Government has the responsibility to professionalise the public service by upgrading and retaining their skills through technology, says Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Speaking at the GovTech 2012 conference held in Durban on Wednesday, Sisulu said professionalising the public service is equipping public servants with technology to enhance the skills they need for their jobs.
The conference is held under the theme: ICT Collaboration - Across and Beyond Government. GovTech is a world-class platform for collaboration, capacity building and information sharing between government and the ICT sector.
Sisulu said technology and services must be designed and adapted to fit the needs of the poor in South Africa.
"Our responsibility therefore is to equip ourselves, revive and restructure state capacity, i.e its workforce and its tools to enable us to intervene decisively to reduce our biggest challenge - poverty," she said.
Sisulu said government's plan is building a capable developmental state.
"This means a state that understands its role in development and is geared towards intervening, to ensure that its goals and mandate can be achieved.
"In the ICT environment we must begin to do things differently as we continue to build on our successes and address our challenges," Sisulu said.
With regard to school children, Sisulu said partnerships were needed to offer students internships.
"We need partnerships with companies that can offer students internships and can develop their unique outreach programmes with schools, tertiary institutions and community based organisations," she said.
"I am convinced we cannot rest until there is universal access in public schools and a pool of ICT competent children, or else what we discuss here is superficial, to say the least," she said.