BULAWAYO, (ItNews Zimbabwe) –THE living standards of residents in the second city of Bulawayo are set for a major improvement following the launch of a mobile tracking system to take authorities to task over service delivery issues.
The Centre for Technology and Innovation (CITE) has launched the system that enables residents to report any issues directly to it, following which it would engage the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) for corrective measures.
Zenzele Ndebele, said the platform would also assist the BCC to justify any budgetary increases to the government, a situation that has sometimes hampered services since the central body takes longer to approve municipal budgets.
“This is a service delivery application that helps residents to identify problems in the city and report them immediately so that they can be addressed,” he said.
“You will realise that Bulawayo is one city that many people pride themselves in for being clean, for being the city with order and the cleanest water,” Ndebele added.
Through the platform, people will be able to report problems in their areas to the city authorities via the CITE platform.
“This can be about blocked sewer pipe, malfunctioning traffic and street lights. We also need to know how many broken lights we have in Bulawayo, how many blocked sewer pipes or how many leaks we have,” Ndebele said.
“The platform benefits Bulawayo and its residents because the city council will be able to know whenever there is a problem as fast as people report and in turn the people of Bulawayo are also going to be able to see these problems fixed in the shortest possible time,” Ndebele added.
“Our ideal situation is that when someone reports that there is a broken pipe the city council will come and fix it before we lose a lot of water. If people report that a street light is not working, the city council will come and fix the street light as fast as they can before someone is mugged.”
CITE’s platform complement BCC’s call centre.
“We are not reinventing the wheel. We are not competing with them (BCC) but we are helping them to improve their service,” Ndebele said.
The service comes at a time BCC has hiked rates by a 416 percent.
Last month, the government approved a budget of ZWL$2,8 billion.
Thembelani Dube, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) Secretary for Administration, criticised the BCC rate hike.
“While acknowledging the goodwill on the part of council to improve services in the contest of a harsh economic environment, the 416 percent budget increase has been viewed as an onslaught against the urban poor,” Dube said.
He said despite a temporary reprieve to delay the implementation of the supplementary budget, BPRA noted that the crafting of the 2020 budget was not guided by a broader macro-economic fundamentals in the country.
“Residents are already facing serious hardships as a result of the languishing economy, declining real wages and run-away inflation coupled with drastic increases,” Dube said.