Hi-tech sys­tem will nab tru­ants

New IT set to rev­o­lu­tionise project man­age­ment at in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment depart­ment

CityPress - - News - SIPHO MA­SONDO sipho.ma­sondo@city­press.co.za

At the click of a but­ton, Gaut­eng’s depart­ment of in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment can tell you what new schools and hos­pi­tals are be­ing built – and which em­ploy­ees are goof­ing off on site.

Thanks to a new IT man­age­ment sys­tem, the depart­ment can give you real-time in­for­ma­tion about all the con­struc­tion projects un­der way in the prov­ince.

The sys­tem, housed at Lutsinga House in the Jo­han­nes­burg city cen­tre, looks like a nor­mal board­room with a large mon­i­tor, con­fer­ence call fa­cil­i­ties and three large screens. But as soon as the screens light up, the place is trans­formed into a so­phis­ti­cated data cen­tre churn­ing out real-time graphs, pie charts, pic­tures and fig­ures about all the prov­ince’s con­struc­tion projects, build­ings and land.

The data in­clude each project, where it is lo­cated, its project man­ager and their con­tact de­tails, the sta­tus of con­struc­tion and how it is pro­ceed­ing against ex­pen­di­ture, the ex­pected time of de­liv­ery and the value of the project.

Demon­strat­ing the sys­tem, MEC Ja­cob Mam­abolo clicked on a but­ton and im­me­di­ately all the names of the depart­ment’s Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme em­ploy­ees were dis­played on a screen.

The sys­tem showed when they ar­rived at work, what they did and when they left.

“Look at this one, on this day she ar­rived at 11am and left at 12pm. We can’t pay her for a full day. Be­fore we im­ple­mented this, we would have been forced to pay her for an en­tire day,” he said.

He clicked another but­ton and the screens dis­played the Qoqa Sec­ondary School, which is now be­ing built.

“As you can see here, it shows that 31% of the ex­pen­di­ture has been claimed but the sys­tem says the con­struc­tion is at 0%.

“Some­thing is wrong some­where and the project man­ager has to ac­count for it,” he said, ad­ding that the sys­tem will mon­i­tor con­trac­tors daily.

“The days of con­trac­tors run­ning away with money without hav­ing done any­thing will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Mam­abolo clicked again and it showed that an ar­ti­san at Chris Hani Barag­wanath Hospi­tal took eight days to fix a mi­nor prob­lem. “He has to tell us why,” said Mam­abolo, ad­ding that he con­ceived the sys­tem af­ter hav­ing been in­volved in the project to turn “Hor­ror Af­fairs” into Home Af­fairs in 2007.

“The real is­sue here is trans­parency into project man­age­ment. You must be able to see which projects are be­gin­ning, which are end­ing and what the re­la­tion­ship is be­tween the two. If you don’t have this, peo­ple can tell you lies.

“Run­ning gov­ern­ment money through an end­less drainage sys­tem has to end,” said Mam­abolo.

The sys­tem, he said, would make it pos­si­ble for him to mon­i­tor whether all man­agers were de­liv­er­ing projects at cost and at the re­quired qual­ity.

“If you can’t mon­i­tor those, how on earth do you work?”

The sys­tem has also helped the prov­ince com­pile an in­ven­tory of ev­ery­thing it owns. It can tell you how many im­mov­able prop­er­ties it owns, where they are, their value, sta­tus and what they are used for.

“The mu­nic­i­pal eval­u­a­tion of what we own is about R30 bil­lion. But I can put my head on a block that a mar­ket value eval­u­a­tion will be over R50 bil­lion,” Mam­abolo said.

Ja­cob Mam­abolo

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