Bay municipality introduces new electronic system

Application tracking just a click away


Property developers and residents who are doing business with the city can now track their building plan and rezoning applications at the click of a button.This after the city went live with its electronic municipal applications management system (e-MAMS) this month.The system is the first phase of the electronic land use management system (e-LAMS) which is set to go live in 2020.The entire project is expected to cost the ratepayer R1m.It will electronically manage land use applications and site development and building plan applications.The World Bank, in its 2018 index of doing business in South Africa report, ranked Nelson Mandela Bay fifth out of nine metros in dealing with construction permits.The bank further reported that it took the city an average of 96 days to deal with a permit. The new project comes more than three years after the failed integrated land information system (Ilis).The cost of the Ilis on its own was R42m.This excluded other support functions related to the system, and the refurbishment of the customer information centre, which raised the figure to about R80m.Director for land use management Mthulisi Msimanga said while working on the project they had discovered that the city was lagging behind on automation for applications.“Almost everywhere in the world people are talking about automation, while the whole municipality is generally not automated,” Msimanga said.“We decided to develop a system that is going to be more of a repository for all other municipal processes where someone needs to submit an application or check their application online,” Msimanga said.The plan is for all departments to use the system for their applications.The system will deal with building plans, rezoning, subdivisions, lease or purchase and removal of restrictionsMsimanga highlighted that only applications submitted from June 1 could be tracked on the system.Msimanga said the new system would change the way the city did business as it meant officials could easily access applications.“This will save a lot of resources spent by applicants and officials on locating applications in the municipal system, just to provide status updates.“The stages on which applications can be tracked also provide clear, standardised government processes which are not always known by applicants,” Msimanga said.This would increase transparency, efficiency, accountability and also build trust between the municipality and developers.“The system is envisaged to contribute immensely to the development of the city by attracting investors through the ease of doing business.”He said he was especially proud of the project as it was done in-house by the municipality’s human resources and corporate services department.

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