08 August 2014 - South African municipalities are faced with a host of daily challenges when it comes to trying to provide the required level of service expected by their respective communities. Addressing general inquiries and requests for assistance, in particular, remains a significant challenge.
“Many municipalities are taking a novel approach of late,” explains Rene Pearson, Aurecon Project Manager. “We are seeing a move toward a more integrated approach when it comes to interacting with communities. Government entities are looking at ways of adopting a shared services model which enables a coordinated, multi-agency response to community requests for service via a single point of contact.”
This approach is being supported by legislation. The Disaster Management Act requires every District Municipality to establish a centre which coordinates responses to and planning around incidents. Similarly, the introduction of the proposed Road Incident Management System (RIMS) Policy supports the approach of coordinated and proactive response to incident management and reporting. “This has effectively provided a mandate for government entities to proceed with the establishment of shared services centres,” believes Pearson.
In order to comply, the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM), one of seven districts in the Eastern Cape Province, commissioned Aurecon to develop and implement solutions for the Municipality’s ‘Information Management and Communication System’ project.
One of these solutions was the design and implementation of an Intelligent Incident Management Portal (IIMP). “With the recent advances in cloud computing and virtualisation, technology is now more user-friendly and affordable than ever,” says Pearson. “An Intelligent Incident Management Portal (IIMP) allows multiple municipal entities and emergency services agencies to log on via the web to a centralised portal housing the various modules supporting the municipal shared services environment.”
The IIMP was designed to include multiple functionality, including:
“Through centralising a host of functions across several municipal departments, Aurecon was able to assist the Municipality to save costs and achieve major improvements in service delivery by integrating emergency and non-emergency services into one well-designed, virtual location,” says Pearson.
“The streamlined shared-services solution allows users to access various functionality from anywhere in the country using a computer, laptop, cell phone or tablet,” says Pearson.
As a testament to its success, the innovative IIMP was recognised with a VUNA award in the category: The Best District Municipality with Disaster Management Systems at the South African Local Government Awards (SALGA) function held in February 2014.
The IIMP system Aurecon designed is modular, scalable and readily replicable to suit a client’s specific vision and budget. Coupled to this, it will ensure the CHDM is able to meet and exceed the required level of service to the public and their respective communities now and into the future.