Public Service and Administration on ICT skills for Community Development Workers

CDWs should learn ICT skills Mushungwa

As the world is moving towards an era of e-government and the 4th industrial revolution, Community Development Workers (CDWs) will need to be equipped with relevant Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills and tools in order to be the conduits of information.

This is the utterance of Minister Faith Muthambi’s advisor, Patience Mushungwa when addressing hundreds of the CDWs in Mpumalanga Province, under the theme CDW’s working together with communities to improve access to government services and towards radical economic development for local communities

It was the sixth engagement with the CDWs as Limpopo, Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and North West Provinces have already been attended to.

Mushungwa said Minister has decided to engage with all CDWs throughout the country to reaffirm the critical role of CDWs in the public service. She encouraged them to always strive to know more about government programs, and make such information accessible to all community members. Mushungwa said CDWs must always provide feedback to government regarding community experiences of services and governance.

CDWs must assist communities to engage with, and provide input into integrated development plans and other programs of government. As the foot solders of government, you must report any corruption or irregularity encountered within any sphere of government, government department, community organization, or private sector. Corruption has a very negative impact on service delivery and can undo all the good work that you are doing as CDWs if you allow it to happen, she said.

It is important to link CDWs with municipal wards and to ward councilors and committees. As government, we are committed to improve conditions of service in general, in particular the tools of trade. The recent National conference of the Governing Party, the ANC, held at Nasrec reaffirmed that the program of radical-socio economic transformation must be intensified. Our people want to participate meaningfully in the economy of this country. The Nasrec conference also instructed us to intensify the program of land expropriation without compensation, she said.

The role of CDWs in these activities includes identifying beneficiaries for projects; networking beneficiaries or projects with resources, mobilize financial and training resources as well as assisting in reviving stagnant projects, she said.

Government has embarked on a drive to push for radical socio economic transformation; CDWs must help people to access information and services to set up community-based projects such as small business development projects.

Multi- skilled CDWs help enrich the quality of services for communities, by identifying new programs and creating linkages and coordination with other community stakeholders, said Mushungwa.

As far as African Peer Review Mechanism is concerned, South Africa, together with Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana, is amongst some of the countries due for the Second Generation Review process. To date 21 APRM Member States have undergone the Base Review and Kenya is the first country to go through its Periodic Review whilst Uganda, Ivory Coast and South Africa are amongst countries due for their periodic reviews. It is in line with the above strategic and political context that South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Algeria and Nigeria, among others, are due to follow in the footsteps of Kenya and undertake their Second APRM Generation reviews, Mushungwa concluded.

Mpumalanga’s Acting Director of Public Participation in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, John Mogane said they have 436 CDWs in the province and are located in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. He said the appointment of CDWs per district are 160 for Ehlanzeni District, 160 for Nkangala District and 116 for Gert Sibande District.

We are planning to roll-out a course on Project Management for CDWs starting with Nkangala CDW during the third quarter and then followed by other districts. This course will be rolled out in phases to avoid over expenditure by Human Resource Management. There are other plans to conduct computer training for those that do not have computer skills probably in 2018/19 financial year, said Mogane.

One the CDWs, Rankitsing Sepenyane said they are happy to face government face to face and believes that their challenges of transport and shortage of tools of trade will be solved.

Source: Government of South Africa