Western Cape Government to Tackle Red Tape by Exploring E-Governance
Today, Premier Helen Zille and the Cabinet of the Western Cape met with experts from Singapore to discuss ways to improve government's efficiency through ICT. The Info-Communications Development Authority (IDA) Singapore is in Cape Town for two days at the request of Western Cape Economic Development Minister Alan Winde, who is on a mission to eradicate red tape.
Minister Winde said: "We are looking at high-level interventions to improve our efficiency and reduce red tape. The innovative solutions devised by the IDA Singapore have changed the face of government-to-business relations in that country and we need to do the same here if we want to become more competitive, grow our economy and create jobs."
By implementing IDA systems, the Singapore government has reduced the time it takes to register a business to two hours and the time it takes to fill in an export/import application to two minutes. In addition, the government of Singapore has over 1 600 services online, 300 of which can already be accessed via cellphone. This is pertinent in the South African context where internet use via mobile phone has increased dramatically. These interventions and others like it have won Singapore the title of the World Bank's Easiest Place to Do Business for the past six consecutive years, and dramatically increased its GDP per capita from US$512 in 1965 to US$43 867 in 2011. In South Africa, it takes months to register a business.
Director of the IDA, Ms Serene Ho, said: "We are happy to be in Cape Town to share and exchange views on how ICT can be leveraged as a strategic enabler for economic and social development."
In the coming months, the Western Cape Government will look at starting several pilot projects across the province that improve our efficiency and make it easier for the public to navigate government bureaucracy.
Minister Winde concluded: "We are striving to become the best regional government in the world. The IDA is the world leader in the development of citizen-centric solutions, and we are pleased to be working with them to devise innovative ways to improve our efficiency and service delivery to the citizens of our province."