PRESS STATEMENT

Mbabane, Eswatini  

Following His Majesty King Mswati III’s declaration of a National Emergency in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) has established an Emergency Preparedness Plan to counter the effects of the virus on services provided to the public by some of the Ministry’s Departments.

You are all aware that last Tuesday, The Right Honourable Prime Minister as commanded by His Majesty King Mswati III and Ingwenyama of Emaswati invoked section 29 of the Disaster Management Act 2006 having assessed the severity of the outbreak worldwide to declare a National Emergency in the Kingdom.

The following precautionary measures have been taken by the Ministry of ICT in some of the Departments:

  • Last Tuesday, The Principal Secretary and I had a fruitful meeting with Chief Executive Officers of Eswatini Television and Voice of the Church (VOC); The Directors of Channel YeMaswati and EBIS. We discussed ways in which information and updates could be broadcast timeously so that all citizens can get correct information to alleviate unnecessary confusion. We agreed that factual information will come from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation who are at the forefront. The heads of these sections promised to filter down the information to the newsrooms and to have journalists on standby should there be breaking news.

The Ministry has also tasked the Wellness Team under the Public Sector HIV/AIDS Coordinating Committee (PSHACC) to monitor the situation.

Part of preparedness plan focuses on the following key areas:

  1. The Eswatini Broadcasting & Information Services (EBIS) which provides and interacts with the public and provides services i.e.
    1. Announcements from the public
    2. Public interviews in studios
    3. Marketing and advertising services

Masks, sanitizer liquids and gloves have been provided to EBIS staff as a means to minimize the potential spread of the virus. The reception, revenue office, newsroom and studio areas are continually sanitized, including the ablution facilities. Educative materials have been distributed and posted within our premises. A review and alignment process for the programming schedule have been effected, i.e. minimization of people at public gatherings. Sanitization facilities for the public are available at entry/exit points.

  1. Eswatini National Library Services (ENLS) – The Ministry hereby notifies Library users, that all 16 libraries country wide, including the Mobile Library that visits Communities and Tinkhundla for outreach services have been closed due to COVID -19 epidemic.

The only service being rendered to users is the online database (EBSCO). For further information on how to access the online database, users are encouraged to contact the following libraries:

 - Manzini Public Library: 25052125/8

- Mbabane Public Library: 24042633

Users who have library material with them are requested to keep them safe, until normal library operations resume.

  1. Eswatini National Archives (ENA) – The search room has since been closed for researchers, students and all group visits have been suspended until further notice due to the prevailing COVID – 19 pandemic.

 

SENATOR MANQOBA B. KHUMALO

ACTING MINISTER FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY

 

GETTING OUR WORK PLACES READY TO FIGHT THE COVID-19

The Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) is appealing to all its employees including Departments and Parastatals to adhere to the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2001 and Section 29 of the Disaster Management Act 2006 as the magnitude and severity of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has been declared a National Emergency in the Kingdom of Eswatini. For general work place health standards and with specific reference to the COVID-19, refer to information available from the World Health Organisation (WHO) website to guide workplaces readiness to prevent the spread of this virus.

The Ministry wishes to appeal to Departments and Parastatals who have not prepared for the pandemic to prepare themselves in advance for possibility of potential outbreak conditions.

WHO and Public Health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. All sections of our society must play a role if we are to stop the spread of the Virus.

You are specifically requested to implement the following precautionary measures:

  • Instill preventative measures from work-related hazards and increasing ventilation in the work environment for employees.
  • Minimize contact among workers, clients and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual communication e.g. Skype, WhatsApp video call, conference calls etc.
  • Minimize the handling of cash by using speed points, mobile money or email platforms etc. and proving appropriate safety measures where cash handling cannot be avoided.
  • Minimize international travel and advise Directors, employees and contractors to consult the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before going on business trips.
  • Provide workers with up-to-date information and training on risk factors and training workers who need to use protective clothing. Training material should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language for all workers.
  • Provide resources and work environment that promotes personal hygiene to ensure workplaces are clean and hygienic. Surfaces e.g. desks, tables, doors and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfected regularly.
  • Promote regular and through hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers by placing “wash stops” on entry and exit points.
  • Encourage workers to report suspicious fever at the earliest instance for immediate screening and appropriate action.
  • Set up a committee to monitor application of agreed precautionary protocols and report to Senior Management at agreed short intervals.

In case of suspected exposure contact the nearest Health Center by calling 977.

