The City of Cape Town’s Informal Settlements Department have marked a thousand structures in the Bosasa Phase 2 development in Mfuleni with a Quick Response (QR) code and city-specific paint.
Field maps have also been created to indicate the associated number of each structure.
The next phase will see officials return to the numbered structures to proceed with the electronic capturing of survey questions. This survey data will then be displayed live on a dashboard with immediate access to individual information.
The aim of the pilot project is to enable direct interaction between the city and residents in informal settlements, and to provide up-to-date data for planning and budget purposes, says City of Cape Town Human Settlements MMC Malusi Booi.
“Most importantly, each structure owner will be issued with a residence certificate linked to their respective identity document (ID), global positioning system (GPS) coordinates, electricity meter number, name, address and QR code.”
Booi notes that the entire process is Protection of Personal Information Act compliant.
He tells Engineering News Online that the project forms part of the city’s efforts to progressively realise tenure for informal settlement residents.
The QR code acts as an electronic address, linking it to the owner, while the residence certificate indicates who lives in that particular structure, and that he or she is the legitimate owner of the allocated structure.
“This project even makes the issuing of a postal address possible in future,” says Booi.
He notes that the project may also enable the city to eventually realise revenue from the residence, but emphasises that it is not the intention.
The QR Code, structure number, name and ID of the resident will, however, be linked to a prepaid electricity meter number.
Another benefit of the QR code project is that it could potentially aid the city in mapping a settlement’s size and spread.
“This could be possible in future,” says Booi. “Although the measurement of any growth of a settlement will firstly be detected by daily patrols and annual aerial photography, following which the additional structures are to be numbered and QR-coded.
“Checks are then completed to ensure any new location is not compromised in terms of flood prone areas/wetlands/environmentally sensitive area and [land] ownership, or that it’s in the way of future large-scale infrastructure projects.”
Booi says the city is “very excited” about this new method of socio-economic contact.
“We are adapting to and making use of new technologies, even in the most vulnerable of communities, so that we may continue to provide the best possible services to our residents.”