Smart Cities – Smart way of reporting municipal issues

BY CHARLES MURRAY, DIRECTOR AT TTRUMPET - NOVEMBER 29, 2016

South Africans are constantly struggling to make their grievances heard when it come to municipal issues which often times results in strikes with the hopes of solving them. These efforts don’t always guarantee action or results and communities often find themselves in a worst state than when they started.

The locally developed ttrumpet mobile application has introduced an innovative new Ward Feature that empowers citizens by giving them a direct link to their municipalities and ward councillors – without spending hours on the phone to the local municipal offices for a single complaint on daily service delivery issues that might have occurred in their ward.

The new ward channels allow consumers to easily report service delivery issues such as

blocked drains, burst pipes, electricity outages, missing manhole covers, refuse issues, and faulty street signs to name just a few. Because the app geo-locates the user, municipalities know exactly where the issues are and can move to correct them much more timely than previously. Users and councillors then have the ability to view exactly what issues are occurring in their wards over time periods and types of issues.

One of the challenges facing the public sector is actively engaging with local communities. Traditionally, there has been a disconnect between what is happening on the ground versus the service delivery requirements from municipalities. With the Ward feature, ttrumpet is connecting the public and civil service to help eliminate this.

Councillors can now easily access this information and see which areas need what and integrate this information into their planning and budgets - allowing them to provide communities with realistic timelines of when issues will be solved and why there might be a delay in a specific region.

The Ward feature is divided into several key sections. These consist of the map, an incident report, a record of the user’s contributions, list of wards and the relevant contact details – everything that is needed to bring municipalities and citizens closer together. What’s more, users can set their personal preferences on what they want to be notified about to ensure the app remains unobtrusive.

With the move to digitalisation and cities becoming smart, apps like ttrumpet create interconnectivity between the community and the municipality. The geo-collaboration between the municipality and the app promotes what smart cities are about – easy communication and interaction that results in positive change at an efficient manner. If utilised properly, the collaboration can be used to leverage of each other’s strengths for the betterment of the country.