Drakenstein Municipality in South Africa Expands GIS to Improve Public Services

To improve the delivery of public services and address concerns over transparency, the Drakenstein Municipality in the Western Cape of South Africa used geographic information system (GIS) technology. The municipal GIS staff, with the assistance of SeeClickFix support, configured a custom GIS tool to build public trust, engage residents in reporting non-emergency concerns, enable senior leaders to make faster and more informed decisions, and help municipal staff streamline assigning workers to address concerns. A local ArcGIS Dashboard containing all the information from the SeeClickFix database was configured in-house and provides value statistics, data trends, and insight about service delivery.

Key Takeaways:

  • The municipality is working to improve customer service delivery and streamline workflows for staff.
  • Collaboration with Esri business partner Civic Plus to assist in the configuration of SeeClickFix, a custom web application for residents to report non-emergency concerns, required a geospatial solution.
  • Senior leadership can now use geospatial-related data to monitor and evaluate the effort required to plan future infrastructure projects.

Esri Products: ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Dashboards, ArcGIS Collector, ArcGIS Survey123
Other Products: SeeClickFix

Empowering Residents with a Custom Web Application

Drakenstein Municipality’s motto is “City of Excellence,” and building upon that motto to achieve their customer service delivery goals, GIS staff identified service areas and categories for SeeClickFix, a custom web and mobile GIS application that enables residents to easily submit non-emergency neighbourhood issues, such as overgrown grass, potholes, and illegal dumping. Reporting information includes the exact location of the concern, a photo if uploaded, and a brief description. Then, staff members can view and acknowledge receipt of the concern, dispatching the correct number of staff to resolve the issue. 

SeeClickFix is available for download on iOS and Android mobile and desktop devices. Since its launch in 2020, more than 150,000 non-emergency requests have been logged with a closure rate of more than 95 percent.

The SeeClickFix Dashboard displaying service record information with three bar graph charts showing records by month, by assignee, and per categoryInternal SeeClickFix dashboard; an ArcGIS Enterprise dashboard dynamically displays data as replicated from SeeClickFix sources, allowing executive management to analyze data and simplify decision-making.

Expanding Geospatial Tools in the Municipality

The municipality has used GIS for over two decades, but that use was largely tied to the GIS department, unintentionally creating silos and gaps in information sharing. Staff in the GIS department understood the power of geospatial intelligence and wanted to elevate the organization’s spatial data. Implementing GIS across the organization would help mitigate shortfalls, create greater accuracy in data reporting to senior leadership, and provide valuable insights into future infrastructure planning.

The organization was required to have a single source of truth, a solution to manage the complete life cycle of nonemergency service requests, including how long it was taking staff to resolve requests. ArcGIS Enterprise was implemented to support SeeClickFix in effectively managing service requests and work orders, which resulted in better service to residents and better insight for staff on the details of service requests. ArcGIS Enterprise enabled Drakenstein to deploy GIS across the five directorates: engineering services, public safety, community services, corporate and planning services, and financial services. Departments were able to easily share information across teams.

When managing critical services for residents like water, electricity, and sewer, senior leaders need to understand where the services are and where they are needed. Using existing network data in ArcGIS Enterprise for engineering services helps the municipality plan for upgrades and revenue generation, ultimately leading to uninterrupted and better service for residents. Additionally, staff responsible for community services such as parks and open spaces utilize ArcGIS Enterprise to manage their workloads, ensuring that grass is maintained and debris is cleared so residents can enjoy those spaces. These technological upgrades in Drakenstein made reporting spatially enabled data easier and improved efficiency in responding to service requests.

Drakenstein’s GIS teamDrakenstein’s GIS team. From left to right: Kevin Johnson (Expertise Leader), Naajidah Lagardien (GIS Engineering Technician), Emmerentia Smit (Senior GIS Engineering Technician), Tammy Hanekom (GIS Intern), Zanele Mbangeni (Principal GIS Clerk), Pierre de Villiers (Head of GIS Management), Louis Pienaar (Executive Director of Engineering Services), Benedict Winter (Senior GIS Engineering Technician), Sizwe Mseleni (IDP)

Drakenstein Municipality was rated the number one (1) secondary city for good governance in South Africa by the research and advocacy nonprofit organization Good Governance Africa in the Governance Performance Index (GPI) report of 2024.

Drakenstein leadership continues to apply innovation, automation, and GIS technology to help drive and expand the delivery of excellent customer service across the municipality.