The Newcastle local municipality in the northern Kwazulu-natal is all set to go paperless in the better interest of the people around, said Afzul Rehman, the mayor of the city.
Afzul Rehman has stated that his approach of discussing all the agendas via digital modes (phone and laptops) will save them around R1 million per year.
‘’It’s a matter of exploiting existing technologies to our advantage. I looked at how much we spend on printing and photocopying agendas for 61 councillors comprising Exco and council members, delivering these to libraries, over 30 municipal officials and local media’’.
“The cost to do this amounts to R1, 5 million annually, and since we started having a paperless Exco last month, the difference is already showing,” said Afzul Rehman.
He further stated that the COP17 climate change conference going too held at the end of this month will be majorly highlighting the surrounding environmental issues. Hence, switching to better and more feasible sources of energy is one way of “going green” and doing your bit for the environment.
All Exco members in the municipality have been accommodated with laptops and the required training for their usage.
The mayor himself got an iPad and quotes it as the perfect mode to convey the information forward. “The next step is for all council members to have laptops, provided that they agree to pay for them over a period of at least two years.
“This will make it easy for everyone to view agendas, budgets and other information they feel is relevant to them. Everything will be transparent as people will be able to view who won what tender. This new system, when fully implemented, will save the ratepayers money,” said Afzul Rehman South Africa.
He further stated that the municipality is been contacted by an overseas company that is showing its interest in the idea and ready to contribute in the best manner possible.