CNET News: South Africa Embraces Open Source
Feb 05, 2003, 14:30 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Festa)
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"Joining a lengthening list of governments, South Africa adopted
an official policy promoting the use of open-source software--but
stopped short of jettisoning proprietary applications.
"The new policy by Africa's wealthiest nation expresses a
preference for open-source applications when proprietary
alternatives don't offer a compelling advantage. Other nations have
taken more extreme positions, mandating the use of open-source
software unless no other practical alternatives exist.
"'The primary criteria for selecting software solutions will
remain the improvement of efficiency, effectiveness and economy of
service delivery by (the) government to its citizens,' reads the
policy, which was drafted last month and published Monday in a
final version. 'OSS (open-source software) offers significant
indirect advantages. Where the direct advantages and disadvantages
of OSS and PS (proprietary software) are equally strong, and where
circumstances in the specific situation do not render it
inappropriate, opting for OSS will be preferable...'"