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Factors influencing the adoption of free and open-source software for electronic records management by municipalities in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Mahlatse Shekgola
Jan Maluleka
Antonio Rodrigues


The South African cabinet adopted policy recommendations from the Government Information Technology Officer's Council pertaining to Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS). Even though the South African Cabinet has shown support for the use of FOSS through the enactment of a policy, the adoption of open source software in electronic records management seems to be slow. Proprietary software continues to be adopted and used by most public institutions, including local and provincial municipalities in South Africa. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate factors that may influence the adoption and use of FOSS for electronic records management by South African municipalities. The study adopted a qualitative research approach to collect data from 10 purposively selected municipalities in Gauteng. Data were analysed and presented thematically to address the research question. The findings of this study suggest that municipalities in Gauteng are not adopting FOSS for electronic records management as expected. This study established that top management support, reliability, affordability of the software, inadequate capability, contracts with proprietary software providers, organisational culture and organisational support are some of the factors that contributed to the low uptake when it comes to the adoption of Free and Open-Source Software by the municipalities.

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print ISSN: 1012-2796