Assessing the infrastructure management by applying Geographical Information System in Sekhukhune District Municipality
Assessing the infrastructure management by applying the Geographical Information System in Sekhukhune District Municipality. South African community relies on its public infrastructure systems—roads, water systems, waste systems. for the effective running of the country. These large, complex systems are owned and operated by municipalities and other infrastructure agencies. Failure in the supply of water and services delivery to communities and businesses by water utilities such as water boards, water service providers and municipalities, is commonly caused by a lack of both proper maintenance plans and geographic information about assets such as conditions, locations, historical data and performances. GIS technology is a central tool which is used to develop fully descriptive Geo-database information, to manage up-dated information about assets and maintain them, such as the current condition of the assets and their operational status. Government and municipalities utilize such technology to plan, maintain and manage their data. GIS databases assist in the integration of many types of data; specifically, geographic data that are available in different types, formats, locations, sizes, etcetera. The primary objective of this study was to understand the status of geographic information system (GIS) in Sekhukhune District Municipality and how effectively the municipality has utilised the GIS tools to implement and monitor free basic service delivery. Sekhukhune District Municipality has endeavoured to offer various and avenues to freely access information. The Sekhukhune District Municipality moderately utilises the geographical information system (GIS) and does not frequently update its departmental databases as well as offer updated and better-quality geo-information. The Sekhukhune District Municipality has endeavoured to use geographical information system (GIS) to offer the residents and other stakeholders a high quality and updates national and municipality information. The secondary objective of this study was to provide an overview of geographical information system (GIS) can provide solution infrastructure management within Sekhukhune District Municipality. To establish and analyse how GIS can contribute to improve efficiency in service delivery at local municipality to curb backlogs, financials loss, in-efficiencies, data loss and integrity etc. A literature review and empirical research were undertaken to assess the problem statement. The literature study mainly focuses on the infrastructure assets management, GIS technology usage – applications in infrastructure management in local government, utilities in South Africa and around the globe. The empirical research obtained from the participants within Sekhukhune District Municipality from different departments/unit such as Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Infrastructure and Water Services, Community Services and Municipal Manager’ office department are the operate within the local government context. The study showed that the municipality is moderately utilizing the Geographical Information System (GIS) for infrastructure management. The results from empirical research also showed that the Sekhukhune District Municipality did not implement GIS fully and it does not update its geo-data information regularly and this result in data integrity deteriorating e.g. billing statement for the services rendered by the district might be sent or addressed to wrong consumer. The empirical study also showed that the geographical information system (GIS) can provide solution in Sekhukhune District Municipality particularly infrastructure Water services department in operation and maintenance of water infrastructure to reduce in-efficiencies. This has been echoed by various scholars that utilize GIS in the form of updated registers of assets and layouts of infrastructure to identify high-risk regions and address the issues of infrastructure-maintenance backlogs. In order for municipalities to identify the serious issues affecting service delivery, there must be consolidation and use of information integration approaches from several systems of management into layered representations of infrastructure service delivery. Such a process assists municipalities in the prioritization of high-risk areas for maintenance planning. Recommendations were made on how GIS can improve the infrastructure management within Sekhukhune District Municipality and other local municipalities to deal with poor services delivery and prevent the communities’ service delivery protests.
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