e-Government boosts GP’s COVID-19 screening systems

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The Department of e-Government has introduced a Web-based COVID-19 pre-screening application for its internal use as well as utilisation by departments across Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG).

This comes on the back of more economic sectors opening, and more people returning to work. As of 29 June, SA had 144 264 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the total number of deaths at 2 529 and recoveries at 70 614.

With the relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown regulations, all organisations have been directed to screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19 when they report for work, for early detection purposes and to prevent the transmission of the virus in the workplace.

In her budget vote speech last week, Gauteng MEC of finance and head of e-government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated the department introduced its COVID-19 pre-screening app to ensure employees and clients are screened when they access provincial buildings, while enabling monitoring and contact tracing.

The Department of e-Government confirms the Web-based application, which is compatible with all mobile devices, has been made available to the other GPG departments.

These include the departments of education, sports and recreation, human settlements, health, economic development, agriculture and rural development, infrastructure development, community safety, the office of the premier and treasury.

According to Tshepo Shawa, MEC spokesperson, the pre-screening solution was developed in-house and is managed by the e-government department for the province and entities.

The solution is to ensure departments comply with health and safety COVID-19 regulations, says Shawa, adding that it is in line with e-government and GPG’s objective to digitise services for the benefits of employees, citizens and business.

“The functions include employee pre-booking to access the building, employees’ registration and screening on arrival in the workplace, visitor registration and screening, temperature recording and management of reports to assist in monitoring the risk.

“It has been very effective as it automates reporting and it has also simplified tracing of personnel.”

Commenting on whether the department will continue to use the application in a post-COVID-19 world, Shawa reveals enhancements are happening as the level and adoption grows.

Not to be left behind

The City of Johannesburg (COJ) has also introduced a number of e-services in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition to an e-mail service dedicated to revenue-related issues, the city has unveiled a system to overcome the long delays in obtaining the municipal rates clearance figures and certificates required for property transfers.

According to the COJ, the new electronic rates clearance application system can be used by attorneys or conveyancers registered with the city, to apply for rates clearance figures and certificates.

The COJ’s Stanley Maphologela, director of communications and stakeholder management, says following a successful pilot project to automate the process of applying and issuing property rates clearance certificates (e-Clearance), the city is now opening the second phase of the system.

“A rates clearance certificate is a certificate which is issued by the city on application by the attorneys or conveyancers for the transfer of a property. The purpose of this document is to prove that all the outstanding debt on the property has been paid by the seller.

“When home owners or companies sell properties, conveyance attorneys have to apply for a clearance certificate in terms of legislation, before the property can be legally transferred into a new property owner’s name. A clearance certificate is required by the registrar of the deeds office certifying that the last two years’ debts have been paid in full on a property.

“The new system will facilitate the application for and issuing of clearance certificates online, with a view of streamlining the process, improving the turnaround time and eliminating fraud.”

Maphologela adds that it provides a secure electronic solution where all relevant parties can communicate in real-time, improving the service provided and reduce the time involved.

“The solution allows for two-way instant messaging between the city and the attorneys or conveyancers. This aims at alleviating the backlog of clearance application requests currently being experienced through the manual process. This new platform will be fast, easy and reliable.

“The system ensures there is accountability and transparency throughout the clearance application process. An audit trail is provided, making it easy to track applications.

“It also allows the users to upload documents such as proof of payments too. The city has ensured the platform is adequately staffed, and these teams are trained to use the system.”

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