an initial study, CT decided to install its own optic fibre backbone aroundthe city and extending as far as the airport in the current phase. This constructiontook two years. All the data centres are now connected and a further phase will pushthe fibre into the disadvantaged areas of the Cape Flats as well as other areas.Wireless connectivity extends the network to the farthest corners of the municipality.ADSL technology from an ISP is still used to link libraries, the bandwidth provideddepends on the number of seats (computers) connected at the library.The CT backbone will partially finance itself through the leasing of spare capacity tothird parties. Spare capacity will be leased as dark fibre. Tariffs and customers havealready been set.Multi-purpose community centres, municipal “Walk-in” centres and libraries allprovide access to Smart Cape functionality. With this functionality, citizens canaccess all e-services, which are available via the Web.Libraries additionally provide free Internet to the public for any purpose in general.As mentioned above, the library infrastructure is via ADSL. Some libraries will soonprovide gaming to the constituents.Approximately 10 “red telephones” are available at walk-ins. These provide a VoIPlink to the CT call centre, free of charge.Vandalisation of infrastructure is a problem in the disadvantaged areas, and is abrake on ICT spending for these areas. 2. Communication via ICT’sStrong stratification is present in the communication strategies of CT. SMStechnology has been deemed to be too expensive for general use, and is onlyapplied where it makes sound financial sense. SMS are thus used to providenewsflashes to registered vendors about new tenders or the tender process, as wellas registered constituents, who receive their bills via email and settle their accountsvia EFT (clearly the richer constituents).CT is interested in stratifying further and finding out which constituents should benotified about upcoming meetings (ratepayers, ward meetings, IDP, etc.), and to findout where SMS technology would provide most value to its constituents.A Mitt proof-of-concept has been designed, for a new contact channel. Again, herefurther stratification of the constituency should take place. Research is required tofind out the needs and overlap of a MXit constituency with other strata. This couldreveal new communication possibilities for CT.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 129
  • 130. 3. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive, etc.The website is clearly very up-to-date and conforms to legal requirements, andprovides a level of transparency not found in other municipal websites.A new online self-help utility has been launched to invited constituents and is in useby 30000 beta users (registered email clients of CT). Most of the online transactionsavailable to call centre staff can now be operated independently by the constituentsthemselves, for instance, submission of meter readings, submission of motor vehiclelicensing information, job applications, etc.Self-help is a top priority at the municipality. It is enabled by clear processes andinterfaces in backend systems. Thus for instance, the jobs application online ispopulated directly from the back-office HR systems, and responses via the websiteare transferred back into HR systems, saving time and money.A pivotal strategy in this area, is the exposure of CT functionality as webservices(“string in, string out” as termed by Mr. Stelzner, referring to short pieces ofinformation coming into and going out of the system. These short pieces ofinformation are handled automatically on the consumer and provider ends). Byexposing services as web services, CT expects that application creators will think upnew applications for web browsers as well as cell phones and MXit platforms, thatwill embed this functionality in time-saving apps for users. This will free CT of havingto coordinate apps that may have to change often to suit user needs, while allowingCT to focus on keeping their functionality within legally defined parameters.Feedback is allowed at any time via the website. Further, “campaigns” are mediaevents which promote certain online feedback mechanisms at certain times of year,e.g. for feedback on IDP, or feedback on Budget. Such feedback is handled byforwarding comments directly to the responsible department (e.g. finance dept. in thecase of the budget).The communication department is responsible for the creation of the content which isregularly (daily) featured in news articles on the website. By disseminating thisinformation automatically to social networking sites a dialogue can be entered intowith constituents, e.g. on Facebook:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 130
  • 131. and on Twitter: 4. Website use / integration of other ICT’s (question 10)Clearly integrated with Facebook and Twitter. Municipal employees are present onprofessional sites such as LinkedIn and CT also has a profile on LinkedIn.The website seems to be well used. 5. Use of ITs to advance formal participationA. Website: Principles of democracy guide the website content and structure. In particular, the following features advance participation:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 131
  • 132.  Open systems: by default all information is to be shared. Transparency is seen as the best defence against corruption. E.g. not only are tenders published, the website also shows who got the tender. Further, one can see the whole tender document, even past documents, one can see the results, and the winning bid. This information makes it easy to contest a bid and thus fairness is ensured.  “Councillors online” is a concept that allows a constituent to easily identify their ward councillor and to contact them via the website. There is a lot of information about each councillor, which is available.B. 2. “Red telephones”: these allow anyone to contact the call centre for free.C. 3. SMS Gateways: these encourage feedback from the public to important matters such as IDP and budget. 6. Other ICT applications for public discussion and feedbackClear processes are a fundamental aspect of the City of Cape Town feedbackmechanism to its constituency. The processes are modelled in the back endsystems. These allow submissions by constituents to be categorised, and geocodedbefore entering the system. This method allows the municipality to provide a veryfine-grained transparency to its constituency by a variety of means (electronic andotherwise), even in real time and opens the possibility for the web service basedsolutions mentioned in point 4 above.The geocoding refinement introduced above allows the municipality to tackle animplicit problem, which had led to much intransparency in the past. The problem wasthat submissions were made by constituents from a particular place or with regard toa particular place, whereas, the organisation had a different view, namely of whichdepartment was affected (e.g. waste management, health, finance, etc.). With thenew system service request and response times could be tracked in relation to theconstituents concern, namely their geographic neighbourhood. The system didcause initial apprehension, which has turned into a positive feeling. Ward committeemeetings can now demonstrate actual work being done. Earlier, they could only fielda number of complaints, without revealing how many successful interventions hadbeen performed in the neighbourhood. This system has met with great success inthe wards and is likely to improve accountable government on the ward level as itspossibilities are realised and the system is made available on a broad scale throughprivate application development.The “red phone” mentioned above also forms part of the CT strategy in this respect.Additionally, the municipality conducts annual customer satisfaction surveys – viaweb, as well as through door-to-door. 7. Call centreCT has a central call centre. It can respond to and conclude 90% of calls. There isan electronic workflow system, which is same as the ward based one. Version 1was launched in 2003, and since then progressively functionality for M/V licensing,vendor calls, etc. have been added. A ticketing system allows progress to bemonitored, and allows callers to call back and see if anything has been done. As withthe ward system, clear information becomes available about the efficiency and workof the city.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 132
  • 133. There is also an internal call centre, a “technical operations centre” or engineeringcentre. This call centre coordinates CT personnel. E.g. it is fed with informationabout work tasks that need to be dealt with and uses ICT’s to find the closest crew todeal with the task.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 133
  • 134. Three In-depth Case Studies 1. Eden District MunicipalityName Eden District Municipality (WC)Case study 1. Edengateway website 2. Shared Services Call CentreContact Koos Nieuwoudt IT Manager 082 802 9040Other ICT Staff Rochelle Louw IDP Unit 082 889 2452 Kholiswa Masisa Edengateway 0448031431 Trix Holtshauzen Shared Services Customer Call Centre 0836335815 / 0448031435 Gerhard Otto Head of Disaster Management 0448055001Date of Interviews 16 March 2011 (Nieuwoudt) 19 April 2011 (Holtzhausen & Otto) 20 April (Masisa) 1. General profile: Eden District MunicipalityThe Eden District Municipality (EDM) is in the Western Cape Province with theIndian Ocean coastline as a prominent feature of its eastern border. It covers 23 319square kilometers and is the third largest district in the Western Cape. Eden is one ofSouth Africa’s prime tourist destinations with about 350 00 overseas and 1, 4 milliondomestic visitors each year. Investments in this sector have increased anddiversified significantly over the past decade and many towns and resorts haveexpanded rapidly.30The EDM’s constituent local municipalities are31: 1) Kannaland Municipality 2) Hessequa Municipality 3) Mossel Bay Municipality 4) George Municipality 5) Oudtshoorn Municipality 6) Bitou Municipality 7) Knysna Municipality30 EDM IDP Review (Draft) 2011 - 201231 IbidPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 134
  • 135. The district population is estimated at 537 431 and has increased by 37% in theperiod from 1996 to 2009. With a population of 166 150, George Municipality has thehighest population in the district. Bitou Municipality has the fastest growingpopulation over the last 13 years. There is a relatively even spread of populationacross the different age categories and the economically active age segment hasgenerally kept pace with younger and older segments. In 2009 about 23% of thepopulation earned less than the minimum amount to sustain their households. Thepoverty index for the district was 19.31 in 2007, the highest for districts in theWestern Cape. In 2009 about 20% of the population over 20 years of age wereilliterate and only 7% had a higher education qualification. About 16% of thepotentially economically active were unemployed – unemployment levels howeverare slightly down from 2001 thus reversing national trends. Unemployment is alsosignificantly less than provincial and national figures. The highest poverty indicesoccurred for Knysna and Kannaland Municipalities. Knysna also had the highestpercentage of households without electricity for lighting (16.17%) followed by Bitou(14.51%) and George (11.76%). Four of the 15 poorest wards are in Kannaland.About 5% of the district population is HIV positive. 32Percentage contribution to provincial GDP has increased slightly in recent years andin 2009 constituted 7.7% - however two municipalities, George and Mossel Baycontribute 52% of district GDP. These municipalities plus Knysna have seen steadyeconomic growth since 1996 contrary to national patterns. Finance and businessservices are the largest contributors to district GDP, followed by manufacturing andthen agriculture. Another key economic feature is that most employment (80%) iscreated by the private sector. The largest segment (29%) is employed in the tradesector. 33The EDM Draft IDP Review 2011-2012 has an excellent example of a graphic / mapfor Spatial Economic Profiling compiled by Renier Claassen of the GIS UnitIn 2009 the Eden district experienced one of its worst droughts in 100 years and inNovember 2009 was declared a drought disaster area. With a number of coastalresorts and tidal rivers the area is also considered to be especially vulnerable torising sea levels triggered by climate change. Coastal management strategies andplans are being developed accordingly. Bulk water supply is a key function of theEDM and detailed plans and projections exist for all the local municipalities (howeverEDM as a C1 municipality is not a water services authority.) Water and sanitationinfrastructure is described as “under pressure.” The provincial road network is ingood order but the municipal road network is in poor condition with seriousmaintenance backlogs.Mini-bus taxis are the main form of public transport and there are extensive rankfacilities throughout the district. There are however too many operators to make theindustry viable and the distribution of operators is uneven in relation to demand i.e.some areas are over-serviced and some under-serviced – 142 permits have beenissued throughout EDM. 3432 Ibid33 Ibid34 IbidPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 135
