Short Code & SMS`S

It is important that we live in municipalities, provinces and countries that offer basic humane services. It is further important that government local, provincial and national government with the citizens and citizens are able to communicate with their government regarding anything that concerns them including able to raise concerns, make aware of problems and congratulate the government.

Key to this is:

“Communication” or

“How to communicate”?

Before we answer this question let’s start with common scenarios

  • At the corner of the streets the traffic light =s are not working and I want to report this, how do I report this?
  • A sewage pipe has burst at my street at 21h30, how do I report this?
  • I have a problem that needs the attention of my councillor Do I know him / her? Do I have his / her contact numbers?
  • I have a problem with municipal accounts, how do I solve this?
  • There’s corruption on something unbecoming, how do t bring it to the attention of the Mayor, Premier of relevant parts?

Question is this working/effective? No

Why not?

The majority of the people are using Cellphone which they make their calls and calling a toll-free number is not free when are calling using a Cellphone

A toll-free line is free for calling

Landline (Telkom) and landlines are in the main redundant

Therefore the questions is am I prepared to spend R10 or more

To report and even workers use my hand---- to do all that/else am I prepared to use “airtime” that I don’t have for all that.

Are the cost involved and the hassle encouraging people to be partners of government in ensuring the smooth and effective way of getting services and help

Short codes and SMS

Solution is a solution that:

  • Cater for the majority if not all accessible
  • Cost-effective (existing infrastructure)
  • Hassle free (earn do not)
  • Record in case of queries)
  • Response duties
  • Existing infrastructure (already in existence)

All officials and councillors have access via email addresses (government side)

Almost everybody is using a Cellphone (citizen’s side)

Challenges / Questions

How can we marry the two sides?

Through short code and sms’s

Why the short code?

Because sms’s sent to the short code are converted to email, this simply means that

Citizens can send sms’s to whichever government departments

The sms’s will then be received by those departments as emails

Responsibility for government department will then be to setup or use sting setup to “receive emails” and address them accordingly

Note: Emails are time recorded and sms’s are time recorded

(Audit friendly)

From this we will be easily to give a factual account

i.e. – Response time


Measures taken

Problem raised and even common problems

For all this to work and be user friendly all citizen is to know is