Smart City Initiatives and Future Plans at City of Tshwane

Musa Khumalo is the Group Head for Shared Services at the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. He is also the chairperson of the Risk and Audit Committee at the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. We discuss Smart City initiatives at the City of Tshwane, e-Tshwane statistics, future plans for e-Tshwane, how the City of Tshwane has managed to do more than many other municipalities, and his vision of the city in 2040.

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Key Takeaways

His definition of a Smart City in an African context

  • It is a city that is able to interact better with its customers/ citizens.
  • Musa explains the difference between a traditional city and a smart city.
  • Smart City will interface better with citizens at any time of the day via different channels citizens want to access.
  • Cities will compete in the future on technology base and ability to attract investment which will depend on how it accommodates technological infrastructure such as 5G.
  • The ability to build a city that will survive in the future.

Smarter City initiatives at the City of Tshwane

  • e-Tshwane online portal. It allows residents to communicate with the city electronically from anywhere.
  • It allows citizens to pay for services, upload meter readings electronically, apply for clearance certificates, apply for water/ electricity connection, and more.
  • e-Tshwane is brought to citizens by Interfile. Interfile is a leading e-Government, e-Services and Smart City solution provider.
  • e-Tshwane has significantly reduced the load on call centers and walk-in centers.
  • Online platforms such as an electronic wayleave application system.
  • WhatsApp channel extends services on e-Tshwane. This allows a citizen to communicate via an app most people already use instead of having to download a new one.
  • Wi-Fi program with 1100 hotspots around the city allowing 1GB free per person per day. This allows a citizen to do online learning or apply for a job and create opportunities that would otherwise come at a cost.
  • Pipeline projects include a broadband program where the vision is to see if it’s possible to have a wall to wall coverage of fiber in the city at carrier-grade.
  • Investment in IT has a strong correlation in economic growth and increased economic activity.
  • Electronic document management system. Musa explains the benefits.

How has the City of Tshwane managed to do more than many other municipalities?

  • Many people use their e-services.
  • They collect R90 million of rates per month via their electronic platform.
  • 6000 new customer accounts are added on average every month.
  • It was one of the first of its kind, they were a step ahead.
  • The service goes beyond simply collecting revenue.
  • The more services you add to the platform the more people will use it.

e-Tshwane statistics (Oct 2020)

  • +300 000 users.
  • 4000 new users per month (on average).
  • 29 000 payments run through the system per month collecting R80 million in revenue.
  • 68 000 meter readings per month where people upload their own meter readings electronically.

Future plans for e-Tshwane

  • Extend e-services.
  • This year started a process that will enable online application on the building side (land ownership, status of approval, etc.).
  • Online application for cemeteries and eventually all services that currently require a citizen to use a walk-in center.
  • In talks with RTMC to see what is possible around enabling the online renewal of vehicle licenses and registration.
  • Increase and continue services around emergency services.
  • Services with a transaction fee are attractive as they can subsidize themselves.

Musa’s vision of the City of Tshwane in 2040

  • Safe city. If a city isn’t safe people and investment will leave.
  • Wall to wall camera network that assists in picking up criminal trends and improve emergency response.
  • 100% interaction with the municipality via e-Tshwane.
  • Smartly manage its waste. The land will be filled within the next 10 years. There won’t be space for waste.
  • Necessary ICT infrastructure. Driverless cars will be a big percentage of cars. Traffic lights must be geared towards driverless.
  • IoT devices will increase, you must have the right ICT environment.


About Musa Khumalo

Certified Risk Management Professional, Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA)
Certified Ethics Officer - The Ethics Institute
Risk Officer of the Year - CIGFARO
Risk Officer of the Year Runner Up - IRMSA
Mandela Washington Fellow 2017
Source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/musa-khumalo-riskmanagement/

About e-Tshwane
The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality continues to strive towards the goals of Tshwane Vision 2055: a city that is liveable, resilient, and inclusive and provides a high quality of life for its citizens. e-Tshwane increases capacity and demonstrates a willingness to deploy ICT for improving knowledge and information in servicing and transforming relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.

e-Tshwane is a secure free online service that allows homeowners, companies, property managing agents, and tenants to electronically interact with the City. The service offers Ratepayers the ability to interact with the City via the internet and mobile devices. In addition, Standard Bank customers can view a summary of their bill (and pay it) from within MyBills. Once registered, users can upload meter readings, pay traffic fines, lodge queries, apply for services, view statements, and make payments for accounts from the comfort of your home or office. Our customer information page allows Ratepayers to update or correct their contact information. The e-Tshwane mobile site offers the added convenience of interacting via your mobile phone or tablet device.

Registration is a simple pain-free process and once validated provides immediate access to your accounts and services.

The system electronically controls all referencing ensuring that your payment is correctly allocated. The City of Tshwane is not alone in the challenges faced with manual entry of reference numbers in banking and third-party systems. We have already integrated e-Tshwane with ABSA and Standard Bank (MyBills) and offer instructed debit payments and Visa SRC for all customers banked with other institutions. A payment made via an e-Tshwane payment method immediately reflects within e-Tshwane and provides proof of payment. Our instructed debit pull gives you full control over the amount and date on which you wish to pay, from any and all bank accounts. Instruct your payment for a future date should you be traveling or away on holiday and we will provide confirmation of payment via SMS or email.

No more manual input or human errors in capturing references !! Importantly, no more service terminations due to delayed payment notifications or erroneous referencing.

This also ensures that you receive proof of payment and continuous statement and payment history. In the unlikely event of a query, our integrated management tools allow for both you and the Municipality to view the same information for speedier resolution. Human error and payment delays are two of the most common reasons for erroneous termination of services - e-Tshwane removes these risks.

And if your service has been terminated for non-payment then simply tick the "payment for reconnection" box when paying and your service will be restored in 4 hours - no need for long queues or frustrating phone calls and proof of payments.

The City continues to work on further enhancements and services. Payment for prepaid electricity is on its way. Electronic forms for services, automation of these service applications, and improved query and complaint management are all on our agenda.

Source: www.e-tshwane.co.za

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