What is Gauteng eGovernment and who is in charge now?

  • There is a new MEC for the Department of eGovernment in Gauteng.
  • The IFP’s Bonginkosi Dlamini is taking over the post from the ANC’s Mzikayifani Khumalo.
  • eGovernment is a pet project of Premier Panyaza Lesufi who has moved some of its powers to himself.

One of the newest portfolios in Gauteng’s executive cabinet is the Department of eGovernment, which after the 2024 general elections, and months of talks, negotiations and planning now has a new MEC in the guise of Bonginkosi Dlamini.

Dlamini (pictured above) was sworn in on Wednesday by Judge Lebogang Modiba following the announcement of the members of the cabinet, by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi. Dlamini is a member of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and not famous Kwaito musician Zola 7 who shares the same name.

A career politician, Dlamini is the provincial chairperson of the IFP in Gauteng and now he will oversee eGovernment, succeeding the ANC’s Mzikayifani Khumalo. Khumalo himself was appointed in late 2022 and was immediately tasked by Lesufi to carry out a number of tech-minded initiatives, specifically aimed at fighting crime in the province.

Officially, the Department of eGovernment is mandated to conduct a digital transformation of Gauteng’s public services. However this description is broad, and the department in recent years has seemingly become an arm of Lesufi’s own plans for the province.

This includes a laundry list of efforts, many announced several years ago without success, such as the rollout of broadband internet across the province’s townships, the rollout of free WiFi at “all public institutions,” solar PV batteries and panelling across hospitals, schools, the launch of an ePanic button and the dispersion of thousands of CCTV cameras across the province used to fight crime, in cohesion with drones to be used by the Gauteng police.

Lesufi loves “gadgets” and for the most part, eGovernment was the department tasked to make Lesufi’s gadget dreams a reality. The department also oversees the Gauteng police’s control centre (the Gauteng Provincial Government Control Room), from where the thousands of Vumacam and CCTV camera footage is concentrated and analysed.

The former minister of Gauteng eGovernment was often seen by Lesufi’s side when it came to many of these initiatives, as the portfolio was and is clearly very close to the premier and his promises to the electorate. So much so that reports indicate that Lesufi has moved Community Safety from eGovernment to his own Office of the Premier.

This was done, likely, because the IFP is now in charge of the department and the premier wishes to not lose his CCTV calling card.

As for the new minister of eGovernment, Dlamini does not even have a presence on social media, and his experience in the world of communications, digital technologies and digital transformation is unknown but it is likely he was awarded the post because he’s the IFP’s leading politician in Gauteng.

[Image – Gauteng eGovernment on X]


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