My CoE App not a silver bullet!
by Cllr. Ruhan Robinson — DA Member for OCMOL in Ekurhuleni
Date: 22 January 2021
Type: Media Statement
Ekurhuleni residents need a smart, digital city but the ANC Coalition led City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) is lagging behind and constantly leaving communities in the dark.
With thousands of queries needing to be resolved daily by the CoE’s service departments, residents want to communicate their issues as quickly, efficiently and effortlessly as possible. This task has not been possible, as the Ekurhuleni Call Centre is notorious for dropping calls, if answering them at all.
Often the call centre line goes unanswered, further exacerbating residents’ frustrations as they struggle to log service delivery issues. Consequently, residents have to endure extended power outages and burst water pipes.
Alternatives to the contact centre, such as an SMS-line, an e-mail address and a Twitter handle have also been implemented but, similarly, residents complain that they wait a terribly long time to receive a reference number, if one is received at all.
In July last year, the CoE shutdown the My Ekurhuleni App and launched the My CoE App, claiming that the “new and improved” App will assist in better service delivery to residents. According to the CoE, “the app enables an accessible, sustainable, convenient, responsive and cost-effective channel for the integrated delivery of services to our employees, residents, business and communities. It bridges the digital divide by bringing municipal service closer to Ekurhuleni citizens”.
This could not be further from the truth, as the App is not a full-service, integrated solution and it definitely does not put Ekurhuleni residents first. With a measly 1.6 star rating (out of 5) on the Google Play Store and an even worse 1.5 star rating on the App Store, it is clear that residents are not impressed with this system either.
This is what some Ekurhuleni residents had to say about the App:
“If it was possible to give this app a zero star rating, I would. After making it a tiresome process to register, there is no clear path to log faults and when you try to you repeatedly receive an error message. Doesn’t help that CoE employees don’t respond to queries on social media either. This app is a waste of time.”
“Can’t even log in, keeps saying username or password incorrect, but online logging in with the same credentials. Update: 5 Months later… STILL SAME ISSUES OF NOT LOGGING IN. absolutely worst app ever!”
“This app would be great if it worked. Cannot log a complaint with unspecified error every time.”
As the DA, we have written to the Service Delivery Coordination Department in an effort to get various issues with the App rectified, together with adding more options to enhance its functionality. While we believe that customer relations does not rank highly on the list of priorities for the ANC Coalition, we remain hopeful that inputs taken from various end-users of the app will be implemented.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ekurhuleni suggests that a Metro serving approximately 3.4 million residents would be better suited having smaller call centres so that in the event of one call centre going down, the others will still be operational. This will alleviate residents’ frustrations and rapidly increase service delivery turn-around times.
The DA understands and sympathises with residents across Ekurhuleni, who continue to suffer and bare the effect of poor management under the ANC-led coalition.
The DA will continue to force the uncaring ANC-government to put measures in place to get a functioning Call Centre with an App that actually works. The people of Ekurhuleni deserve better. It is hard enough that they must endure non-delivery of services and regular water and power outages, but it is an utter disgrace that residents cannot even log the complaint via the call centre or the App.
Cllr. Ruhan Robinson
DA Member for OCMOL in Ekurhuleni