  • 136. All the local municipalities as well as the District Management Area (DMA)experience problems with solid waste. Existing sites having either reached their fullcapacity or are very close – many sites are also poorly controlled and managed. Fivenew landfill sites are planned across the district within the next three years.Eden has yet to compile an electricity master plan but notes that the Eskom supplywill come under pressure from 2011.The Eden Council has 30 councillors – direct representation and proportionalrepresentation included. The governing party is the ANC – it has one more seat thanthe DA and rules through an alliance that includes the Eden Forum, ICOSA and theNew National Party. The DA / Independent Democrats opposition coalition has twoseats less than the current ruling coalition. The Mayoral Committee comprises theExecutive Mayor and Deputy and the four chairpersons of the portfolio committees.35The administration is headed by six senior managers i.e. the Municipal Manager andthe five Executive Managers who head:  Community Services;  Corporate Services;  Financial Services;  Technical Services;  Strategic Services;The EDM has 623 posts of which 45 are vacant. The Technical ServicesDepartment has the most vacancies (14), followed by Strategic Services (11) andCommunity Services (9).In it’s 2007-2011 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) the EDM adopted six strategicobjectives related to good governance, developing the regional economy, creatingan enabling social environment, developing human and social capital, ensuringeffective and affordable service and infrastructure and sustaining and conserving theEden natural environment.The strategic goal most closely related to public participation is the following: “Goodgovernance through institutional transformation, inter- governmental co-operationand public consultation to ensure accountability.” This goal will be realised through:36  Implementing human resource development strategies  Local government skills development  Institutionalisation of participation structures:  Development of a customer care strategy  Implementation of a transformation management strategy  IDP review35 Ibid36 IbidPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 136
  • 137. In the subsequent score cards used for measuring progress it becomes clear thatmany of these activities relate to staff and internal systems. The two activitieshighlighted above are reported as follows: - Institutionalisation of participation structures: the score card clarifies that this relates to the establishment of community committees in the District Management Area and is between 31% and 70% complete - Development of a customer care strategy: no progress or explanationA further activity related to the Good Governance objective was the integration of theIT system, in this regard it is reported that: The objective of this project was improved integration between existing systems and data and information sharing to ensure that data and system- duplication is minimized within the Municipality. This is an ongoing activity. 37The target is reported as 80% achieved with reported results as follows: - Integrated Website - Documented Business processes - ICT Steering Committee established - Better utilization of current systems. - Integrated Business system solution - The disaster recovery policy and infrastructure are reported as 100% achieved.The EDM is also involved in various initiatives to promote the development of youth,women, children, people living with HIV and AIDS (including the HAST programme),the elderly and the disabled. This typically involves developing sector-based policies,coordinating district level strategies, funding certain facilities e.g. advisory centresand coordinating and supporting structures e.g. youth forums or HIV and AIDScouncils. This is generally geared to aiding the participation of these sectors in EDMaffairs however most activities are about basic support and advancement rather thanfacilitating participation per se.38The implementation plan for 2011 / 2012 contained within the IDP (basis for the draftbudget to be approved by end March 2011) has the following salient features: - The development of a district newspaper – R250 000 provided from own funds - The development of a district information system – R120 000 provided from own funds - Rolling out of a Youth Media capacity initiative – R60 000 provided from own funds - ICT infrastructure – R360 000 provided from own capital expenditureDuring the 2011/12 financial year national government will invest R587,360 million inequitable share (ES) and conditional grant allocations across Eden District (includes37 Ibid38 IbidPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 137
  • 138. allocations to the seven B-Municipalities). Of the above, nearly R122, 912 m is theES directly to EDM and R6, 040m is conditional grants.39 2. Original Motivation as an ICT Case StudyAn initial literature scan found good overall use of ICTs and a reasonably interactivewebsite. No specific examples of ICT facilitated participation were evident although,unusually, electronically sourced information revealed some frank discussion of localpolitical dynamics – indications of fairly bitter party contestation of governanceissues. There does not seem to be much indication that the EDM used its over-arching support / facilitation role to enhance participation / accountability amongst itslocal municipalities – but it does try to connect them and ensure that economies ofscale are achieved by sharing certain services and facilities. This seems to fit in withits understanding of its role as a district municipality having shifted from “…beingdirect service providers - as was the case with the former regional services councils -to institutions of strategic, integrative and co-operative governance.” (IDP Review2011-2012) The existence of an ICT and Communications and Public ParticipationForum involving municipal role-players across the district was further evidence ofunusual initiative being taken in this regard however with 15 IGR type district forumscurrently running, it is possible EDM may become over-extended. 3. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesThe ICT section of Eden DM falls under Kelvin Vollenhoven, the Acting ExecutiveManager: Strategic Service. This section is managed by ICT manager KoosNieuwoudt. Communication is a separate section under the Municipal Manager’soffice. Offices and facilities are linked via Eden DM’s own ICT infrastructure basedon Telkom and a third-party service provider. An intranet facility allows managedaccess by its constituent local municipalities. There is a link between the website andthe Intranet run with Collaborator software. For access, a pass word is required.When scanned the Intranet seemed to offer some innovative facilities like an onlineledger, employee self-service (HR matters) but had some broken links. There werefor example, RSS feeds to the performance contracts of senior managers.The Eden district is also the site of multi-purpose community centres at four localmunicipalities set up by Cogta and funded by GCIS: e. Langeberg LM – Riversdal MPCC f. Bitou LM- Simunye MPCC at Plettenberg Bay g. Eden LM – Thembalethu MPCC at George h. Eden LM - Waboomskraal MPCC at GeorgeCapegateway lists free internet access points for: - Bongulethu Library in Oudtshoorn, Eden - Conville Primary School in George, Eden - George Multi-purpose Community Centre in George, Eden39 IbidPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 138
  • 139. - Oudtshoorn Red Door Small Business Advice Centre in Oudtshoorn, Eden Eden District Municipality Source: Wikimedia commonsThe EDM does not appear to play a role in the facilities outlined above. The EDMdoes not currently send out SMS notices of key events, bill reminders etc but claimsto have this capability within its system.The EDM also operates an additional website called Edengateway (www.Edengateway.co.za) as part of its communication function. It regards this site as astreamlined system for consolidating information about the district in a single portal.It was thus the shared services call centre and the Edengateway site that emergedas the most significant ICTs in Eden DM and therefore formed the focus of the in-depth case study. 4. Communication via ICTsThe EDM does not currently use mobile technologies, Mxit etc to communicate withconstituents as it sees this as the function of local municipalities who are the directservice providers for basic services. The Communications Unit of Eden DistrictMunicipality nevertheless won the Ubungcweti award for the best CommunicationsUnit from the Office of the President in December 2009. The current IT andcommunications staff at EDN seemed a little vague as to the specific reasons for theaward. The Ubungcweti award apparently recognises communication strategies,originality, innovation, creativity, design, team effort, multilingualism etc and isawarded by Government Communications Information Systems (GCIS). The awardseems to have been made for the general functioning of the unit rather than aspecific best practice.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 139
