Budding MECs compose plans to develop Western Cape - Cape Times, 11 March 2003
If you were the provincial MEC for finance in the Western Cape, how would you have taken on the challenge of Ikapa Elihlumayo (Developing the Cape)'
This is the question that is to burn the thinking caps of thousands of Western Cape pupils at 300 schools who are to take part in an essay competition on the provincial budget, to be presented tomorrow by MEC for Finance, Ebrahim Rasool.
Schools that are eligible to compete are those who are taking part in the Khanya Project, a private-public sector initiative to bring computer and internet technology to schools in previously disadvantaged areas. The school from which the winning entry comes will receive R3 000 and the winning pupil R1 000. The closing date is March 20 and entries must be about 250 words.
Rasool said that this year's budget was an example of e-government at work as the budget speech and easy-to-understand explanatory information would be on the internet on budget day.
'But publishing information on the internet is not enough,' he said. 'Khanya, an established and successful e-government-related programme in the provincial department of education, will take the budget into schools and get pupils involved in the competition, using the internet as the medium of communication.'
Rasool said the motivation in providing people with access to information around critical debates like the budget was the promotion of e-democracy, which enabled citizens to receive information and allowed them to 'add value to the process'.
'This e-government initiative will create interaction among all schools, regardless of who they are. 'The use of information and communication technologies to facilitate such interaction helps to bridge the divide between government and citizens.'