Cape Town is testing a new ID system for townships – what you should know

The City of Cape Town has announced a new pilot programme which will see the city’s townships marked and numbered with a unique QR code and paint markers to enhance data capturing and planning

The first phase of the project saw 1,000 structures within the Mfuleni area marked and numbered with a unique Quick Response (QR) code and city-specific paint within just five hours. Field maps were created to indicate the associated number of each structure.

The next phase will see department officials returning to the numbered structures to obtain consent and to proceed with the electronic capturing of survey questions. While this is ongoing, survey data will be displayed live on a dashboard with immediate access to individual information.

“As far as we know, this will be the first project of its kind for a metro in South Africa,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for human settlements Malusi Booi.

“The intended result of this pilot project will be direct interaction between the City and residents in informal settlements, providing up-to-date data for planning and budget purposes.

“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. Importantly, it has been ensured that this entire process is Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) compliant.”

Booi said the project will significantly enhance its socio-economic surveys.

“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. The goodwill and cooperation of residents is apparent and appreciated.”


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Cape Town is testing a new ID system for townships – what you should know