  • 140. 5. Evaluation of websiteThe official EDM website www.edendm.co.za is updated internally by dedicated staffwithin the Communications Section. It seems to have some strong aspects like anRSS feeds to the IDP and the performance contracts of senior managers. Thewebsite includes a good selection of key documents that exceed the legalrequirement. The material i.e. resolutions, media releases, etc are well organised.There are however no annual reports. The site seems more interactive than usualand runs on-line polls on most popular content for the website. Other e-governmenttype services are fairly standard e.g. registration forms for Supply ChainManagement. The search function appeared to be weak. The site does not appear tolink to more detailed sources of information contained within the IT system – thisbeing the function of the Intranet. It is also not interactive in the sense of using Wikisetc but does appear to make some provision for feedback i.e. an on-line poll oncontent – although the IT Manager did not mention this during the interview andpresumably regards it as a ‘normal’ provision.As mentioned, the EDM has a second website www.Edengateway.co.za, thatappears to be dedicated to public communication however when initially visited on23 March 2011 it was very poorly set up with no explanation of its purpose andapparent duplication with the primary website. Although it purports to offer usefuldownloads e.g. ward committees, leaders, advice offices, programmes, news,service organisations, minutes of various structures and forums etc, virtually allinformation is contained in PDF documents which are empty i.e. they do notdownload content – just a single title page. According to Louw and Masisa thewebsite is intended to be a separate information portal that links all localmunicipalities and allows them to load and share information of mutually interest.The DM and the local municipalities will retain their respective sites.In the follow-up interview with Kholiswa Masisa on 20 April 2011, it became clearthat the site is still under development and the problem with the PDF documents isacknowledged. Masisa says that the site will eventually consolidate information fromall seven local municipalities and the district. The intention is to “…make it easier forusers to access information.” An example provided was that there will be a singleannual events calendar.The site is dual purpose i.e. to generally provide information and promote publicparticipation and to highlight business opportunities and promote investment in Edenand the local municipalities. Although Masisa as the manager responsible for thesite, acknowledged that these are different objectives, (public relations andinformation provision) she is of the view that are compatible and can be balanced.She further noted that it was the intention to model the site on the Capegatewayexample.There does not appear to be any clear criteria for selecting or prioritising material tobe loaded on the site – instead the heads of department from the different linefunctions within the local municipalities are required to select content creators. Thecontent creators decide on material to be submitted which is then screened by theoffice of the Strategic Services Manager.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 140
  • 141. While there does not appear to be any prioritisation of certain information, Masisasaid that Eden DM would pressure for key information e.g. annual reports if thesewere not initially forthcoming. It seems obvious, (although this did not come from theinformants) that potentially the district municipality could use its leverage with localcouncils to ensure that certain benchmarks of transparency / accountability are metby ensuring relevant and legally required documents are posted on the site.At this stage it is not clear that much consideration has been given to assuring thatthe site has functional elements to promote participation e.g. feedback or interactiveoptions however it is intended that the site should be interactive.The Edengateway facility is not part of any ICT enabled strategy to promoteparticipation – it has been presented to and accepted by local municipalities as auseful but stand-alone exercise. As Masisa pointed out, public participation is itsmain purpose but there is no written strategy behind Edengateway and at this stage,its specific objectives in promoting participation have not as yet been thoughtthrough in great detail.Possible links with other Communication InitiativesAt this stage it does not appear that any link is drawn between the site and the Idasamedia – municipal communications initiative. Masisa assures that the Idasa projectwill continue and agrees that it could be linked to the communication function and theEdengateway site. It does not appear however that this has been thought through asyet.Surprisingly, there does not appear to be any existing link between the DistrictCommunication and Public Participation Forum and Edengateway, apart from thefact that the DCF was used to generate support for the concept from the localmunicipalities. The DCF is also a point of district coordination for communicationactivities by province and national line departments. Its activities are subject to theapproval of a Municipal Manager’s Forum. At this stage it does not meet on a regularbasis (according to the IDP it should meet quarterly) but it is convened by Masisaand it could presumably become a forum for eliciting and coordinating material forthe Edengateway.At this point Edengateway is not an effective tool for advancing public participationalthough that seems to be one of its main purposes. It clearly however has muchpotential in this regard and the responsible manager, Masisa recognises “lots ofpossibilities.” A possible constraint is that it is not Masisa’s role to support localmunicipalities in their communication / public participation functions. 6. Other ICT ApplicationsThere does not appear to be extensive e-communication between the DM and thepublic and the EDM makes no claim to run ICT enabled polls etc. Communication isprimarily with the local municipalities in the form of email. The most significant ICTbased service provided by EDM is the after hours call centre which grew out of theemergency services call centre and currently services two of the seven localmunicipalities within Eden DM. The shared services call centre is discussed below.There is some mention of a link to Eden FM – community radio but this was notelaborated by the IT manager.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 141
  • 142. Private Sector InvolvementPrivate sector and non-government project type initiatives involving ICTs seem to bewell advanced in the Eden area. On the face of it, there is some overlap between theprogrammes outlined below and the Edengateway / EDM call centre. The claimsmade by one of the most prominent initiatives are set out verbatim below. Most ofthe EDM informants however discounted a close relationship and said thatEdenConnect has more of a tourism / locality marketing function and can claim EDMas one of its clients only in a limited way. On the basis of this feedback, the profileoutlined below may need to be treated with caution.The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’stop priority economic sector and call centres in areas outside of the metropolitan areas, like George areregarded as a catalyst for economic development & job creation.This sector created 1550 jobs in 2007 and a further 20 000 can be created in the next 3 years in theWestern Cape.EdenConnect is a member of CallingtheCape, a non-profit organisation, founded in 2002, in apartnership between provincial and local governments and service providers to promote the growth ofthe contact centre and BPO industry in the Western Cape.According to CtC, R100 million has been invested in this industry and the total economic impact of thisindustry has been estimated at between R2, 5 – R3, 5 billion per year.EdenConnect was established in line with South Africa’s micro-economic development strategy as akey employment driver.EdenConnect received a grant from Western Cape Provincial Government to assist the Company insetting up a first-world infrastructure in George that can compete in the international arena. The grant ismanaged and audited with the assistance from the CSIR.EdenConnect18 Shamrock Place York StreetGeorgeTel 044 802 1500Fax 044 874 4480E-mail:info@edenconnect.co.zamarketing@edenconnect.co.zawww.edenconnect.co.zaA new rural-based, black economic empowerment and 100% black-owned call centre that providestelesales services for government and businesses is set to boost economic growth and development inthe community of George in the Western Cape.EdenConnect was established last July and has, as part of its client base, the Eden DistrictMunicipality, Total Client Services (TCS), Independent Newspapers and Autopage. TCS is its largestclient and manages all the speed cameras in the George municipal district.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 142
  • 143. With strategic and technical help from the CSIR, this small community built its first call centre; hasalready employed 10 people; and is looking into employing more."The call centre has the capacity to employ about 30 call agents but started with a low number. Asbusiness grows, so will the staff complement," says Mxolisi Miller of CSIR Enterprise Creation forDevelopment.Miller explains that call centres form a big part of the business processes outsourcing sector, whichgovernment has identified as priority areas through Asgisa and the micro economic developmentstrategy of the Western Cape. Asgisa is the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa.The Western Cape Provincial Government provided some of the funding needed to set up thebusiness.See also friendsofeden.co.zaShared Services Call CentreEden District Municipality notes that the initial phases of shared services started in2006. The 2003 Hologram research on district municipalities however mentions thatshared services formed part of the Eden DM model when district municipalitiescame into being (Doreen Atkinson, Thomas van der Watt and Willie Fourie: 2003).According to the 2011-2012 Draft IDP Review, the purpose of Eden’s SharedServices initiative is to “…deliver high quality and cost-effective services throughleveraging economies of scale and skill in the Region. Furthermore it underpins thestandardisation of business processes; the consolidating of technology and thepooling of resources and expertise to ultimately enhance service delivery to thecommunities. “Overall the concept is one of sharing and pooling resources andconcentrating on strategic issues. Because it requires much cooperation betweenmunicipal line functions and rationalized HR deployment, its start-up activitiesincluded union consultation, appointing champions and visits to the participating localmunicipalities. Ilima and other consultants were involved from start-up.The shared services concept takes in: - LED and tourism - ICT - Collaborator - Legal Services - Bulk Infrastructure Services - Asset Management - Property Valuations - Disaster management - Internal Audit and Risk Management - Human Resources - Contract Management - Call centreThe shared services programme has subsequently been supported through GIZ. It isimportant to contextualize the shared services call centre against the full sharedservices ambit. Another aspect of shared services that could improve financialPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 143
  • 144. accountability is the assistance provided to financial management functions bysupporting CFOs and assisting with supply chain management. Such an initiative isunrelated to ICTs and was not explored in this study however improved publicreporting and accountability may be assumed as an intended outcome.Eden DM operates a Shared Services Call Centre (SSCC) on behalf of two of itslocal municipalities. The local municipalities within DM all operate normalswitchboard facilities rather than customer call centres, although Bitou localmunicipality is trying to establish a more comprehensive customer call centre.The SSCC as a customer care type call centre, is in its early stages and is stillstrongly based on ICT innovation developed by the emergency services sector. TheEden SSCC is an off-shoot of the Disaster Management Centre set up at districtlevel to coordinate emergency services. The process has been supported byprovince. The Western Cape is pioneering an emergency services network that willeventually take in five such disaster management centers plus a facility at TygerbergHospital and a call centre based at the Strand. The latter is said to be capable ofconnecting all district disaster management functions across the country.Consultants ORICON have helped to ensure one common platform for all callcenters in the Western Cape.In the case of the Eden SSCC, the rationale seems to be that the ICT andinfrastructure platforms established to manage and coordinate emergency servicescan be beneficially extended to normal call centre functions i.e. those relatedmunicipal services e.g. electricity, water, refuse etc. In the case of Eden DM thesystem that was leased for the Disaster Management Call Centre can deal with 50000 to 80 000 calls simultaneously and it was decided that this spare capacity mustbe used. The minutes of the Eden ICT Forum for 11 September 2009 reveal that theshared services imperative also arises from the acknowledgment of capacityconstraints and that shared services can improve service delivery because “…similar functions can be streamlined across the borders of municipalities based onsound business principles.”A programme manager was appointed to the Call Centre project in September 2009in order to define how the programme will be run. The system (Collaborator) is usedfor service calls after hours i.e. after 16.00. Currently only George, Mossel Bay andEden DM itself are linked to the system however the remaining five municipalities willbe connected in stages. The service is for urgent after hours service related callse.g. water and electricity disruptions. Normal and longer-term service queries andcomplaints e.g. account queries are still dealt with via walk-in or conventionalswitchboard services at the respective local municipalities during office hours. A keybenefit of the call centre is that different radio frequencies / channels can beassigned to each service allowing the operator to patch-in different service role-players e.g. ambulance, engineering services, police etc – in the case of MosselBay, a single operator can link 42 channels.The system seems to be quite well used – in Mossel Bay and George respectivelythere are about 5000 calls per month. Each shift consists of between three and sixoperators or ‘call-takers’ depending on the time of day / call volumes. The call-takersget three months of training that covers customer care, radio etiquette and standardPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 144
