GovChat is a citizen engagement platform, founded in 2016, which allows citizens to connect and communicate with national, provincial and local government representatives in South Africa in real-time, via chatbots, Whatsapp and via USSD.
GovChat CEO Eldrin Jordaan chats to Kieno Kammies about the South African-based technology platform that is designed to facilitate engagement between government and the communities they serve.
Jordaan says the idea was sparked when he worked at Mxit some years ago they hosted many live government chats and he saw how popular they were among younger people.
At any given time we saw about 70 to 90,000 young South Africans engage with government. Not on national government issues but rather local issues. How many people know who their ward councillor is? 80% don't.— Eldrin Jordaan, CEO - GovChat
He saw the mobile phone app as the way to make this happen.
We have over 50 million people in South Africa but over 150 million mobile phones. So three times the size of the population has access to mobile phones.— Eldrin Jordaan, CEO - GovChat
Then he had to bring government on board...
The government came back and said they loved this project. GovChat is the official engagement platform for the South African government at a national level.— Eldrin Jordaan, CEO - GovChat
He says the NPO raised R30 million in investment from funders.
Jordaan explains that GovChat is not a mobile app but rather utilises your existing platforms and enables you to then engage in chats with government.
GovChat comes at no cost to user or government.
Listen to the interview below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : GovChat aims to get more ordinary citizens in touch with government