A 2019 paper noted and recommended that transparency and openness of data should help to overcome the barrier of a larger deployment of smart city projects and recommended that a Data and Information Sharing structure within SALGA and implementing municipalities to drive exchange of relevant information on a larger scale, is critical. However only a negligible number of municipalities have open data platforms and are consistently realising releasing machine readable data through these portals. Even a smaller number of municipalities have adopted an open data policy that is available and downloadable on their websites.
There is therefore an opportunity to co-create and develop an Open Data Policy Guideline and Framework for all cities and municipalities in order to accelerate the adoption of their Open Data initiatives.
It is clear from the diagnosis widely available in literature, including by SACN, SALGA and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) that there are pockets of excellence in cooperation between cities to release data sets to enhance governments’ decision-making, a good example being the Common Data Framework for Cities (CDFC). There is still a need to drive exchange of data on an open, transparent and larger scale beyond close collaborators as is the case in the CDFC.
The proposed project would therefore complement the existing data exchange mechanisms and enable a large number of local government administrations to work together to co-design a set of principles for open data.
The aim of the project is therefore to
The resulting open data policy framework would enable the following benefits, among others:
Anticipating and capturing benefits from new digital technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, whilst proactively managing any potential downside and risks.
The internal outputs from the project will include:
The external outputs from the project will include:
Expected key outcome of the project will be a network of initial set of adopters signed and committed to incorporating those principles in new or existing policies and a South Africa smart city alliance made up of local, provincial and national government as well as private sector and civil society. The target for initial adopters is 4 cities forming an initial set of adopters (with a combination of metros and districts) in two provinces. It is expected that the South African smart city alliance will grow the number of adopters organically across all provinces.
The expected outcomes of the above outputs are as follows:
March 2023 – March 2024