Politics / 10 November 2019, 12:52pm / Siyabonga mkhwanazi
The State Information Technology Agency (Sita) faces threats of being shut down after MPs were up in arms over its failure to fix the IT systems of government departments.
Some of the departments have also complained about the quality of service offered by Sita. Some MPs said there was no need to continue having Sita in place if it failed to deliver on its mandate of managing the IT infrastructure of the state.
Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said there were discussions on the future of Sita.
She said this followed a pronouncement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, earlier this year about what role Sita should play.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said a review of Sita was now being pursued.
“It is high time we re-model Sita and not be a re-seller. We had taken a decision as the president announced that we will be re-modelling Sita to be an IT focused company,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Discussions on the future of Sita took place in the meeting of the home affairs committee where the department complained about IT system failures and a R200 million contract that was probed by the auditor-general.
Acting Sita CEO Ntutule Tshenye said they would now move from obsolete technology to fibre to avoid breakages and interruptions in the network.
Joe McGluwa of the DA said the government should shut down Sita.
He said it had failed to provide reliable networks to various departments and entities.
“I agree with the minister that we must re-model Sita,” said McGluwa.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said there was no time to waste; a decision on Sita had to be taken urgently.
“This committee must take a decision.
“The structure we set up, we believed it was going to help us. We must act and we must act with urgency,” said Lekota.
“We need to sit as a committee (and) decide on this matter. We know other departments are complaining. We must respond to the Minister of Finance’s proposal that there is a lot of wastage,” said Lekota.
Mosa Chabane of the ANC said all departments were complaining about Sita’s performance.
“There is a narrative that suggests that Sita is a corrupt organisation. All departments are crying,” he said.
Liezl van der Merwe of the IFP said she was disappointed about the fact that systems had been off-line in some departments for several days.
She said it appeared that there was no urgency by Sita when restoring systems when they were down.
She said three years ago they made a request for mobile units to be deployed in some of the areas but it took 36 months for Sita to get a service provider.