Jun 08, 2012
Stricter monitoring, stringent controls improve Gauteng Online useBack
Components|Education|Gauteng Audit Services|PROJECT|SMMT Telematics Consortium|System|Systems|Building|Communication Technology Systems|Finance|Inadequate Infrastructure|Internal Audit|Online Project|Service|Services|Steel|Steel-reinforced Ceilings|Systems|Telecommunications Infrastructure|Telecommunications Media|Infrastructure|Steven Gounden|Stewart Lumka|Infrastructure
© Reuse this
Technical glitches, a lack of and erratic connectivity, owing to inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, and crime and burglary problems plagued the project prior to 2008. However, a mixture of telecommunications media is now being used to enable connectivity from 1 Mb/s up to 12 Mb/s for each school and each laboratory is connected to alarm systems and armed response, and has steel-reinforced ceilings and motion sensors, which has reduced burglary incidents.
The intent is to have the Gauteng Depart-ment of Education disseminate National Department of Education education material over the network; however, an internal audit conducted in 2007 found that there was low use of the system, poor or no main- tenance done, inadequate infrastructure, including in the classes, and no content filtering was being done.
The Gauteng Audit Services, an internal auditing division, also found that only 61 schools were connected and that the rest were offline during that period.
This prompted the Gauteng provincial government (GPG) to monitor and evaluate the services of turnkey information and communication technology systems provider SMMT Telematics Consortium on a return-on-investment basis to determine the value of the project and services.
SMMT was held accountable for deliverables on the project, according to service-level agreements, and has now significantly improved connectivity to schools, Nkomfe assures.
Currently, 1 557 schools are connected and do so through 107 points-of-presence local service nodes, which also provide backup functions and can disseminate uploaded materials, even if they are disconnected from the rest of the private network. Learners and educators are also provided with email addresses to enable them to engage using new telecommunications media securely.
A further 621 schools must still be connected, with the expected completion date around the end of the province’s financial year, in March.
The consortium, meanwhile, has reported that its accounts at the GPG are in arrears. However, all accounts are settled within 30 days of services being rendered and services have resumed, says Gauteng Department of Finance head Stewart Lumka.
An amount of R1.3-billion, 65% of R2-billion, has been spent and 71% of the project’s deliverables have been achieved, notes Nkomfe. Currently, the Gauteng Online project reports receiving an average of 40-million Internet site requests a week.
SMMT’s contract expires in the first quarter of next year, after which the GPG would implement procurement procedures according to the Public Finances Management Act, he adds.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Online project has stopped using proprietary software and now uses open-source software, specifically Linux Ubuntu, which reduces licence costs and increases the flexibility and customisation options of the software, which are aimed at future uses in education, says Gauteng Shared Central Components and Information Society and Development director Steven Gounden.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other ICT News
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...