“Cabinet approved a policy and strategy for the implementation of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in government. All new software developed for or by the Government will be based on open standards and government will itself migrate current software to FOSS. This strategy will, among other things, lower administration costs and enhance local Information Technology (IT) skills. The meeting noted that all the major IT vendors in the country have both supported the initiative and made contributions to the development of FOSS. Government departments will incorporate FOSS in their planning henceforth. By April 2007, a project office will be set up by the Department of Science and Technology, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and State Information Technology Agency (SITA) to ensure smooth implementation of FOSS throughout the country.”
Annex C of the approved FOSS Policy for South African Government.
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.
The National Advisory Council on Innovation is a body set up by South African Act of Parliament to advise the Minister of Arts Culture Science and Technology, as well as Cabinet as a whole, on Science and Technology issues. They formulated these recommendations which included non-negotiable open standards as well as a FOSS policy encouraging the use of FOSS and ensuring a level playing field between FOSS and proprietary software with regards to procurement.