Employees may contact the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology at 2405 4000 and ask for the Wellness Coordinator/member            

Royal Science & Technology Park (RSTP)                              2518 6386

Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM)              2406 7000

Eswatini Post & Telecommunications (EPTC)                        2405 2000

Eswatini Television Authority (ESTVA)                                   2411 9600

REMARKS BY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

 HER ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCESS SIKHANYISO

 OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE EDRMS PROJECT

 THE ROYAL VILLAS

 20 NOVEMBER, 2019

 

 

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

YOUR EXCELLENCY JEREMY H.S. LIANG - AMBASSADOR OF THE R.O.C. (TAIWAN)

ACTING SECRETARY TO CABINET

PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

JOURNALISTS

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

IT GIVES ME GREAT PRIDE TO STATE THAT WE ARE HERE THIS MORNING TO WITNESS THIS MOMENTOUS OCCURRENCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF ESWATINI THAT IS CATAPULTING US TOWARDS BEING A SMART GOVERNMENT. THE MINISTRY OF ICT THROUGH ITS NATIONAL ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT HAS TAKEN A GIGANTIC STEP IN THE QUEST TOWARDS THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION BY LEVERAGING ON ICTs FOR DOCUMENT AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT.

WHEN THE EDRMS WAS INITIATED IN 2010, THE INTENTION WAS JUST TO AUTOMATE THE OPERATIONS OF THE ESWATINI NATIONAL ARCHIVES. HOWEVER, AFTER RECEVING ADVICE FROM COLLEAGUES IN THE REGION WE FELT THAT IT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED ACROSS GOVERNMENT. IN 2015 THAT IS WHEN A PILOT PROJECT WAS JOINTLY FUNDED BY OUR GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA –TAIWAN THROUGH A BILATERAL AGREEMENT.

BEFORE I CONTINUE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN-ONE MUST HASTEN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SUCH A MILESTONE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TANGIBLE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE UNWAVERING SUPPORT OF OUR DEAR DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC PARTNER, THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA –TAIWAN (XIÈXIÈ NÍN DE GUĀNGLÍN- THANK YOU VERY MUCH YOUR EXCELLENCY).

KINDLY PASS OUR HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO HER EXCELLENCY TSAI ING-WEN AND THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE UNRELENTING DEDICATION, SUPPORT IN TECHNOLOGICAL EXPERTISE AND FUNDING.

“TO SPEAK GRATITUDE IS COURTEOUS AND PLEASANT, TO ENACT GRATITUDE IS GENEROUS, AND NOBLE, BUT TO LIVE GRATITUDE IS TO TOUCH HEAVEN” JOHANNES GAETNER

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE ARE ALREADY PILOTING THIS PROJECT IN SIX GOVERNMENT ENTITIES; CABINET, THE MINISTRY OF ICT; THE ROYAL ESWATINI POLICE SERVICE; INTERNAL AUDIT DEPARTMENT; THE JUDICIARY AND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT. THE MAJORITY OF TIMES GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT WERE BEING PREPARED MANUALLY AND PRONE TO A LOT OF ILLEGAL MANIPULATION (MAINLY CORRUPTION).

WE ALL HAVE TO BE FULLY AWARE OF THE ROLE OF RECORDS MANAGEMENT AND HOW IT IMPACTS ON OUR PERFORMANCE AND OVERALL IMAGE, BOTH AS INDIVIDUAL MINISTRIES AND COLLECTIVELY AS A GOVERNMENT.

BY INTRODUCING EDRMS WE FELT THAT SECURITY WOULD BE ENHANCED; THE STORAGE SPACE WOULD BE REDUCED DRASTICALLY; REGULATORY COMPLIANCE WOULD GREATLY IMPROVE; QUICK AND EASIER RETRIVAL AND ACCESS OF FILES AND DOCUMENTS WOULD BECOME STRESS-FREE; IT WOULD ALSO BE SIMPLER TO TRACK AND MANAGE DOCUMENTS AND FINALLY IT WOULD PROVIDE A BETTER BACK-UP AND DISSASTER RECOVERY SYSTEM.

