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[News] South African tax Now Powered by Ballnux

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Suse Linux powers SA tax collection 

,----[ Quote ]
| More than two years ago the South African Revenue Service (SARS) began a 
| process to migrate its desktops to Linux by calling for a proof on concept. 
| Two years on the desktop migration has not happened but the tax-collection 
| arm of government has made some progress towards wider open source use, 
| including wide use of Suse Linux. We take a look at exactly what has been 
| going on.     
| According to Sita’s Free and Open Source Programme, although SARS’ is still 
| working on a desktop Linux strategy - a thin-client network - the department 
| has a number of open source deployments. Most of these are in the development 
| and backoffice environment.   



Government CIOs keen on open source software

,----[ Quote ]
| “The move to open source software has not been as fast as we would have
| liked, but we are now entering a new era. In the past, open source
| deployments were mostly spontaneous and ad-hoc. We now have a more systematic
| approach.” In years past many government departments pursued their own open
| source migrations, usually in isolation from one another, and with varying
| degrees of success.
| [...]
| Now, says Webb, the State IT Agency (Sita) is assuming the role of paving the
| way for OSS migration by finalising standards and conducting pilot projects
| to make it easier for all to implement open source software successfully. ...
| Webb also says that Sita expects all government department websites to be
| running on open source software “very soon”.


Ubuntu in South African Schools

,----[ Quote ]
| Over the last month, I've heard that the government's licensing agreement
| with Microsoft is now about to expire and has not been renewed yet.
| Apparently, the Department of Education is now pushing schools into switching
| to Linux as otherwise they will need to budget for a couple of extra million
| just for software licensing fees.
| It's surprising to me though that they are only pushing for this now. They
| should have started the transition quite some time ago. Linux has matured a
| lot as a desktop operating system (with no small thanks to Ubuntu) and it's
| much better to get your learners familiar with Linux and decrease your
| dependency on any particular software vendor regardless of your current
| agreements.
| [...]
| So of course, now the question is, how many will start to adopt Linux?
| Obviously, as you can expect, there will be a lot of fighting and kicking by
| lots of the schools. The teachers know what they know and obviously feel much
| more comfortable sticking with what they have. However, money talks, and now
| the pressure is (apparently) on.

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