n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Diffusion and adoption of information and communication technologies in the public sector : the case of selected government departments in KwaZulu-Natal

Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



This study seeks to shed some light on the types, usage and availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in four selected government departments in the KwaZulu-Natal government in South Africa. To achieve the stated aim, the study posed and then answered the following research questions: What types of ICTs are available in government departments? What is the purpose of using ICTs in government departments? What are the benefits of using ICTs in government departments? What are the ICTs that civil servants consider to be effective in improving work productivity in government departments? What are the civil servants' recommendations for improving ICT usage in government departments? The study was informed by the diffusion-of-innovations theory. Government departments considered to be central to service delivery were targeted by means of a survey. To obtain a representative sample, a systematic sampling method was applied. The collected data were analysed using thematic categorisation and tabulation, and the findings were presented descriptively. The results indicate that a variety of ICT tools and services have been adopted in the government departments included in the survey so as to facilitate information sharing and improve communication. All the civil servants surveyed indicated that they used ICTs to communicate with fellow colleagues and to disseminate departmental information. The most popular recommendations included the need for sufficient and coherent government policies to regulate the training of staff in the utilisation of ICTs in the sector. Detailed recommendations for further study are provided.

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