The emergence of the so-called networked or knowledge society profoundly
transforms governance approaches on a global scale by introducing new forms
of collaboration and exchange between society and government. Government
institutions and agencies had to respond by optimally utilising ICT technology
to facilitate e-governance applications for improved interactions with society.
In light of this context a skilled and competent workforce for the application of
appropriate e-governance technologies is essential. As the administrative leaders
of executive institutions (i.e. government departments), civil service managers
have to champion and oversee all e-governance applications and practices.
Various general training models for capacity-building of civil service managers
exist, but a comprehensive competency framework for their e-readiness as far as
e-governance applications are concerned, is largely absent. Such a competency
framework should be congruent with the unique governance circumstances,
applications, operations, e-governance praxis, regulatory framework, and the
ICT infrastructure-growth trajectory of a particular country. The purpose of this
article is threefold. Firstly, it will outline contextual perspectives regarding the
utilisation of ICT in promoting e-governance in general, including an analysis of the
seemingly insufficient alignment between government operational demands and
the e-readiness (i.e. competencies) of civil service managers. Secondly, the article
will explore the South African Government’s initiatives in promoting e-governance
competencies of its civil service; and thirdly, it will propose a comprehensive
competency framework for civil service managers based on a comparative analysis
of various models and best practice around the globe.