  • 145. operating procedures (SOP). On the job training for SOP is done at Mossel Baymunicipality. Call takers are not trained in general municipal matters, rates, municipalfinance or other local government systems at this stage. Operators can however useon-screen ‘pop-ups’ to access additional information in responding to callerquestions. The Collaborator programme has a logging function and an archive facilitywhich allows caller queries and requests and the municipal response to be recordedand tracked. This information can be ‘packaged’ and provided to the caller or otheragencies. This allows failures in service reporting to be precisely tracked, thusimproving performance i.e. operators are more accountable.From a public participation perspective, although the system is largely aboutreceiving and responding to service issues and complaints, its true potential has yetto be explored. For example, ‘geo-referencing’ and dis-aggregation of calls byservice type could be the basis for operation and maintenance decisions andstrategy. Apart from informing departmental decisions these packages of consumerfeedback (locality and service specific) could also be provided to ward councillors asan indication of the needs and status quo of their wards. Preliminary discussion withEden DM staff suggests that the system has vast possibilities in this regard and itstrue potential has yet to emerge.The lease of the system including hardware, software, licenses etc costs R3, 6mannually. Full costs for the system are hard to calculate at this stage however it wasnoted that Mossel Bay is currently billed about R35 000 per month for the systemincluding operators. Otto and Holtzhausen are confident that the system generateseconomies of scale across the district i.e.  Each municipality does not have to purchase its own hardware and software and the necessary infrastructure  There are fewer and better trained operators compared to a situation where each local municipality had to operate its own system  With multiple client municipalities there is less dormant time i.e. periods when the system is not utilised or under-utilisedTangible benefits attributed to the system include a reduction in the number ofservice complaints (Mossel Bay). A more direct linking of service feedback andperformance management. Costs related to customer care / call centre functions arereduced. The system has attracted interest from local ratepayers and interestedparties as far away as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.According to Gerhard Otto, experience of the system to date suggests that the mainchallenge lies in the adequacy of the internet or land connection network fortransferring data – a good micro-wave network should have been a first priority. Ottoalso recommended that in terms of maintenance and support, the three maincomponents of the i.e. hardware, software and infrastructure should be dealt withseparately.Idasa Facilitated Programme on Improved Municipal Journalism 2009Eden DM was one of the participating municipalities in the above programme whichset out to train local journalists and municipal communicators, and facilitate localPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 145
  • 146. public discussion forums involving municipal, media and civil society representatives.The workshops and final seminar (August 2009) made important findings on therelationship between local media, municipal communicators and the engagement ofthe public / public accountability. Some of the findings had explicit or implicitrelevance to the use of ICTs:  Local municipalities must develop ward committee newsletters. This should be undertaken by the Speaker’s Office in each local municipality.  Local municipalities must develop municipal websites and newsletters. This would be part of a multi-channel strategy to ensure journalists and citizens can access information.  Regular press briefing by the municipality, soon after the quarterly council meetings, should be held to brief the media on council resolutions, changes, and legislation and infrastructure developments.  Explore opportunities to forge and strengthen partnerships between local media and local government.  Establish a voluntary district-level media forum that would bring together the existing district communication forum and the local media to reflect on issues of reporting, ethics and capacity building, and promote improved relations.  Local municipalities to set up communication departments where needed need to set these up.  The media needs to focus on covering community driven and ward-based news and issues. 7. Conclusion and recommendationsThe EDM is categorized as a C1 municipality and rated by Cogta in 2010 as havingthe lowest level of socio-economic vulnerability with a medium level of institutionalcapacity. In keeping with its strong institutional and economic profile, the EDM has arange of promising ICT initiatives that may function to promote participation. Thispotential is partly constrained by the fact that Eden is a district municipality. Thepowers and functions as set out by section 83 of the Municipal Structures Actconstitute the core business of a district municipality and do not include specificobligations in respect of public participation – public participation is the primaryresponsibility of local municipalities as set out in Chapters 4 and 5 and section 16 ofthe Municipal Systems Act.District municipalities are shifting their role from one of direct service provision andcommunity interface to agencies whose main function is support to localmunicipalities, facilitate bulk services and coordination of line functions from otherspheres of government – Eden DM describes this as moving to a role of“…institutions of strategic, integrative and co-operative governance.”The EDM has nonetheless developed a number of ICT based systems which it seesas strengthening its communication responsibilities. Some of these present systemspresent further opportunities for increasing participation and advancing accountability/ transparency – in some cases some adjustment of the concept or system may berequired:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 146
  • 147. • Streamlined media and communication projects e.g. the district newsletter, Idasa media training and seminars etc with a common base / IT platform – possibly Edengateway • Bringing civil society players e.g. local journalists, ratepayers, advocacy groups etc into special sessions of the District Communicators Forum • The Edengateway site is a potentially excellent communication vehicle but faces two key challenges: a) Clearly identifying the purpose of the site in relation to the main Eden website and the local municipal websites – this should consider possible distinctions between marketing / tourism / branding functions and hard information provision. If Edengateway is to prioritize key information from the local municipalities, it should do so according to clear criteria b) The information that is loaded must be in useful / accessible formats i.e. avoid the current empty PDF files • Edengateway presents other opportunities for advancing communication with civil society e.g. a direct link to the Idasa media project, online support to LM communicators / spokespersons, blogs for community and mainstream media • The official EDM website, www.edendm.co.za is a very good example of a district website and needs only minor adjustments and improvements e.g. improving the search function and ensuring that all key documents are loaded; • Eden DM should consider bringing the established Multi-purpose Community Centres and sites of free internet access within its ICT framework and investigating communication / participation objectives that can be enhanced through these; • Shared services call centre: a call centre is a fairly well established and often controversial (performance-wise) component of e-government. The value of the Eden SSCC lies in basic economies of scale and the lateral thinking that allowed spare call handling capacity within the existing emergency services call centre to be re-assigned to fill a gap in customer services at local municipal level i.e. the absence of an after-hours service. The system is currently limited in its scale (only two of seven local municipalities and its scope / function (only after-hours service-related calls). With expanded scale i.e. all seven local municipalities and function e.g. more analysis and management of call data, improved capacity of operators to deal with more complex queries or record caller views on pertinent local government topics, or even caller polls during quiet periods, the current service could become a more innovative example of participatory local governance.Eden District Municipality has developed several ICT-linked improvements in serviceprovision, communication and inter-government coordination. In this respect, it couldprovide a useful benchmark for other district municipalities. With these achievementshave come opportunities for improving public participation and accountability – thesepotentials have yet to be fully recognised and explored.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 147
