BCMM progressing to SMART City

09 February 2018
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Buffalo City residents can now save time, energy and cut travelling costs with the help of a new mobile application that has been launched. The app is going to be a convenient way for BCM residents when paying and transacting.

The R3-Million app was developed by ComUnity Systems app developers, a partner of Microsoft and is available for downloads on Google Play Store listed under ‘Buffalo City – Lifestyle’. It only requires a name, telephone number and BCMM account number to access. The company has also developed apps for George, Knysna and Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED).

BCMM Citizen Engagement App is available on all mobile devices, both smart devices and older devices, such as feature phones and computing platforms. The designing process of the App took eight months and citizens can now apply for housing allowances, job and tender advertisements.

“The App is a platform set to transform and digitalise municipal services while reducing costs of operations, stimulate revenue and collection. It is also aimed at eradicating queues and congestions in municipal offices and this initiative will allow residents to have access to account statements, contact numbers and any other relevant information that people need,” said BCMM’s Communications Manager, Samkelo Ngwenya.

It has already received a rating of 5.0 stars in total and positive feedback from customers who have downloaded it.

“I think the App will be of great assistance as now we won’t stand in long queues to pay our municipality bills,” said a resident and an intern from Nelson Mandela University, Asavela Fekema.
The Metro also launched the BCMM Tourism App, in a city where tourism is one of the key growing economic sectors. The digital booklet allows users to explore the city, read about culture, heritage and best places to visit in the BCMM.

Another R20-Million project was initiated late last year providing the City with 25 Free Wi-Fi hotspots and 60 more will be made available at the end of February 2018.

Wi Fi Bcm

The users receive 250 megabytes (MB) of data a day, which is quite a lot given that there are students who don’t have access to the internet when they get home and provide online education and employment opportunities that might be available on the internet.

“As a City hard at work, these smart moves prove that indeed the idea of realizing the goal of delivering good and quality service to improve the lives of its citizens, in response to pillar number three of Back to Basics principles of creating a well governed City,” said Ngwenya.
Ngwenya added that, residents must use these apps to their advantage and the Metro will always keep them abreast of certain changes in the institution.

On the Metro’s Growth Development Strategy vision 2030, the BCMM wants to progress into a smart city by closing the gap of the digital divide, providing residents with latest information and communication technology. The new technology will allow for things to get done more quickly.

Innovation provides a long list of benefits from improved performance to increased confidence. It is crucial to the city for many reasons, so it is imperative that BCMM be up to date with all of the relevant technological upgrades as the Wi-Fi spots will improve the liveability of the city and at the same time attract businesses to invest.

Duduzile Dumana

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