::back to table of contents:: M-government: South African Approaches and Experiences
link to pdf document Imraan Patel, Glenda White
full paper Abstract: This paper looks at the approaches and experiences of South Africa in advancing m-government. It features a number of efforts that demonstrate how mobile technology can be used to improve government operations and service delivery. A bias has been on looking at solutions that address developing country challenges.
The ability to test and incubate solutions for developing country challenges is based on a number of South African realities. This includes:- extensive penetration of mobile phones across all incomes groups including rural and remote households, the ease of use of the technology, a proliferation of solutions from the commercial sector, licensing obligations to be met by the mobile network providers, and finally, the reality that for many a mobile phone represent the sole source of communication.
In less than three years, South Africa has made significant strides in advancing m-government. However, m-government is still in its infancy and will rapidly evolve over the next few years. There is increasing acknowledgment that there is a need to go beyond isolated pilots. This will require the development of an m-government strategy that can forge closer co-operation between industry and government, more effective mechanisms for enabling the rapid technological changes and advances to be translated into government solutions and importantly for solutions to be financially, institutionally and technologically sustainable.
  Keywords: South Africa, applications, m-government strategy developing country