Gauteng MEC for Local Government Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu has urged Information Communication Technology companies to work together to accelerate service delivery.
Speaking at the Technology in Local Government Breakfast Meeting hosted by the Local Government Business Network (LGBN) on Friday, Mahlangu said it was important for ICT companies to work with local government to deliver equal and quality services in order to achieve the Gauteng Global Region Perspective.
"Gauteng is a smart province and it is important to work in an integrated way to deliver services. ICT is like globalisation … it is about modernizing from manual filing and operation. ICT is about efficiency of our system and the daunting task is to procure appropriately and the ability of municipalities to add on as and when it becomes necessary.
"Relevance of ICT infrastructure development is important. We use ICT to develop infrastructure master plans, the development of infrastructure and its maintenance," Mahlangu said.
She said that it was important for various private companies to partner with municipalities.
"Companies do not work together. We understand that there is competition, but in assisting municipalities we have to work together to deliver services.
"Municipalities are sitting with different systems that are not talking to each other. ICT companies provide these systems knowing very well that they are not compatible with what municipalities have. Government should invest in ICT to solve service delivery challenges but the reality is that it has limited resources. There are other objectives of government such as ensuring universal access to electricity and clean tap water."
Mahlangu also challenged local government officials to find creative ways of bringing integrated and efficient ways.
"All bills of an individual from a municipality should be integrated; a resident should receive one bill for water, electricity and garbage collection.
"Gauteng is a smart province and municipalities must find creative ways to deliver services. We cannot allow municipalities not work in an un-integrated manner. The quality of electricity and water to customers should be of high quality," said Mahlangu.
LGBN deputy chairperson and CEO of the Foundation for the Development of Africa Peter Metcalfe said private companies have the responsibility to assist government to provide quality services.
"The ultimate return of quality service delivery is investment; local government will be able to retain existing investors and find new investors. Local government should find new partners at all times in order to find efficient solutions to the existing challenges," Metcalfe said.