  • 148. 2. City of Cape TownMunicipality: City of Cape Town, Western Cape (abbreviated to CT in the following)Interviewees: Andre Stelzner, Chief Information Officer (Tel: 021-4001250) Martin Pollack, Manager: Communications Dept. (Tel: 021-4004594, 084-8080443) Irwin Robson, Manager: Public Participation (Tel: 021-4001434) Nirvesh Sooful (EOH, ex-CIO of CT) (Tel: 021-5257680, 084-9099284) Anonymous Survey of Western Cape MXit UsersExecutive SummaryThe City of Cape Town seems to have earned its awards40 as a forward thinkingmunicipality. The city’s active usage of ICT’s began in 2000 with the Smart Cityinitiative that introduced electronic messaging to the political organs of hemunicipality and handed out laptops and later connectivity to all councillors, thusimproving the ICT take up of the municipality itself. From these early beginnings, theCity of Cape Town has wholly embraced ICT’s so that today all of its core businessprocesses are supported by IT systems. This has led to an increase in effectiveness,while simultaneously cutting costs in several departments.Cape Town has built an effective ICT infrastructure and has managed to spreadawareness of ICT’s throughout its executive and administrative staff, so that systemsare lived (i.e. systems are implemented through daily operations of the city staff andthe results of these operations are brought together through ICT; the opposite effectwould be for daily operations to ignore the systems so that parallel universes arebuilt and ICT systems become simply a tick on a checklist). This has the effect ofallowing deep support for self-help operations (as queries can often be routedautomatically to a person that can complete the query) and further integration of thirdparty applications with City systems (since the system is reliable enough to allowpublic access to it) – which are a reality in the city today. Municipal costs shouldcontinue to drop and effectiveness rise as these systems go online more broadly.The level of ICT adoption and use throughout the municipality, which has beenachieved through training and awareness campaigns, seems to be one of the mainICT enablers in CT. Historically, it seems that many CT employees and especiallythe leaders, were unwilling to participate in the ICT systems. The proponents ofICT’s were face with the quandary that without the leadership adopting ICT’s, howcould these be used to foster e-participation and e-governance? Further, CT has40 Most recently (November 2010) it won the “Africa SAP User Group (AFSUG): Impact Award forInnovation - Public Sector” (SAP is a software brand and company), and the list of awards for CapeTown IT is long. Many awards were won by the Smart City initiative.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 148
  • 149. enough ICT-connected constituents who are comfortable using ICT’s, whichincreases the return on technology investments (certainly it is not unique in thissense, other South African metros presumably also have sufficiently largetechnologically savvy constituencies). In the light of this study, capacity building andawareness seem to be key ingredients for a successful municipal ICT strategy.In particular, the development of an open municipal toolbox, which will allowapplication developers to make municipal functions available to everyone via a widevariety of channels, is something that could revolutionise e-governance,transparency and accountability, if it could be shared to the smaller municipalities.This concept needs to be explored further, and it could be one of the majorrecommendations emitting from this study (it has already been identifiedindependently by the investigators in this study as a possible recommendation).We can further summarise the achievements of CT in terms of e-participation asincluding the following:  CT has created a real community online (although the statistics for usage are only slightly better than those of Gauteng) – it started using Facebook in 2010 and Twitter in 2011 to spread news headlines (automatically), but it has also created a community and following online. Employees at the city have begun using these channels of their own accord – it is said that the motorway monitoring team now posts messages to Twitter about problems, before updating the intelligent roadside boards (installed since the world cup). Logically so, the potential Twitter readership is many times that of persons actually travelling on the roads at the time of the problem occurring.  CT has excellent integrated systems across a number of process levels, recognising the needs of all of its stakeholders. It’s C3 system routes all queries from all stakeholders into a common queue, allowing each query regardless of originator or destination to be tracked until it is answered. The C3 system works for inter-departmental queries and public queries.  CT actively promotes the inclusion of disadvantaged areas and marginalised communities through ICT’s.  CT invests in infrastructure and shares it via defined channels with its constituency as well as securing sustainability via sales.  The level of openness demonstrated by the CT communication systems (e.g. w.r.t. tenders), is a great boost to accountability and thus e-governance. Further boosts to e-governance are supported by campaigns that actively solicit user feedback to specific issues.Cape Town has a vested interest in ICT and a thriving Internet and softwaredevelopment community. It seems that this industry has formed a beneficialsymbiosis with its municipality and is propagating IT best practices through to themunicipality.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 149
  • 150. Staff of CT have differing opinions on how public participation can and should work.It appears on the whole, that public participation staff, who deal with grassrootscommunities do not believe in the efficacy of ICT’s as a vehicle to reach theunderprivileged communities. While IT staff do see that mobile phones represent aneffective medium for e-participation, they on the other hand do not believe that thepublic wishes to participate to any great degree, in general (i.e. on the IDP, orbudget, etc.) as these are matters for experts and traditionally low participation, evenconsidering recent increases, is proof of this. Instead, the public needs to becanvassed on specific issues that can be easily explained and are distinct from otherissues, which CT calls “public participation campaigns” (e.g. the “Disability Policy”campaign). Such campaigns need to be distinguished from informational campaigns,which attempt to change the behaviour of the constituents, e.g. the “save electricity”campaign, since such campaigns can be politicised under circumstances leading topolitico-legal problems. Citizens should definitely not be swamped with information,so only one campaign a month or every two months may be run by the city, asoverloaded citizens are expected not to react at all. These opinions are discussed inthe context of this study in the final recommendations of the report.Initial scan: Overall impression: Excellent.This was one of the few municipalities to score very highly in the initial scan, on allaspects of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) that are relevant toparticipatory practices. Notable programmes which we were aware of after the initialscan:  Civic SMS Gateway for IDP input  Multi-purpose centres and libraries – the SmartCape concept, allows disadvantaged communities access  Integrated use of social networking to link news feeds to twitter and Facebook.  Construction of a municipal fibre optic backbone network.Not many municipalities in the country have the funding and access to ICT skills thatCape Town has, which is why the municipality has been voted the best in the countryseveral times recently. The city itself is home to a fast growing IT and softwareindustry, which fuels the innovations that the City itself is able to implement.Inclusion in this survey was thus warranted.Investigation results: 1. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilitiesPreviously the municipal connectivity was achieved via an ISP (Telkom) using leasedlines. After an initial study, CT decided to install its own optic fibre backbone aroundthe city and extending as far as the airport in the current phase. This constructiontook two years. All the data centres are now connected and a further phase will pushthe fibre into the disadvantaged areas of the Cape Flats as well as other areas.Wireless connectivity extends the network to the farthest corners of the municipality.ADSL technology from an ISP is still used to link libraries, the bandwidth provideddepends on the number of seats (computers) connected at the library.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 150
  • 151. The CT backbone will partially finance itself through the leasing of spare capacity tothird parties. Spare capacity will be leased as dark fibre. Tariffs and customers havealready been set.Multi-purpose community centres, municipal “Walk-in” centres and libraries allprovide access to Smart Cape functionality. With this functionality, citizens canaccess all e-services which are available via the Web. This is separate from GCIS.Libraries additionally provide free Internet to the public for any purpose in general.As mentioned above, the library infrastructure is via ADSL. Some libraries will soonprovide gaming to the constituents.Approximately 10 “red telephones” are available at walk-ins. These provide a VoIPlink to the CT call centre, free of charge. The CT call centre has a wide variety ofservices, and can respond authoritatively to 90% of calls, including M/V registration,account queries, etc. Many of these functions are being progressively madeavailable as self-help options online.Vandalisation of infrastructure is a problem in the disadvantaged areas, and is abrake on ICT spending for these areas. 2. Communication via ICT’sStrong stratification is present in the communication strategies of CT. SMStechnology has been deemed to be too expensive for general use, and is onlyapplied where it makes sound financial sense. SMS are thus used to providenewsflashes to registered vendors about new tenders or the tender process, as wellas registered constituents, who receive their bills via email and settle their accountsvia EFT (clearly the richer constituents).CT is interested in stratifying further and finding out which constituents should benotified about upcoming meetings (ratepayers, ward meetings, IDP, etc.), and to findout where SMS technology would provide most value to its constituents.A MXit proof-of-concept has been designed, for a new contact channel. Again, herefurther stratification of the constituency should take place. Research is required tofind out the needs and overlap of a MXit constituency with other strata. This couldreveal new communication possibilities for CT.A mobile web site is being planned by the Communications Department. There is nospecific plan to aim it at poorer demographic groups (although this is subject tochange), rather the provisional plan is to launch the electricity savings campaignusing amongst other things a mobile site. The site will present only those things thatare absolutely essential. It is a common practice to design separate websites formobile access, as the web server can detect what kind of client is asking for contentand switch to different content for that client. The W3C (World Wide WebConsortium, standardisation body) best practice suggests that the same contentshould be made available to all users in order not to segregate or prejudice againstusers, so this CT policy is presumably incomplete.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 151
  • 152. For example constituents would be able to sign up for savings tips – these couldinclude:  core messages, short punchy messages with recognisable small icon; or  where to buy what energy saving devices with location intelligence (this might be a good extension for an app development agency), including contact details.This latter point might be an excellent foundation for a public-private partnership,since the shops being advertised stand to gain business from this city-widecampaign. 3. Evaluation of website: level of access it provides, quality of info, feedback / interactive, etc.The website is clearly very up-to-date and conforms with legal requirements, andprovides a level of transparency not found in other municipal websites. For instance,there is an up-to-date one page overview of the IDP and Budget informationavailable. This may make it easier to participate by showing all noteworthy changesin one place. Detailed IDP reviews for 2011 are already available on the website as a“work in progress”, allowing citizens to see ahead of time how the IDP is shaping up.Final public comments are only required in October 2011.A new online self-help utility has been launched to invited constituents and is in useby 30000 beta users (registered email clients of CT). Most of the online transactionsavailable to call centre staff can now be operated independently by the constituentsthemselves, for instance, submission of meter readings, submission of motor vehiclelicensing information, job applications, etc.Self-help is a top priority at the municipality. It is enabled by clear processes andinterfaces in backend systems. Thus for instance, the jobs application online ispopulated directly from the back-office HR systems, and responses via the websiteare transferred back into HR systems, saving time and money.A pivotal strategy in this area is the exposure of CT functionality as webservices(“string in, string out” as termed by Mr. Stelzner, referring to short pieces ofinformation coming into and going out of the system. These short pieces ofinformation are handled automatically on the consumer and provider ends). Byexposing41 services as web services, CT expects that application creators will thinkup new software applications (apps) for web browsers as well as cell phones andMXit platforms that will embed this functionality in time-saving apps for users. Thiswill free CT of having to coordinate apps that may have to change often to suit userneeds, while allowing CT to focus on keeping their functionality within legally definedparameters.Feedback is allowed at any time via the website. Further, “campaigns” are mediaevents which promote certain online feedback mechanisms at certain times of year,e.g. for feedback on IDP, or feedback on Budget. Such feedback is handled by41 making available in a standardised electronic mannerPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 152
