Cape Town racing to expand digital access

2014-06-03 13:27 - Duncan Alfreds
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Applications may offer a new way for residents to effectively interact with city officials. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is working to expand digital services and will employ local developers' applications in its platforms.

In May, the city held a hackathon where developers were tasked with creating applications that could showcase city services in an effort to build community cohesion.

Developer group Pulse won the annual #GovHackSA the coding marathon which brought together coders and developers to create solutions to problems faced by the city.

Pulse worked on the "Active Citizen" challenge and developed an interface to encourage communication across communities.

These initiatives will form part of discussions regarding the rollout of digital services in the city.

Digital access

"This will be the subject of a discussion to be held in June," Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing told News24.

Many South African cities are investigating digital solutions to connecting with residents and Johannesburg recently launch its pothole application which enables residents to report potholes and their location.


Applications may offer a new way for residents to effectively interact with city officials. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

"The City is working toward making Cape Town the most connected city on the continent.  The City has installed SmartCape access computers in libraries and other walk-in centres across communities," said Bloor.

There are 102 SmartCape facilities in the city and the province is working with city officials to expand digital access.

Pretoria has launched a Wi-Fi programme that will ensure that all residents are covered with free internet access.

"In the next eighteen months, the City of Tshwane will expand the project and roll out about 600 additional Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Tshwane, prioritising institutions of learning," Alan Knott-Craig jnr, the brains behind Project Isizwe told News24.

However, the expansion of digital platforms does not mean that the Cape Town will be making face to face service redundant, Bloor added.

"We are merely taking up the smart city challenge and continuing to provide a range of channels of communication through which residents can communicate with the City. The range of electronic channels will help to remove the pressure on our call centres, thereby reducing call waiting and queuing times."


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