SITA's Legacy

The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) was established on 4 April 1999 to consolidate and coordinate the State’s information technology (IT) resources in order to achieve cost savings through scale, increase delivery capabilities and enhance interoperability.
The company came into operation on 4 April 1999 as a result of the SITA Act (Act 988 of 1998). Although it is a very young company, its predecessors had a long history of IT/IS service provision to the SA Government.
The three entities that merged when SITA came into operation on 1 April 1999, CCS, Infoplan and SAPS IT, were part of the first phase. CCS used to be a Chief Directorate of the Department of State Expenditure while Infoplan provided IT, IS and IM services to the Department of Defence. The SAPS IT was the IT facility of the South African Police Service.
Most State departments had internal IT facility divisions, which to a smaller or larger degree performed this work. The bigger departments' IT divisions tended to provide more services than the smaller divisions. A great deal more was contracted out to the private sector. Large numbers of departments were unable to recruit suitably qualified, experienced or knowledgeable staff to perform these functions and were forced to either contract the work out to the private sector or recruit consultants. In many cases these consultants became full-time "employees" at considerable cost to the department. The consequent over dependence of Government on contractors and reduction of costs for services rendered are some of the key issues for resolution by SITA.
The primary reasons for the creation of SITA were the government's difficulty in:
1. recruiting, developing and retaining skilled IT personnel;
2. managing IT procurement and ensuring that the government gets value for money;
3. using IT to support transformation and service delivery;
4. utilising effectively expensive IT resources; and
5. integrating IT initiatives.
In short, SITA was established to consolidate and co-ordinate the State's IMST interests.