  • 153. forwarding comments directly to the responsible department (e.g. finance dept. in thecase of the budget).The communication department is responsible for the following:  It creates a news feed and general content about Cape Town, which is regularly (daily) featured in news articles on the website. By disseminating this information automatically to social networking sites a dialogue can be entered into with constituents via other online channels (see in the next section on third party integration).  It works on the front-end technology together with the IS department, making sure that the software systems are interoperable with the backend systems such as the C3 queue. This work also results in the active directory that controls access to different parts of the intranet website, run using Microsoft SharePoint technology.  It implements processes, which helps ensure that the website is up-to-date across all departments. I.e. if a department wishes to have its own website beneath the main website, that department has to sign a SLA, which a) makes that department responsible for the content, and b) obliges the department to immediately refresh outdated content.  It monitors web site usage and statistics, e.g. failed searches, which pages are visited most frequently, etc. As a result of this effort, the search facility of the web site is excellent.CT left the world cup web pages online after the world cup, because interest in thesite had not diminished. Since the end of the world cup, the site has been visitedmore often than in the time leading up to, and during the world cup. This brings a lotof visitors to the web site and allows other information and news a wider audience.The most downloaded PDF on the CT website is a one page expose of the cityprepared for the world cup entitled “About CT”.CT focuses on campaigns, which focus public attention on a few selected topicalissues, which are strictly apolitical in nature. Examples of such issues are IDPparticipation, budget planning participation and electricity savings. There are definedtime periods for the regular campaigns and special campaigns are entered into thepublic participation calendar, which is published in the Public Participation Unit’sannual report. This would look something like the following: September November December February January October August March June April May July ProcessIDP Public InputBudget CommentsBy-LawRepeal of Obsolete PlanningPoliciesPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 153
  • 154. Coastal ProtectionWithout particularly expensive cross-channel marketing, CT increased itscommunication received on the issue of IDP by 3000% over 2009. The followingnumber of SMS’s were received in the IDP campaign. (The spike in Septembercorresponds to the hottest phase of the public participation campaign).By contrast, citizens are much more active in maters that they perceive as directlyaffecting them. SMS’s received regarding faults and water issues are much higherthan for e-participation issues (such as IDP). By way of example, in March 2011, thefollowing number of SMS were received and sent by the city:IDP: IDP@capetown.gov.za (sent) 0 (recvd) 17Faults: EFaults@capetown.gov.za (sent) 1 956 (recvd) 1040Water: WaterTOC@capetown.gov.za (sent) 1 644 (recvd) 2098In addition to the SMS received, 41 relevant emails were received in the same timeperiod, directly pertaining to IDP. These emails were received through a variety ofchannels. Because of the spam, telephone calls, etc. there is quite a lot of filteringthat needs to be done at the receiving office in order to clean IDP input.Further, around 80 – 100 messages per month are sent to CT via website. There is aform that can be filled in and the messages go through to the call centre.Rough usage patterns show that the CT website is being used more and moreintensively, and this trend will sharpen as more services are moved online, Internetcosts go down and broadband penetration improves.These trends are reflected in the following graphic:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 154
  • 155. The figures in the graphic above do not, however, include citizens’ access directlythrough third party information services, which reuse the web information (i.e. Twitterand Facebook). That means that the number of accesses of CT generated contentin the web is actually higher than portrayed above.CT uses very light weight processes to deal with the communication that comes inthrough these channels. The communications team will directly answer anyquestions, which they can answer (categorically). For example, someone askswhether the Table Mountain lights were switched off at Earth Hour, and the teamimmediately answers that they were. The person then asks that this be confirmed. Inthis case, the question has to go into the issue handling system to be answered bythe relevant authority. Typically, the authorities answer within 24 hrs, providingexcellent response turn around times for citizens looking for answers to theirquestions. 4. Website use / integration of other ICT’sThe CT website stands apart from the other metro websites in several respects.  It has a very simple old-fashioned design (the communications department is often criticised for this), the advantage is that navigation of the site is very easy and pages load faster,  CT is well integrated with 3rd party applications, such as Facebook and Twitter.  Other metro websites may have stale content (e.g. conversations that are around a year old), areas that return errors or no content, whereas this was not experienced at all on the CT site. Caveat: This effect was not measured and represents the qualitative effect of the site through usage as part of this investigation and taking into account general web feedback available publicly on the website.Municipal employees are present on professional sites such as LinkedIn and CT alsohas a profile on LinkedIn. E.g. the Facebook page shows interaction with citizens:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 155
  • 156. and on Twitter:Cape Town also has a very active real-time traffic information feed available throughTwitter, to which around 2500 people subscribe:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 156
  • 157. Information from freeway cameras is also available:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 157
  • 158. Contacts that respond via Facebook are often referred to the call centre, directly viaFaceBook, so that others can see the answer. If the matter requires discretion or if itis requested then answer an answer may be sent by mail. A comment posting for allto see and learn by is preferred, as it also enforces the idea that CT cares.Comments referring to a specific campaign are passed to the responsible office, e.g.SMS feedback to say the IDP lands in the IDP office email box. This is the same asfor comments arising from the web site feedback form. 5. Use of ICT’s to advance formal participationFormal Public Participation is managed by the Public Participation Unit (which isheaded by Irwin Robson, who has a legal background). This unit has produced apublic participation policy (March 2009), which governs the process of publicparticipation across all line departments (departments such as EnvironmentalResource Management). The policy also lists the public engagement tools that areavailable for various forms of interaction, several of which involve ICT’s:  Internet & Email  Website  Cellphones  Radio Interviews  C3 notifications (C3 is the organisation-wide issue tracking system in CT, used across all departments)  Radio Advertisements  SmartCape access  Phone in  Email to community organisationsSystemically, CT sees depoliticisation as critical to the success of publicparticipation. A stumbling block for public participation is the view that party politicsPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 158
  • 159. can be pushed by spreading marketing or disinformation through the process. Inother words, the contact with the public can be misused in order to gain votes andkeep the ruling party in power. Such a view needs to be countered by making thepublic participation process transparent and accountable. In CT, this is enabled bythe policy, and by making Office of the Speaker’s Committee (OSCOM) theexecutive party in the process. OSCOM is a political platform on which all linedepartments are represented, and which is headed by a councillor (Ald. Kinnahan).Ultimately, Ward Forums are the main vehicle for full public participation. Wardforums can gather any ideas and input from citizens and forward these to the correctline department for consideration. Citizens will often not know to which linedepartment they need to address their concerns (as shown clearly in the IDASAreport “The State of Local Governance in South Africa from a citizen perspective”). Itfollows that the maximum return on investment in ICT’s currently would be by usingthem to improve the effectiveness of ward forums. This could happen in a number ofways. CT‘s only use of ICT in this sphere is in the publication of meeting dates andtimes on the website.As far as CT is concerned the main e-participatory tools that are ICT based and inplace currently are:PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 159
