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20 Years of Freedom and Democracy
Using Technology to Improve Service Delivery
Technology and innovation should be embraced in order to expedite service delivery in eThekwini.
This was reiterated by a number of speakers on the first day of a three day Technology and Innovation in Service Delivery Learning Exchange held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The event, which ends on Wednesday, was hosted by the Municipal Institute of Learning.
Delivering the opening address was Chairperson of the Human Resources and Governance Committee Councillor Barbara Fortein who said technological trends are changing the way people work, live and play. “As government officials we must capitalise on these trends to deliver more effective services to the people that we serve.” She said eThekwini is proud to host this learning exchange.
Deputy Head of the Information Management Unit Nomazwi Mhloma said people want services that are better, faster and cheaper. “Information Technology has the power to unite the world. Municipalities need to open their eyes to the potential that technology has and harness its power to improve in a number of areas.”
The keynote address was delivered by Veronica Motloutsi, the CEO of Smart Digital. She encouraged attendees to be disrupters and innovators of change, continuing to do so even if they failed at first. “You need to believe you are capable of driving this digital agenda, you cannot be resisting change that is already upon us. Innovators do fail, but they keep trying and testing things. If it fails, you try something else. That is the life of an innovator. I challenge you to look at innovative ways of putting the Municipality ahead.”
The second session focused primarily on digital transformation. The discussion was led by Sandile Mahlaba, a Senior Accounts Executive at Microsoft. “We cannot be afraid of this change. If you remain afraid, you will continue to follow others when you should be leading.  Digital transformation is essential.”
He said this can be achieved by engaging residents with connected experiences, empowering City employees to respond faster to resident’s needs, optimising City operations and rapidly delivering new services while transforming government to drive innovation and growth.
Terry Mavundla, Director at Wisolve, which has the istudent application, impressed the audience with how the company started at a student residence. It was borne from the need to empower students and has grown rapidly since then.
Zamokuhle Thwala from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Incubator explained how his application could assist to eradicate long queues by filling in forms online. The third session of the day honed in on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Nisaar Mahomed, Sector Manager at Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal said 4IR is happening already and encouraged innovators in the City to develop applications to assist the Municipality but would also have a global reach.
Meanwhile, Asif Valley Cloud Development Lead at Microsoft said if companies did not continue to innovate, they would become irrelevant. The final speaker of the day was Eugene Silinda, Managing Director of Quality Designs who elaborated on the applications they have designed to assist over 64 municipalities across the country.

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