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Joburg to award four smart city challenge winners, applauds quality of solutions

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THE City of Johannesburg (CoJ) would be announcing four winners for its yearly Smart City Innovation Challenge, instead of three, owing to the quality of solutions received, said CoJ Smart City Office leader Lawrence Boya.

Each of the four winners would receive R500 000 and an opportunity to pilot their solutions with the city’s departments or entities.

The challenge is a search for the best smart digital technology solutions to help citizens stay connected and allow businesses, citizens and public administrations to find ways to respond faster and in a more integrated way to both crisis situations and daily life.

The initiative is aimed at maximising the use of technology to empower residents and to find solutions to Joburg’s most pressing issues, Boya said.

The solutions need to accelerate service delivery, improve the liveability and safety of the city and enhance operational efficiencies, Boya added.

This year’s innovation challenge sought to find solutions with the special focus to respond to gender-based violence, economic development and township economies, Fourth Industrial Revolution readiness, institutional operations and management, predictive analytics to improve asset management, food security as well as energy efficiency.

The Smart City Innovation Challenge is the city’s initiative in collaboration with the University of the Witwatersrand’s Tshimologong Innovation Precinct to find and develop digital technology solutions that respond to urban and community challenges.

The solutions need to accelerate service delivery, improve the liveability and safety of the city and enhance operational efficiencies, Boya added.

The four Smart City Innovation Challenge winners will officially be announced on June 27.

The finalists include Arthur Mahlangu from microenterprise digital assistance company QH Consultants, Nivarshnee Ramparsard from anti-theft and infrastructure protection Internet of Things (IoT) company Iconix Engineering, Thulani Khumalo from IoT smart sewerage technology company Technological Plumbing Solutions, and fleet tracking and municipal services monitoring company Graf-in Tech. 

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