Developing the SAPS website for optimal service delivery
10 Further research
At the Regional Workshop on Building e-Governance Capacity in
African countries, held in Johannesburg in October/November 2002,
issues such as whether Africa is “e-ready” were discussed.
Arguments persist that Africa does not need computers, but water
and clothes and other necessities.
The counter-argument made by South African public service and
administration minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi was that service
delivery to all citizens could be improved by making use of
technology. She emphasised that slow forms of development in this
field had to be leapfrogged (Emdon 2002).
The concept of e-governance is still fairly new to the world at
large. It is definitely a form of transparency and democratic
behaviour that has not been considered much by police agency
websites. This is made clear by the assessments of police agency
websites of other countries in this study.
The adoption of e-governance by police agencies therefore
requires in-depth research. This is especially true for police
agencies in Africa, where the digital divide is an undeniable
reality. e-Government is primarily about access – creating access
to services for citizens through the means convenient to them.
The SAPS could benefit by further research into how
e-Governance could impact positively on police service delivery.
The following research areas are indicated:
- A strategy and guidelines for improving the quality of the
SAPS website, supported by a roadmap that provides more detail
on the steps required in the development of online services.
- Measuring the impact that electronic media could have on the
South African citizen’s life as far as safety and security is
concerned. This may include increased awareness of high-crime
areas, scams, incidence of vehicle thefts, etc.
- Mechanisms the SAPS should apply for bridging the digital
divide, in order to deliver its services online to the large
part of its constituency that does not have access to
information and communication technologies.
- Ways that South Africa, as a leader in the use of
telecommunications on the African continent, could assist other
African countries in combating crime and ensuring a peaceful and
fair society, through the use of online service delivery
- The use of automated mechanisms to ensure updated content on
a website such as the size of the SAPS website. This should be
supported by clear policy that states the responsibility for
- The role of NEPAD and its role-players in drawing up an
African development plan for information and communication
technologies – and, specifically, the SAPS participation in this
- The role of electronic government and information systems in
supporting the fight against crime.
- The role of the electronic media in improving the image of
SAPS with the constituency – including ways in which this media
could support the government’s commitment to transparency and
- Ways that the SAPS electronic media could be used in
supporting the SAPS training and development goals, such as by
creating an internal awareness of the SAPS national strategy,
and of its special programmes and objectives.
- The development of a measurement tool for quantifying the
impact of online services on the SAPS in reaching the eight
objectives of the South African government’s Batho Pele
(“People first”) initiative.
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