The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is set to upgrade 197 South African Police Service (SAPS) stations during the current financial year to the tune of R350 million as part of an ambitious programme to modernize SAPS ICT systems.
This programme may gain speed next year given that the Police Strategy Plan states that a further 1060 sites will be upgraded during the 2013/2014 financial year, said SITA in a statement released yesterday.
The statement said SITA has registered some progress in working with the SAPS to modernise the police systems through a programme titled SAPS National Network Upgrade Program. “This three year programme is geared towards improved public service delivery in assisting the SAPS to use technology in preventing and combating crime”.
The SITA statement said a significant portion of the current SAPS network infrastructure is obsolete, lacks capacity, and does not have the features to accommodate new generation applications.
“SITA will be working with the South African Police Service on the modernisation of the SAPS Network Programme by redesigning the SAPS network to replace redundant infrastructure and cater for secure modern technology capabilities. The SAPS National Network Upgrade Programme is a strategic multi-year programme, that is important to transform key police services,” says SITA Chief Executive Officer, Blake Mosley-Lefatola.
The National Network Upgrade Program will support SAPS personnel with accurate and secure information that include the prevention and loss of dockets; and better vehicle and firearm control. The deployment of these applications requires an underlying network and hosting ICT infrastructure (cabling, routers, switches, servers and data carriers) that has the capacity to accommodate important functional and security features related to E-Docket, Fire-Arm registration, Automatic Vehicle Location. It will also be used for connectivity of rural sites to SAPS systems. A value add to this programme is the cost-effective deployment of video and voice services on the new infrastructure.
SAPS have an estimated 3 000 police stations nationwide and to date approximately 50% of these sites have been upgraded.
SITA developed and manages the majority of the policing and crime management systems for the South African Police Service to ensure that there is no failure or collapse of core policing systems. Since the inception of the SAPS Network Upgrade Programme in 2005, SITA has provided the SAPS with all ICT solutions, services and products related to this multi-billion rand project.
“SITA recently delivered the Phase 2 of the e-Docket system to eliminate theft and misplacement of case dockets; allowing police officers to work on case dockets online. This means that there is no loss of crime management information and data to unwanted elements. Furthermore we secured the SAPS network to ensure no interception of police communication by unwanted elements,” says Mr Mosley-Lefatola.
“There continues to be high expectations of government in respect of improved service delivery and SITA is continuing to play a big part in ensuring that the state can deliver on its mandate to the citizens of South Africa, with the use of ICT solutions, products and services.’