A Fresh Look at FOSS Policy Failure in the SA Government

A presentation by Dr Derek W. Keats on an ecosystem approach to FOSS policy failure in the South African government. Watch at https://youtu.be/1bUMnpAgwK0 or click below.

An ecosystem approach to FOSS policy failure in the South African government

Very Positive To See An Open Source Tender Advertised By SANParks

The organisation is also looking for an accredited service provider for the provision of open source e-business technologies on an on-demand basis for a period of three years.
Non-compulsory briefing: 21 Feb
Tender no: GNP- 039- 19
Information: Technical: Nedret Saidova, Tel: (012) 426 5283, E-mail: Nedret.Saidova@sanparks.org. General: Quinton Chetty, Tel: (012) 426 5247, E-mail: Quinton.Chetty@sanparks.org.
Closing date: 6 Mar 2020

‘SA needs tech boost in case Trump recalls US companies’ says SA Comms Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams  is concerned that SA relies heavily on software produced by the West or the East and says its time government focuses on home-grown technologies.

Her reasoning is that if US president Donald Trump, for example, was to prevent all US companies from operating in SA, the country could be in trouble.

Our view is that open source software offers the ideal vehicle for this as it’s already available, in use in many enterprises as well as governments, and can be modified for use within South Africa without starting from scratch. No-one can disable or refuse our access to open source software, and this also gives South Africa an opportunity to contribute back to open source communities globally. Open source would also mean that South Africa cannot be held hostage even by local vendors (which has happened in the past). Savings from existing annual licensing can be ploughed into this initiative as local economic investment.

See the media article at https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2020-01-30-sa-needs-tech-boost-in-case-trump-recalls-us-companies/

SA Gov FOSS Policy Annex A: Policy on Free and Open Source Software Use for South African Government

Published in August 2006 by the National Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). It outlines the background leading up to the approval of the policy.

Policy and Strategy Recommendations to the Presidential National Commission of South Africa – 5 Jan 2004

These recommendations followed after the National Cabinet approval in August 2003 on the policy on OSS. These recommendations proposed a set of policy enhancements to shift the overall policy posture from one that was neutral-to-enabling to one that was enabling-to-proactive. They also incorporated Open Content into the policy and brought to the fore important issues around intellectual property rights and Open Standards.

Lessons Learnt and Best Practices for US Military Software – 2011

This was a lessons learnt and a guide to help US government personnel and contractors implement open technology development (OTD) for software within government projects, particularly in defence.

This document marks a parting between South Africa and many other governments around the world. Whilst South Africa was early to adopt excellent FOSS policy and MIOS standards, other governments had started from 2011 or so to share implementation advice and guidelines. The UK government is another good example of this as well as the EU.