IOL has put the eThekwini Municipality’s mobile application through a test and the results have painted a more hopeful future, in terms of service delivery and maintaining critical infrastructure.
On October 4, last Wednesday, IOL reported an underground leak, which caused a small sinkhole on Detroit Street in Chatsworth, through the mobile application.
It was not the first time that the leak appeared in that specific spot and had been previously repaired by the Municipality.
Water breached the surface and had been flowing at a rate for around five days before we could report the matter. This formed a crack and slight contour in the road.
After lodging the complaint, we received a reference number, which was F231004/107.
The application’s prompts ask you to fill in details about the complaint, which include the nature of the problem and a brief description.
On Friday, a Municipal contractor was seen on site assessing the situation.
On Saturday, the Municipal contractor came out and fixed the problem and also re-paved the road with tar.
This reflected on the mobile application.
The status of the complaint remained “open” from the time of filing until Sunday morning, when the status of the complaint changed to “closed”.
This meant it took the eThekwini Municipality less than a week to fix the problem.
Last week, IOL reported on the seamlessness of the application in terms of its design and purpose as well as user-friendliness (from a millennial perspective).
Further to that, residents on the same street have been under attack recently by petty criminals, commonly referred to in Chatsworth as “sugar heads”. There have been more than instances where these criminals climb into yards and steal basic items.
This was made easier for criminals because a dense bush area behind houses had been unattended to for some time, making it easier for the criminals to hide or get away.
Over the past, the eThekwini Municipality deployed a team of new recruits, made up of men and women, to cut down the dense bush area behind the houses that were getting burgled.
Given the fact the service delivery in eThekwini, from water and electricity to refuse collection and processing, has been under intense scrutiny, the success of the mobile application could help people restore their faith in our government institutions, in terms of service delivery and accountability.
Although it would be pleasing to the audience to write continuous negative sentiments about the Municipality when it comes to service delivery, the commonly held notion of the City “doing absolutely nothing” is simply not true, which the mobile application test proved.