by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African municipalities, occasionally beset by service delivery protests, have been encouraged to partner with the information and communications technology (ITC) sector to deliver high-quality services to their constituents through the use of technology.
This can also enable them leapfrog their global counterparts.
Speaking in Cape Town at a colloquium hosted by the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Mickey Mashale, Chief Sales Officer for Vodacom’s Enterprise Business Unit, said capabilities beyond fixed and mobile services could be applied in municipalities in order to help address some of the challenges affecting communities across the country.
“We see many opportunities for municipalities from the range of services we offer to other organisations, government institutions and in the activities of our global partners,” Mashale said.
He said these could help municipalities leapfrog the normal evolution of service delivery to become truly world class.
“Efficiencies enabled through our solutions can also assist municipalities in driving revenue enhancement initiative,” Mashale said.
Mashale told attendees about the way Yinchuan, the capital of the northern Chinese province of Ningxia Hui, adopted new technologies to become a showcase of excellent service delivery.
Yinchuan has partnered with technology providers to fully automate and digitise service delivery to its two million inhabitants. The range of services varies from holographic info-desks and solar-powered waste bins.
One of the most striking changes in Yinchuan was the use of mobile technology to ease the flow of payment, of people and of information.
Today, the municipality uses technologies such as facial recognition, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and mobile phones to streamline everything from purchasing a bus ticket with one’s face on it to receiving approval for a medical procedure with your mobile phone.
Vodacom Business has implemented some solutions to its customers, such as real-time stock management platforms and systems to manage comprehensive in-memory computing and real time analytics such as SAP HANA.
It is an in-memory data platform by the German software company.
Mashale said his company’s Internet of Things (IoT) team had further enabled many service providers with the platform to offer their services to clients.
“In local government, Vodacom Business solutions have enabled municipalities to engage better with citizens and has led to improved service delivery,” said Mashale.
– CAJ News