Pulse wins Cape Town hackathon

2014-05-30 12:49
The City of Cape Town is driving digital technology toward service delivery goals. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The City of Cape Town is driving digital technology toward service delivery goals. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has rewarded a group of developers for coming up with a digital platform to encourage citizens to participate in community-related issues.

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.

Community cohesion is seen as vital in building cities and in SA, it is particularly important after the xenophobic attacks of 2008.

Local communities were ripped apart when mobs went on the rampage, attacking people of Somali, Zimbabwe and Nigerian origin.

Communication

Expanded channels of communication is seen as vital in bringing communities closer together, and given that mobile phone penetration is highest among urban dwellers, platforms designed with this technology are regarded as ideal.

Emerging markets are also coming under scrutiny from investors looking to capitalise on the expected spike as masses of new internet users come online.

"Emerging markets are much bigger in terms of connections than the US and Europe. It depends on what you define as global. I think it's a fail just looking at the US," Kresten Buch, managing director of 88mph told News24 about the incubator's local focus.

The incubator has a South African office in Cape Town and funds technology start-ups with up to $100 000 in exchange for an equity stake of at least 10%.

The #GovHackSA hackathon was designed to offer local solutions that could expand city services to communities through digital platforms.

The competition was judged by Brett St Clair of Google, Tim Andrews of DotModus, Vuyisa Qabaka of The Barn and Garreth Bloor, the city's Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing.


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