  • 160. D. Website: Principles of democracy guide the website content and structure. In particular, the following features advance participation:  Open systems: by default all information is to be shared. Transparency is seen as the best defence against corruption. E.g. not only are tenders published, the website also shows who got the tender. Further, one can see the whole tender document, even past documents, one can see the results, and the winning bid. This information makes it easy to contest a bid and thus fairness is ensured.  “Councillors online” is a concept that allows a constituent to easily identify their ward councillor and to contact them via the website. There is a lot of information about each councillor, which is available.E. 2. “Red telephones”: these allow anyone to contact the call centre for free.F. 3. SMS Gateways: these encourage feedback from the public to important matters such as IDP and budget.The City of Cape Town has plans to implement “kiosks” (similar to automated tellermachines (ATM)) that allow citizens direct access to City information services andaccounts from widely accessible public places. There is however no funding orbusiness plan for such access points. The reason that the City prefers this mode ofaccess to mobile phone technology is the perception that rich content can have highvalue for the users and allow a wider set of applications and information to beaccessed. Also phone charges do not deter citizens from using the system. Untilrecently, the cellular phone companies have not offered customers toll-free numbers,where the callee pays for phone charges. According to Mr. Sooful (ex-CIO of CapeTown), this is now possible. 6. Other ICT applications for public discussion and feedbackThe clear processes that are modelled in the back end systems are a fundamentalaspect of the City of Cape Town feedback mechanism to its constituency. They allowsubmissions by constituents to be categorised and geocoded before entering thesystem. This method allows the municipality to provide a very fine-grainedtransparency to its constituency by a variety of means (electronic and otherwise),even in real time and opens the possibility for the web service based solutionsmentioned in point 4 above. In other words, CT has categorised the submissionsbeing made and matched them to internal processes, so that incoming queries canbe characterised along a number of dimensions, e.g.: date of query, type of query,place the query concerns (geo-coding), department that is responsible for suchqueries, etc. Because the processes for most of the queries have been modelled(written down in every detail), they can be supported by IT processes and handleddirectly by the call centre staff, without need for further intervention. This meansultimately that huge call volumes can be handledThe encoding refinement introduced above allows the municipality to tackle animplicit problem which had led to much intransparency in the past. The problem wasthat submissions were made by constituents from a particular place or with regard toa particular place, whereas, the organisation had a different view, namely of whichdepartment was affected (e.g. waste management, health, finance, etc.). With thenew system service request and response times could be tracked in relation to theconstituents concern, namely their geographic neighbourhood. The system didPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 160
  • 161. cause initial apprehension, which has turned into a positive feeling. Ward committeemeetings can now demonstrate actual work being done. Earlier, they could only fielda number of complaints, without revealing how many successful interventions hadbeen performed in the neighbourhood. This system has met with great success inthe wards and is likely to improve accountable government on the ward level as itspossibilities are realised and the system is made available on a broad scale throughprivate application development.The “red phone” mentioned above also forms part of the CT strategy in this respect.Additionally, the municipality conducts annual customer satisfaction surveys – viaweb, as well as door-to-door. 7. Call centreCT has a central call centre. It can respond to and conclude 90% of calls. There isan electronic workflow system, which is same as the ward based one. Version 1 waslaunched in 2003, and since then progressively functionality for M/V licensing,vendor calls, etc. have been added. A ticketing system (C3) allows progress to bemonitored, and allows callers to call back and see if anything has been done. As withthe ward system, clear information becomes available about the efficiency and workof the city.There is also an internal call centre, a “technical operations centre” or engineeringcentre. This call centre coordinates CT personnel. E.g. it is fed with informationabout work tasks that need to be dealt with and uses ICT’s to find the closest crew todeal with the task. Additional Question: How much room is there for civic participation in municipalities and CT specifically?The technology described in point 6 has raised confidence in the city administration.As the CIO put it, “we don’t have to hide behind walls any more.” Constituents aregetting involved in decision-making and that is a positive spiral which continuallyimproves satisfaction levels in the constituency. The web is a great tool and themunicipality is trying to extend it to the disadvantaged areas as well. “It used to bethat when things were going badly, the municipality would clamp down oninformation. We don’t need to do that any more. Now when there is a crisis, weactively communicate and solicit feedback from the constituents.” To reachdisadvantaged communities, Cape Town needs more communication possibilities,for instance contact kiosks, which would be analogous to the emergency telephonesalong a highway. It must be easy to talk to the municipality about any issues, fromnon-delivery and emergencies, to opinions and feedback.There also seems to be a move toward mutual trust and investment in ICT’s withoutshort-term return. ICT’s can be seen as a tool for inspiration. “The motivation beingto make a library a safe place for children to play and learn. When play becomeslearning and vice-versa then you have the foundation for a healthy and resourcefulcommunity and City. In addition to this - we are also introducing LAN games tocommunity centres. Again the idea is to get the children into a safe environment andPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 161
  • 162. off the streets. This concept is in its infancy, but once we have the bandwidth whoknows what the future holds. The children of Mannenberg taking on those of Munichat computer games and those from Bishopscourt competing against those fromBangladesh.” Additional Question: Which technologies might be suitable for a smaller municipality?1) Platform sharing  The idea of open source communities and sharing of resources brings forth the following idea: A platform built by the City of Cape Town or other metros contains an investment in process knowledge which is conformant to the legislation and which is kept up-to-date. Such a platform can be shared with other municipalities. Such a platform (or platforms) would need to be maintained by the metro in any case, and any extras (presumably low cost additions) could be funded by a variety of means.  Small municipalities would have to shoulder the costs of connectivity to the platforms  They would also have to maintain the absolute minimum in-house IT skills within their organisations. These could be trained within a national programme.2) Participative online technologies can also be used in an ad hoc manner by smallmunicipalities – based on power of individuals that have taken it into their hands topower the municipal processes. Some of this kind of energy can be seen in thecontext of Greater Tzaneen Municipality (see Tzaneen study).User Survey of Western Cape Inhabitants on MXit(Courtesy of RLabs.org.za)The following survey was run on MXit from 8/3/2011 – 10/3/2011. It is inconclusive,and is reproduced here as is. What this really demonstrates, is the ease with whichone can gather data quickly and cheaply from a wide audience (albeit, a stratifiedone) on topics pertaining to local government.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 162
  • 163. RLabs Mobile SurveyTotal 498Q1 Aware of What your Municipality do for you? Yes 311 62.45% No 187 37.55%Q2 Do you know the name of your Ward Counsellor? Yes 261 52.41% No 237 47.59%Q3 Does your municipality respond to your queries? Yes 215 43.17% No 283 56.83% Would you read a 5 year plan document if youQ4 have access? Yes 402 80.72% No 96 19.28% Would you more likely read plan if it wasQ5 neighbourhood plan? Yes 416 83.53% No 82 16.47%Q6 What would you read 1 or 5 page document? 1 Page 424 85.14% 5 Page 74 14.86% Would you like to beQ7 Mayor for a day? Yes 361 72.49% No 137 27.51% Can you help improve yourQ8 municipality? Yes 432 86.75%PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 163
  • 164. No 66 13.25% Would you like to SMS your councillor andQ9 actually get a response? Yes 406 81.53% No 92 18.47% If you use twitter would you follow yourQ10 municipality on twitter? Yes 369 74.10% No 119 23.90%PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 164
  • 165. 3. Greater Tzaneen MunicipalityName Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality (GTM), LimpopoContacts Milton Sibuyi DB Administrator 015-3078085 milton.sibuyi@tzaneen.gov.za Neville Ndlala Communications Officer 015 3078015/45Date of Interviews 20 April – Neville Ndlala 26 April & 10 May - Milton Sibuyi 1. Original Motivation as an ICT Case StudyA recommendation to include the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality was made onthe grounds of:  Meraka CSIR Wireless Mesh Network initiative, to connect 200 municipal and disadvantaged locations  A good, up-to-date website  Use of social media (A static Facebook page was found)  In 2010 Tzaneen Municipality was one of four local municipalities selected as having the best Batho Pele practices in the country42  Support of the candidate by SALGA 2. Overview of GTM The Greater Tzaneen Municipality comprises a land area of approximately 3240 km², and extends from Haenertsburg in the west, to Rubbervale in the east (85km), and just south of Modjadjiskloof in the north, to Trichardtsdal in the south (47km). The municipal boundaries form an irregular, inverted T- Shape, which results in certain developmental implications for the Municipality, and more specifically the distance to markets, difficulties in respect of service provision, and constraints to implementing development vision/strategy. The Greater Tzaneen Municipality area encompasses the proclaimed towns of Tzaneen, Nkowankowa, Lenyenye, Letsitele and Haenertsburg. In addition, there are 125 rural villages, concentrated mainly in the south-east, and north- west. Almost 80% of households reside in these rural villages.4342 GTM Electronic Newsletter July 201043 GTM IDP 2011/2012PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 165
  • 166. Ensuring the provision of services, increasing public participation on important issues such as the IDP and Budget etc is a challenge for GTM. To address these problems the municipality in partnership with the CSIR, is embarking on an ambitious project to improve the levels of service delivery and public participation through the use of ICT. 3. Current ICT Situation This municipality appears to be living a dichotomy. While restrictive contracts currently hamper the utilisation of participative technologies to engage with the public, by forcing the communications and IT officers to use aged and proprietary technologies, these officers are using their own initiative to make use of public web 2.0 platforms to engage the public. Notwithstanding the previous observation, the public participation department does seem to have been experimenting with bulk SMS programmes from the top. These SMS campaigns are in no way linked to back office systems and are all manually driven, as are the processes that ensure that the web site is up-to-date and that all legal requirements concerning the website are maintained. 4. Recent ICT Developments GTM is an interesting case study not because of existing ICT methods to promote e-participation and e-government (which are limited in their scope) but for what is planned for 2011, which is the implementation of the Wireless Mesh Network initiative, in partnership with CSIR. This project has the potential to radically improve the use of ICT technologies to connect with the residents of GTM which is a largely rural municipality. The project will cost approximately R 14 million of which GTM will contribute R 5 million of its own funds. The project will include the following activities: i. Upgrading of GTM computers and networks j. Connecting all GTM offices to each other via a wireless network to improve communication and coordination and enhance productivity. k. Provision of broadband / wifi hotspots to the 4 Thusong Centres, Schools and GTM libraries that do not have internet access at present l. Establishment of Information Kiosks in mainly rural areas for residents to access their accounts and other information on GTM, these kiosks will mainly be placed in the 125 villages that are part of GTM and will enable the villages to interact with the municipality without having to travel to municipal offices in the nearest town. m. Improvement to the accounts system that account information can be sent via SMS and emailPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 166
