South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard

By   |  April 21, 2008

The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on Friday approved the Open Document Format (ODF) as an official national South African standard. The adoption of ODF by South Africa opens the way for the businesses and government to adopt ODF more widely in their processes. ODF is already an international standard, approved by the International Standards Organisation, or ISO. And last week Brazil adopted ODF as a national standard through its national standards body.

The South African government has already adopted ODF as one of the standards for government communication.

Bob Jolliffe of the department of science and technology (DST) says that while the adoption of ODF as a national standard won’t have major significance for government – “this is a national standard not a government one” – it will make ODF as a standard more visible and accessible to South African cisitzens.

He says that while ODF had already been adopted by government, most users were not aware of the format. “This will assist with general awareness raising around ODF.”

Aslam Raffee, chief information officer at DST, says that the deadlines for ODF adoption in government have already been set and are underway. The initial deadline was March this year for government department to be able to read documents in ODF format. By September it is expected that all departments will be able to read and write in the Open Document Format. Finally, in 2009, ODF will become the default document format for South African government departments.

Raffee says this process is progressing well and at this point “citizens should be able to send documents in Open Document Format to departments”.

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Comments

17 Responses to “South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard”

  1. Redshoes
    April 21st, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

    Well done to all that made this possible…..Its about time……

  2. Divan Santana
    April 21st, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

    Awesome!! :)

  3. Quintin
    April 21st, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

    A good day for FOSS in sunny South Africa! I am glad that this has happened and look forward to being able to send OpenOffice documents via e-mail without first having to save them in Microsoft Office formats so that other computer users will be able to open them.

    Great indeedie!

  4. Boycott Novell » OpenDocument Format Victorious in South Africa
    April 21st, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

    […] and now it’s another country from the southern hemisphere. Tectonic breaks the news about South Africa adopting ODF as a national standard. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on Friday approved the Open Document Format (ODF) as […]

  5. TK
    April 22nd, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    Quintin,

    Unless you work in a government agency, I have a feeling this won’t be the answer you are looking for. I dare so, though, it will eventually trickle down to everyone else and will be the case. Just be patient. :)

  6. fsdaily.com
    April 22nd, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    Story added…

    This story has been submitted to fsdaily.com! If you think this story should be read by the free software community, come vote it up and discuss it here:

    http://www.fsdaily.com/Government/South_Africa_adopts_ODF_as_a_national_standard

  7. Software Livre no SAPO » Blog Archive » África do Sul adopta ODF como Standard Nacional
    April 23rd, 2008 @ 12:23 am

    […] Gabinete Sul Africano de Normalização (SABS — South African Bureau of Standards) aprovou o O…, tornando-o mais visívil e acessível a cidadãos sul-africanos. Faz hoje 13 dias que o mesmo […]

  8. gewgaw
    April 23rd, 2008 @ 11:19 am

    This should not only be a standard, but hte NORM!
    I hope to see the open formats as the only way GOVT communicates, as this will be an indication that our tax is going to good use! (somewhere else, not in Micro$oft’s pocket)

  9. Rich on Linux, FOSS and other stuff » tectonic.co.za : South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard
    April 24th, 2008 @ 5:06 am

    […] Post link! […]

  10. TechnoPrimitive » Tectonic » South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard
    April 24th, 2008 @ 5:34 am

    […] Tectonic » South Africa adopts ODF as a national standard […]

  11. El blog de manu en Valux » Paseando por la Red el 24/04/2008
    April 24th, 2008 @ 9:00 am

    […] África adopta el ODF como un estándar. Poco a poco este formato va opteniendo […]

  12. Jim
    May 2nd, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

    ” as this will be an indication that our tax is going to good use! (somewhere else,”

    IBM’s most likely, hidden under the thin guise of “open” When you actually get into it, you’ll understand

  13. IT sPECIALIST
    May 13th, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

    This is a pathetic system to work on and is not user friendly at all a cheap system is like if you pay peanuts you get monkeys!!!!

  14. ODF is now a national standart in Brazil, South Africa and Croatia
    May 14th, 2008 @ 1:19 pm
  15. Tectonic » South Africans don’t understand OSS - Microsoft
    May 21st, 2008 @ 10:45 am

    […] Matusow, who was in South Africa on an “external outreach” trip around the time SA adopted ODF as a national standard, writes on his blog that not only does government not understand how to […]

  16. Tectonic Blog » Competition Commission: Use Microsoft products only
    June 1st, 2008 @ 9:50 pm

    […] South Africa has adopted ODF as a national standard, you will need a product supporting Microsoft Word documents if you would like to view the […]

  17. OSSI News and Updates » South Africans don’t understand OSS - Microsoft (so there)
    July 31st, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

    […] Jason Matusow. Matusow, who was in South Africa on an “external outreach” trip around the time SA adopted ODF as a national standard, writes on his blog that not only does government not understand how to […]

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