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City of Cape Town to be a \'leader in OSS\'

By   |  December 7, 2005

The City of Cape Town is positioning itself to be a leader in open source software. This is the goal of Nirvesh Sooful, head of the IS&T Directorate in the city, who was speaking yesterday during the second Cape IT Initiative-hosted FOSS seminar.

Sooful, who said the city already runs some of the \”largest open source implementations around\”, said the Smart Cape Access project has 540 open source-based desktop machines in daily use. \”Right now we have more than 40 000 users in the communities using these terminals. To those that say the open source desktop is not ready for wide usage we say \’we are already doing it\’. There is no better proof than to see this number of people using an open source desktop.\”

Sooful, who said that too often government\’s open source programme was little more than lengthy strategy documents and pilot project, said the City of Cape Town\’s approach is to get to full open source implementations as soon as possible.

\”The city\’s strategy is a pragmatic one. We focus on niche areas where we see value and implement OSS there. Ours is not just a philosophical strategy.\”

Sooful said that where OSS has been implemented across the city there were no comparable proprietary projects to doing accurate cost-of-ownership studies is not possible. \”But we are finding that managing the distributed Linux computers to be much cheaper to manage than similar Windows machines. Our costs are in terms of the people we need to manage the installations,\” said Sooful.

Sooful said the city administration was also looking at extending the Cape Access infrastructure to include the approximately 1000 clinics

He said the City was also looking at converting all of Cape Town\’s library management machines over to open source software. This would add another 500-600 computers running open source software to the city\’s total.

\”Countries like Brazil have been held up as leaders in open source for installing a couple of thousand OSS desktops across their entire country. And yet in Cape Town alone we will soon be running as many as 1500 open source desktops,\” said Sooful.


2 Responses to “City of Cape Town to be a \'leader in OSS\'”

  1. Coolio
    December 12th, 2005 @ 12:00 am

    Over 2000 linux desktops are already running in the City\’s schools. We need to accellorate implementation in business and government deployments!

  2. Jonathan Hitchcock
    January 18th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    I\’m glad I live in a town that is the \\\\\’ leader in OSS\\\\\’. Perhaps now that we\’re so far ahead in Open Source, we can afford to pay somebody to fix tectonic\’s website so that it stops escaping all the quotation marks?

    We\’re currently reprogramming the entire publishing system. All those annoyances will soon be a thing of the past. – Ed

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