Original Research

Privacy, security, trust, risk and optimism bias in e-government use: The case of two Southern African Development Community countries

Willard Munyoka, Manoj S. Maharaj
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a983 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.983 | © 2019 Willard Munyoka, Manoj S. Maharaj | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 March 2018 | Published: 14 March 2019

About the author(s)

Willard Munyoka, Department of Business Information Systems, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Manoj S. Maharaj, School of Management, IT and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Many Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are adopting and implementing e-government systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their service delivery systems, and Zimbabwe and Zambia are not an exception. However, scholars have noted that the acceptance and utilisation of e-government systems by citizens in Zimbabwe and Zambia is affected by many factors, among others, perceived privacy, perceived security, perceived trust, perceived risk and optimism bias.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of privacy, security, trust, optimism bias and perceived risk on citizens’ use behaviour of e-government systems in the SADC.

Method: This study proposes an e-government utilisation model. A quantitative design was employed to collect data from a survey of 489 e-government users in Zambia and Zimbabwe to test the model fit using structural equation modelling.

Results: Perceived lack of privacy, security, trust; perceived risk and optimism bias were all confirmed as salient factors affecting the utilisation of e-government systems by citizens in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The structural equation model results confirmed the model fit of the proposed e-government research model. All eight hypotheses for this study were confirmed.

Conclusion: The findings of this study provide pointers to practitioners, decision-makers and policymakers on e-government matters on the need to seriously consider privacy, security, risk and trust issues of e-government systems to encourage the utilisation of such systems by citizens.


e-government; security-concerns; use behaviour; SADC


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