The Department of Communications & Digital Technologies has gazetted a final national policy framework intended to ‘efficiently’ manage and utilise data ‘through cloud computing technologies’. It follows the recent publication of government’s revised policy on radio frequency spectrum.

The new policy framework is underpinned by four ‘key principles’:

  • ‘accelerating the rollout of digital infrastructure to ensure fast, secure, and reliable broadband connectivity’
  • ‘ensuring data privacy and security’
  • ‘promoting open data and data interoperability’, and
  • ‘adopting a cloud-first approach’.

This is according to the document’s executive summary, which also draws attention to several ‘primary goals’ and overarching objectives, among which are:

  • enhancing ‘government service delivery and foster socio-economic development’ by:
  • ‘promoting data-driven decision-making’
  • ‘creating data-based tradable goods and services’, and 
  • supporting ‘an emerging digital economy’.

Other policy imperatives include:

  • ‘capacity building and skills development to encourage the adoption of cloud technologies and data management practices across all sectors’
  • creating ‘a robust data economy that contributes to the growth of the ICT sector and the overall economy’
  • ‘increased government operational efficiency’, and
  • ‘enhanced’ private sector innovation and competitiveness.

‘Successful implementation’ is expected to be dependent on ‘collaboration among multiple stakeholders, including government agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations, and international partners’.

Published by SA Legal Academy Policy Watch

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