An elderly customer is assisted with the new system that allows the elderly and disabled to be assisted quickly at the City of Tshwane’s customer care centre in Centurion. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - The City of Tshwane no longer wants elderly citizens and people living with disabilities to wait in long queues at its customer care centres.

Putting its money where its mouth is, the municipality has invested in a queue management system that enables the elderly and disabled to be serviced quickly.

Executive mayor Steven Mokgalapa and MMC for Finance Mare-Lise Fourie this week showcased the technology, which is already in use at the Centurion, Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Akasia, Temba and Bronkhorstspruit centres.

This innovation was first piloted in the past few weeks to get people used to the new digital way of doing things. Subsequently, Mokgalapa and Fourie launched it at the Centurion centre.

The system will eventually be rolled out across all municipal offices to provide all the elderly and disabled a chance to receive speedy service.

The customers quickly print out tickets with a number. They are then called by administration officers. After receiving help, they have an option to use of a digital system to rate the service if they so wish.

An on-site IT technician from the company that created the technology, VNQ System, monitors the system to ensure it runs smoothly.

The system is also critical for collecting data about services people require most at the centres. It also gives supervisors real-time data about service progress, enabling them to implement interventions for improvements.

Lena van der Merwe, 77, said the innovation was good and thoughtful, but she suggested that an official should be permanently deployed to see that people did not claim to be disabled and elderly when they were not.

“This was my first time using it, so I think a person waiting there would be helpful, so that when we get confused they help us. I did, however, notice that you can ask security to help and they do help,” she added.

Ase Vorster said she found the system to be useful.

She said it should be introduced at all municipal offices.

Pretoria News