City spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said as part of the City’s open data strategy, the City made its service request API available to responsible external organisations such as Acumen, which allows external organisations to build their own apps and link these to the City of Cape Town, provided they comply with the City’s security requirements and use the API responsibly.
“Acumen, the developers of the My Smart City app, is one of the organisations that is making use of this offering. Apps like these create an additional channel or entry point for service delivery requests from customers,” said Tyhalibongo.
Acumen Software chief executive Joao Zoio said municipalities are under pressure, and many struggled to undertake the challenges of service delivery on a macro scale by themselves.
Zoio believed that both the private sector and citizens has a role to play in the economic recovery of their cities and the maintenance of public infrastructure and service delivery, thus they developed the My Smart City platform to provide the required technological interface.
“The My Smart City platform allows citizens to engage all service providers directly from their mobile device and enables any registered user to log, manage and track reported issues in real time.
“Calls can be logged without an account number, which means residents of informal settlements can also use the My Smart City platform,” said Acumen Software chief operating officer Kennedy Mogotsi.
Mogotsi said the platform was currently available in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.
Zoio said some of the key frustrations that citizens often face included ease of logging issues; having to sit waiting on call centres; having to email the municipality or go to their website to log issues, which is not always convenient; and getting feedback from the municipality on their issues.
The innovative platform automatically routes logged faults and issues through to the City of Cape Town immediately, after which the logger will receive a confirmation message and a reference number from the municipality, as well as status updates.
“Since the platform’s launch, there have been over 3 000 issues logged in Cape Town, whereby 2 300 (77%) have been resolved. The most common issues logged are potholes, faulty street lights, traffic signs, traffic lights not working, refuse removal, blockages or overflowing sewage, and burst water pipes,” said Zoio.
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