Capetonians may have a reputation for embracing technology and living on the cutting edge, but you’re lagging behind when it comes to using civic reporting apps on your smartphones. The City of Cape Town put out an appeal yesterday, reminding residents that they can use itsĀ  mobi site for reporting problems such as potholes, burst water mains and malfunctioning traffic lights via a smartphone screen.

According to the City, uptake of users on the mobi site has been slow. The web-based Cape Town site has been running for a year now, but of 20 000 service requests logged online in the last 12 months, only 400 came from the mobi app. By comparison, the City says more than 4 000 calls are fielded daily by its telephone agents.

Mayoral committee member for corporate services in Cape Town, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, issued a plea today that more people use the mobi site to ease pressure on call centres.

“The City cannot be aware of all faults unless residents bring them to our attention immediately,” Limberg said, “We urge those who are able to do so to make use of the e-platforms at their disposal.”

Joburg’s very similar app, known as POC and launched in October, is currently not working.

While it looks as though civic reporting apps are having a hard time in South Africa at the moment, there is one bright beacon of hope. The award-winning Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) reckoned that it received more than 10 000 requests in the first six months of operation and more than 5 000 people have installed the JRA’s road reporting app on Android alone.

 

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.