New app to connect residents with city

2014-08-16 00:00

AN innovative Durban-based firm will be rolling out a smartphone application bringing residents and the municipality to just a click away.

The app will allow eThekwini residents to view bills, report faults, complain and lodge disputes with the promise of a quicker turnaround time.

And what sets it apart is that it may be the first application of its kind globally that is fully integrated into the city’s back-end support.

Ntokozo Xaba, CEO of Dynatech, said while the launch in Durban will be viewed as a “pilot”, they are confident they are ready.

Beaming with entrepreneurial spirit, with the backing of their NYSE-listed global partner Tibco, and having worked on the application for more than a year, he said they are confident it can be rolled out across Africa and globally.

“We took a fresh approach. We looked at applications used in cities around the world but we saw stagnation. We wanted ours to be a single integrated application. It is homegrown,” said Xaba.

Xaba presented the application at the Mobile Government Summit held at the Hilton Hotel this week. The app opens a direct channel of communication between the city and residents.

“If for instance you disagree with the city over how much they charged you for water, you can take a photo of your water meter and send it directly to them. They will know it is yours as your phone will also geo-tag your location. The same can be said for reporting problems. Similarly the city can easily communicate if there will be power cuts or faults.”

Xaba, born in Durban and educated in Pietermaritzburg, said there has been interest in the application by other municipalities. “The city still wants to benchmark performance and the usage and while we are referring to it as a pilot, everything will be live.”

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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