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William Mzimba, chief officer for Vodacom Business.
William Mzimba, chief officer for Vodacom Business.
Image: Supplied/Vodacom Business

When the SA government embarked on its digitalisation journey in 2016, it awarded Vodacom Business a five-year mobile communication services contract and tasked it with boosting productivity and streamlining service delivery.

In 2021, the National Treasury elected to extend this contract for another five years based on Vodacom Business’s great work in implementing innovative digital solutions and significantly reducing the government's technology expenditure.

“We’re honoured to continue our partnership with the government as they use technology to amplify their productivity while increasing efficiency to serve and uplift SA’s citizens,” says William Mzimba, chief officer for Vodacom Business.

Through the previous mobile communication services contract, we successfully supported various government departments to leverage digital tools that enable economic development and social progress, while improving living standards of communities through accountable, efficient and sustainable management of public finances.”

How Vodacom helped to enhance government communication

In partnership the with the government, Vodacom created several application platforms designed to automate, enrich and streamline interactions between the government departments and the public. These platforms include the Citizen Engagement app, the MySAPS app and the Mpilo app.

The Citizen Engagement app has streamlined interactions between citizens, government contact centres, field workers and senior officials.

[The success of the MySAPS app] highlights how technology can be used to support national police efforts and connect communities in an effort to fight against crime

The MySAPS app enables citizens to search for their nearest police station, submit a tip-off and call a crime-stop number. Since the launch of this app in 2019, the SA Police Service has received 6,700 tip-offs from community members. This highlights how technology can be used to support national police efforts and connect communities in an effort to fight against crime.

Mpilo is a smart, interactive mobile app that allows users to report waiting times and cleanliness in health facilities, and flag any concerns over safety or staff attitudes at these facilities. In the wake of the pandemic, the app was enhanced with new features including a self-screening Covid-19 option for patients.

How Vodacom helped streamline service delivery 

Manual processes in legacy infrastructure at the municipality level have caused administrative headaches for government staff tasked with water and electricity revenue collection. This was the case for the Buffalo City metro municipality. Vodacom Business’s Energy Metering solution vastly improved revenue collection within the area, supported bill verification from bulk suppliers such as Eskom, and supplied and installed 63,000 meters over three years.

Another example of how government administration was streamlined for better service delivery is the department of health’s implementation of Vodacom’s stock visibility solution. This solution enables the government to monitor stock levels of critical vaccines at 4,100 clinics across the country. Real-time access to stock-level information from medicine dispensaries allows low-stock clinics to be proactively replenished and out-of-stock facilities to receive priority attention, ensuring that citizens can access health care without delays.

How Vodacom helped digitalise education

Vodacom Business solutions have also been a critical driver of the government’s goal to digitalise the education sector at every level, from administration to access and teaching.

Redeveloping the Gauteng education department’s legacy school admissions system into a digitalised eAdmission system has drastically sped up the processing of student applications. Since then, this system has since received more than 255,000 applications and processed more than 1,000 applications a minute during peak times.

Other solutions rolled out in the Eastern Cape to deliver ICT-enabled teaching and learning include the Vodacom Secure Device Manager, the Citizen Engagement app, and the easy-to-use web-based School Management system that captures data to give the education department real-time visibility at all their schools. 

Vodacom Business's digital solutions have contributed to inclusive growth, while enhancing the quality of education and improving governance within SA
William Mzimba, chief officer for Vodacom Business

Through the contract, the Eastern Cape department of education also received laptops for all foundation-phase teachers, tablets for all school principals, and digital solutions that enabled the department to better manage the learning process throughout the province.

In partnership with the department of basic education, Vodacom Business also recently installed its Virtual Classroom solution to deliver Wi-Fi over a secure cloud-based SD-WAN network at six rural schools across three provinces, providing students and educators with devices, and training educators to ensure learners benefit from the newly enabled connectivity.

The future is bright

“Throughout the many years that we have been partnering with government, Vodacom Business has demonstrated the value and effectiveness of our IT solutions and smart technologies within several government departments,” says Mzimba.

“We managed to successfully address multiple challenges that were previously encountered. As such, our digital solutions have contributed to inclusive growth, while enhancing the quality of education and improving governance within SA. In doing so, we not only strengthened efficiency but delivered cost-efficiency too.”

This article was paid for by Vodacom Business.

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