  • 167. n. Usage of SMS to improve public participation (informing residents of IDP/Budget process as well as council and ward meetings) o. Reverting to an in-house maintenance of the website to ensure greatly flexibility in updating information on the website 5. General description of ICT infrastructure, institutional set-up and facilities Tzaneen has a radio network which currently links remote locations with the municipal Intranet. The CSIR-Meraka wireless mesh network will incorporate constituents, multi purpose centres and the like into the municipal network, creating a large broadband mesh in the vicinity. The municipality would like to use this new network for VoIP, the current network is too unstable for VoIP applications, it is envisaged that the new network will be up and running by end of July and that VoIp will then be incorporated. Voice services could be very important to the constituents and to municipal service provision. 6. Communication via ICTs The municipality has been using bulk SMS services. These are approved by the secretariat of the council for specific events, such as public participation (PMS) in IDP. Other methods are currently not being used GTM would like to expand the use of SMS to other areas such as account updates, customer satisfaction feedback etc. These initiatives will be expanded under the soon to be rolled out upgrade. The Public Participation Department does not focus at all on using ICTs. Although SMS are used among the ward councillors, there is not sufficient value add in the municipality to focus on this aspect of governance. There is also no IT Manager currently in place. Emphasis on service delivery among municipal management as well as a lack of skills in IT management seem to downgrade the importance of ICTs within the municipal list of priorities. This is in contrast to the views of the officers in the affected departments, who are convinced that they can do a better job with more support, or at least a new ISP. The officers currently running the website believe that with the permission to host an open source based website (e.g. Joomla), they could greatly improve e-participation without external contractors. The officers mention that they have even petitioned the premier with their concerns, along with other municipalities and are awaiting a response.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 167
  • 168. The municipality is using Facebook to communicate with constituents, although not in an automated manner, to do this, they would need to update the content management system (CMS) software. The communication department maintains the page manually. Examples of the Tzaneen Facebook page (above and below), show that the page is kept up-to-date and that fairly lengthy conversations can develop on the medium.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 168
  • 169. 7. Evaluation of website The website is up-to-date, the latest 2011/2012 IDP is available, however links to the flourishing Facebook page and further applications are missing, despite intentions by the IT department to improve on the situation. The reason is that the municipality has a long-term contract into which it is bound by agreements with the DM. In fact, updating the website is a big problem as it requires HTML knowledge, which means that the communications department cannot do this independently.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 169
  • 170. The website provides the contact details of all executive mayoral committee members as well as Ward and PR councillors and provides photographs of them. The council meeting calendar is available on the site. Although out of date (2007) GTM was up-loading council meeting minutes on to the site which is not a common occurrence and once the municipality takes back control of the website, one interviewee indicated that they would like to continue placing these minutes on to the site. 8. Other ICT Applications The communications department does prepare a quarterly magazine with information, which is also distributed via email. There is no call centre, only the switchboard. Although not part of the project GTM is planning to establish a Call Centre funding permitting in the 2011- 2012 financial year. 9. Conclusion and recommendations Tzaneen is potentially a good model municipality for small B4 municipalities, demonstrating what they could be doing and the sorts of problems that they are facing. However in terms of best practices, the municipality currently does not offer any practices for e-governance that could be replicated. This will change with the roll out of the CSIR project. GTM has the potential to be a long term case study as to how ICT with the proper financial, political backing and technical support could be a model that could be replicated by other small municipalities. This case study and the broader report prepared for SALGA and GIZ could form the basis of a longer term case study. This case study would document the process through the start of the project which is scheduled to begin at the end of May to the end of the project. During the implementation of the project, SALGA could provide support and advice as to how the ICT network could be used to enhance both e-government and e-participation.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 170
  • 171. 17. Appendix B: Survey QuestionnaireStudy into The Potential to Utilize Information andCommunication Technologies (ICT’s) to Promote Inclusion,Public Participation and Accountability in Local Governance.Telephonic Survey Questions:Questionnaire to determine ICT use at local government levelThe purpose of the questionnaire is to determine what the level of maturity andinnovation of the municipality is in terms of ICT’s, in general, and also with respect toincluding constituents in the municipal governance and allowing them to participate. 0. Date, name of municipality, etc. 1. Name and position of each person being interviewed (should be, or recently have been, employed in the IT division of the municipality). 2. How does the municipality link its offices and buildings in terms of IT infrastructure or Intranet? a. If it does so using its own infrastructure (wireless etc.), does it allow others to access that infrastructure (yes/no)? b. If yes, then whom? 3. Does the municipality support any of the : ICT Hubs, telecentre, multi-purpose community centre, Thusong centre, etc., a. In general? b. In disadvantaged parts of its community? 4. Do the municipal IT systems automatically send notifications to registered constituents via SMS when certain things happen (e.g. bills to be paid, ratepayer meetings occur, etc.)? (yes/no) a. If no, is this something the municipality is planning? 5. Does the municipality use other mobile technologies (for example, MXit) to contact its constituents? Provide detail. a. If no, is this something the municipality is planning? b. Are any specific constituencies targeted – mention & why? 6. Is the municipal website up-to-date? a. Who keeps it up-to-date? 7. What information do you publish on the website: a. Only the legally required documents?PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 171
  • 172. b. Additional information that might assist in community participation? Provide detail. 8. Is the website linked to the municipal IT systems at all, to allow constituents access to any of the following: a. IDP, Budgets, etc., b. GIS, c. Event notifications or calendars, d. Service information: water, traffic, other utilities, etc. 9. Does the website allow user feedback through any of the following: a. Wikis b. Online forms c. Surveys d. Discussion forums on which Municipality staff is also active 10. Does the website include components that are implemented by public systems, such as: a. Twitter b. Facebook c. Linked In, Ning , or other professional social media sites d. Google Docs e. Public Blogs f. Any other public web medium 11. Are there any components of the municipal website that have been designed specifically to improve local democracy, participation, accountability etc.? – provide detail. 12. Has any form of ICT support been applied to improve the operation of : a. The ward committee system b. Public input on the IDP c. Public input on the budget d. Feedback on the Annual Report e. Feedback on changes to by-laws f. The system for receiving complaints and petitions 13. Are there any other ways in which the municipality uses ICT’s to register public opinion on key issues / conduct customer satisfaction surveys or to conduct referendums? 14. With reference to both the website and other ICT’s, is there any use of ICT to promote public discussion forums?PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 172
  • 173. 15. Does the municipality provide on-line feeds for key events e.g. important council meetings, budget vote etc. provide detail? 16. Does the municipality run a call centre? If yes, a. Does the call centre use ICT’s to improve efficiency? Provide detail b. Do constituents have alternative methods of accessing answers to frequently asked questions? (e.g. via the website, or in print form, etc.) c. How does the call centre handle complaints or suggestions from the public?PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 173
  • 174. 18. Appendix C: e-Participation Municipalities Decision MatrixPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 174
  • 175. PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 175
  • 176. Key:Mesh Wireless Mesh networks can provide cheap access to communities within a municipality.Telecentres In this category we include any fixed public access hardware, such as, Internet Cafes, MPCC, Digital Doorways or Thusong Centres.SMS Any automated mobile applications using the Short Messaging ServiceMxit This category includes any applications such as Mxit, using data services to communicate with constituents mobile phones.Reqd. LG Info This category includes any information posted on websites in terms of The Municipal Systems Act, 1998Other Info This includes any notices and information relevant to constituents that exceeds the regulatory requirements for websites.Wiki This category is for any web based software allowing online collaborative editing of shared informationOnline Forms Here we refer to web based forms that allow constituents to submit information directly to the municipal IT databases.Surveys This is a specialisation of the above, allowing constituents to submit their opinions.Mashups This category refers to the dynamic (automatic) inclusion of content from other government websites into the municipal website.RSS This is a specialisation of the above, using common RSS technology, and also includes publication of RSS feeds.Forums A website allowing users to participate in discussions, where each discussion has a specific topic and any discussion can be read by the public.Loc. Based Apps Location based applications: refer to user accessible functions that access the municipal GIS systems and/or take into account the users location.Soc. Media Common examples of Social Media are Twitter, Facebook, etc.Mashup As above, except that the source of the content is a public website, e.g. Google Maps.Google Docs Are a powerful shared communication medium that may be used collaboratively.PCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 176
  • 177. Infomediary The municipality uses human intermediaries to provide access to ICT’s for challenged or illiterate users.VoIP VoIP is used to increase participation, or improve municipal effectiveness.ICT for Efficiency ICTs are used in any way by the municipality to improve efficiency and promote participationCall Centre ICT ICT systems to make call centres more effective, for instance a database of Frequently Asked Questions.Video / CCTV ICTs in the form of video material or live stream from cameras (webcams) are used to improve efficiency and promote participationPCRD, Mbumba & eKhaya ICT – May 2011 177