The Western Cape Department of Local Government seeks to support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs. Their Vision is to have developmental and well-governed Municipalities with integrated, sustainable and empowered communities. Their role and responsibility is to support and monitor municipalities in the Western Cape, ultimately working towards achieving their vision.
Increasingly, mobile devices (such as mobile phones with and without smart technology capabilities, and tablet computers) are becoming the choice tools of communicating and this is starting to reflect in the way in which municipalities transferring specific and focused communications and data and engaging with their clients. The benefits of using direct channels of communication, particularly via mobile devices, for the municipality is fourfold: the technology can improve management; it promotes a greater understanding of clients; it reduces the costs of public participation; and ultimately it improves service delivery. The benefits for the citizens are that they have a direct channel of communication with both Councillors and the municipality; are able to interact with the municipality; and have access anytime and anywhere – all at reduced costs in time and money.
The DLG has placed an increased emphasis on strengthening the capacity in municipalities as far as their technical capability to perform their ICT functions are concerned and sought a service provider who could draft a generic ICT strategy document, with an associated implementation plan for Western Cape Municipalities. This generic strategy and implementation plan would then have to be customised and localised by the 29 non-metro municipalities, with the service provider providing support and assistance in the localisation process.
We provided the Western Cape Department of Local Government with 2 technical ICT Project Managers to assist them to support and monitor municipalities within the Western Cape. The key focus of the Department is to support municipalities through the implementation of projects to enhance service delivery through the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT). One such project was the development of the Citizen Engagement tool which is based on mobile technologies and websites for the Municipalities. The ICT Project Managers drive and support these projects, and coordinate the IT Managers Forums, amongst other projects. Core focus areas of the Project Managers are development and understanding Business Applications, performing a BA role and having a background in BIS. Over and above sourcing the correct PMs, African Ideas was responsible for the mentorship and management of the resources, developing the SOPs and reviewing and developing business processes.