South Africa: Eastern Cape Gets New App for Lockdown Essential Services Info

analysis

A simple mobile app, originally designed to help older people to access services in some of South Africa's big townships, will now be rolled out to help Eastern Cape communities to access information during lockdown.

The Yabelana ("to share") system is the first of its kind and uses technology to provide Eastern Cape residents with easily accessible information on their mobile phones.

Prof Darelle van Greunen, director of the Centre for Community Technologies at Nelson Mandela University, said the app was designed in collaboration with North West University.

South Africa is currently in a three-week lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national disaster and the army has been deployed to enforce strict lockdown rules with the police.

According to lockdown regulations citizens are only allowed to leave their homes either to work in essential services or to buy food and a few other basics, medicine or access medical assistance.

The Centre for Community Technologies assisted in the multimedia design and the preparation of training material for the app.

"We took over the custodianship of the app," Van Greunen said. The project is currently active in the communities of Ikageng, Promosa, Lokaleng and Sharpeville....

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