THE IMPETUS IN RECORDS GENERATION BROUGHT ABOUT BY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HAS SEEN RECORDS MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCING A MAJOR PARADIGM SHIFT. THEREFORE, THE KINGDOM OF ESWATINI COULD NOT SIT BACK AND WATCH THE REST OF THE WORLD RESPONDING TO THE DEMANDS OF THE TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION. IT IS IN THIS PREMISE THAT THE MINISTRY WILL BE IMPLEMENTING A NUMBER OF E-INITIATIVES OF WHICH THE EDRMS IS A PART OF.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS IMPORTANT TO MENTION THAT AS GOVERNMENT IS MOVING TOWARDS IMPLEMENTING THE EDRMS, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK IS ALSO IN SYNC. HOWEVER, THE CURRENT ARCHIVES LEGISLATION DOES NOT ADDRESS THE MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS AND RELATED SYSTEMS, HENCE THE NEED TO RE-ALIGN THE EXISTING REGULATORY FRAMEWORK. TO THIS END, RECORDS AND ARCHIVES IN THE COUNTRY, FOR ALMOST FIFTY YEARS, HAVE BEEN GOVERNED BY THE ARCHIVES ACT NO. 5 OF 1971 WHICH IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW AS PER THE DEMANDS OF THE EMERGING RECORDS MANAGEMENT LANDSCAPE.

AS TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED TO BE ONE OF THE A KEY PILLARS AND DRIVER WITH WHICH THE COUNTRY WILL NAVIGATE HER WAY TOWARDS FOSTERING RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION, IT IS ENVISIONED THAT THE EDRMS WILL ASSIST IN UPROOTING THE CULTURE OF COMPLACENCY IN THE CIVIL SERVICE AND SUBSEQUENTLY PROMOTE SERVICE EXCELLENCE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOU MAY BE AWARE THAT CURRENTLY DIFFERENT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ARE USED IN GOVERNMENT AND ARE GENERATING VITAL PUBLIC RECORDS BEING STORED IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. IT IS ENVISAGED THAT IN THE LONG TERM, THE EDRMS SHALL ACT AS AN INTEGRATED RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT SHALL BE ABLE TO CAPTURE THE RECORDS FROM THE EXISTING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS.

WORTH NOTING IS THAT IN JULY, THE SYSTEM’S FUNCTIONALITY WAS DEMONSTRATED TO DIFFERENT USER GROUPS INCLUDING PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES, UNDER SECRETARIES, HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS, PERSONAL SECRETARIES AND REGISTRY STAFF INCLUDING SYSTEM ADMINISTRATORS AND SEED TRAINERS.

THE EDRMS SYSTEM CAN ONLY BE AS GOOD AND EFFECTIVE AS ITS USERS. ITS EFFICIENCY AND SUCCESS LIES IN THE HANDS OF THE USERS AND THAT IS OUR ESTEEMED SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM, WHO MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE FOR THE REST OF THE WORKFORCE TO EMULATE.

WITH THESE REMARKS, I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AS WE PAVE THE WAY FORWARD TOWARDS ESTABLISHING A SMART ESWATINI FOR EFFICIENT DELIVERY OF E-SERVICES.

A FORMER AMERICAN BASEBALL PLAYER GEORGE HERMAN POPULARLY KNOW AS BABE RUTH ONCE SAID, "THE WAY A TEAM PLAYS AS A WHOLE DETERMINES ITS SUCCESS. YOU MAY HAVE THE GREATEST BUNCH OF INDIVIDUAL STARS IN THE WORLD, BUT IF THEY DON’T PLAY TOGETHER, THE CLUB WON’T BE WORTH A DIME."

 LADIES AND GENTLEMENT IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO DECLARE THE ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR ESWATINI GOVERNMENT OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED.

SIYABONGA BEKUNENE, MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD BLESS US ALL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT

 

BY SEN. MANQOBA B. KHUMALO-ACTING MINISTER FOR INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS & TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

THE COMMISSIONING OF ESCCOM BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MARCH 30, 2020 - 14:00HRS

(ICT CONFERENCE ROOM)

 

It has pleased the Minister for Information, Communications and Technology to appoint Board Members of the Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM), a parastatal under the auspices of the Ministry in terms of the Public Enterprise (Control and Monitoring) Act of 1989.

I must point out that not all the Board members are new to this task. Mr. Themba Khumalo will retain his Chairmanship seat with Mr. Polycarp Dlamini Deputizing.

The other members are as follows:

  1. Mr. Mvilawemphi Dlamini
  2. Mrs. Bongiwe Dlamini
  3. Mr. Bheki Ndzinisa.

Mr. December Mavimbela and Mrs. Zodwa Ginindza have been replaced by:

  1. Mr. John Mathwasa
  2. Mr. Mlungisi Dlamini

Let me encourage the new Board members to acquaint themselves with the founding legislations of the Organisation they represent in order to know their specific mandate.

It is also incumbent upon ESCCOM to ensure that the Board members are taken through corporate governance workshops not forgetting to also avail the policies governing the institution to make their job easier.

As I conclude, may I wish the Board members well in their term of office with this nugget: by Pearl Zhu, “A tech-savvy Board sets a right tone for shaping the culture of innovation.” 

 

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