Vodacom, SAPS power crime prevention via app

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 09 Dec 2019
The MySAPS app can be used to call the crime stop number.
The MySAPS app can be used to call the crime stop number.

Vodacom’s partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to launch the MySAPS mobile app is part of the company’s transition to being a purpose-driven organisation.

This is according to Rudi Matjokana, managing executive for public enterprise at Vodacom Business, saying in addition to supporting national crime prevention efforts, the company seeks to ensure digital inclusion for all.

After a soft launch in August this year, Vodacom and SAPS unveiled the MySAPS app in October, with the aim to bring police services to the palm of the citizens’ hands.

The free app, developed and enabled by Vodacom, is available for devices running Android and iOS operating systems. For those that have feature phones, it can be accessed via USSD.

Matjokana told ITWeb Vodacom wants to enable and empower private and public organisations as well as help digitise government services to serve a broader society.

“Our purpose-driven mission is to connect people and things to the Internet. We also want to ensure inclusion for all and improve people’s lives.”

MySAPS app enables citizens to search for the nearest police station, submit a tip off, call the crime stop number, visit the SAPS Web site, as well as send messages, according to Matjokana,

He says the app is “for everyone’s safety”.“This is how we are changing criminal reporting. A person can report criminal acts as and when they see them and the police will act on it. You can report anonymously and the police will still act on whatever you say you need them to do.”

While he didn’t provide specifics in terms of how many times the app has been downloaded, Matjokana noted the reception has been quite good. “It’s just that we don’t have enough man power to be going around helping more people download the app.

“Every citizen should join us on this journey; we should not leave anybody behind. We should make sure that everybody can have access to these services [and] the Internet.”