EThekwini Municipality to invest in online system to make it easier to access burial records, book for burials or cremations
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DURBAN - THE eThekwini municipality is investing close to R900 000 in technology that will make it easier for the city’s residents to access cemetery services online.
The municipality said earlier this year it introduced digital Synapsis software, which is a record keeping system for cemeteries and crematorium management.
It also wants to activate the e-Government portal, which will enable government services online and reduce the cost of users to access those services.
Providing details on Synapis, a report tabled before exco said: “This was aimed at transforming manual record keeping into electronic record keeping, however the implementation process was slow due to the lack of resources such as computers, printers and the lack of training of staff on the software.”
It called for the authority to be granted to the head of Parks, Recreation and Culture to prioritise cemeteries and crematoria as essential services, and to purchase the required number of computers for the implementation of the Synapsis software and the activation of e-Government portal, to allow for residents to access online bookings for cemetery burials and cremations.
The report called for R861 000 be re-prioritised from the Awareness Vote to activate an online portal for cemetery burials and cremations online bookings during the 2012 - 2023 financial years.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said that at present, in South Africa alone, over 200 municipal cemeteries were being administered through the use of the software, and the total number of burial and cremation records across all installations currently stand at well over 1 million records.
He said the software combined elements of electronic record keeping, workflow management, and built-in checks and balances, to ensure legal compliance and use of the latest e-government concepts in order to assist municipal cemetery supervisors to stay on top of their operations, improve service delivery to the public and streamline the interactions with registered undertakers.
Mayisela said some of the main benefits for the community included that burial records could be found on request within mere seconds, as opposed to days, weeks and, in some cases, months.
“Through the soon-to-be introduced e-Government portal, members of the public will be able to search for burial records through the municipal website, without the assistance of municipal staff members, 24/7, and from the convenience of their homes or business.
“Through the built-in electronic navigation assistance, members of the public will be able to locate individual graves using modern hand-held computing devices like smartphones or notepad computers 24/7, and without the assistance of municipal staff members,” he said.