Service delivery innovators awarded

3 November 2014

Innovations in the delivery of services, healthcare, education, nutrition and voting rights to South Africans were recognised at the 12th annual Public Sector Innovation Awards, held in Kempton Park, Gauteng, on Friday.

The overall winner was the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport, which walked away with the Innovator of the Year Award, winning a trophy and cash prize of R60 000. Their invention, spearheaded by chief artisan and head of the Modimolle Mechanic Workshop Jacobus Potgieter, was a Jojo Diesel Tank that helped the department reduce costs and improve service delivery.

The tank was designed and fitted to eight utility trucks with diesel pumps and gauges that reduced around R2-million in running costs and eliminated diesel spillages. One bakkie was able to service three graders, carrying 600 litres of diesel. Recycled material was used to build a support structure for the frames securing the tanks.

“I’m excited and did not expect us to win in this tough category,” Potgieter said. He added that it was an innovation departments across the country should implement. “This is a good innovation and I think it will save the department a lot of money. It should be rolled out in other places.”

Speaking at the ceremony, minister of public service and administration Collins Chabane said the awards showed that public officials could be forward-thinking and inventive.

“The public service has been branded as un-innovative and this event tells a different story,” he said. “Your innovations are important in modernising the public service and improving service delivery. The quality of the projects here bears the high level of creativity in the public service. They will lay a crucial part in making the National Development Plan a reality.”

Other award-winning inventions included a digital pen for mental health, an atlas of agricultural potential in Gauteng, a smartphone app for the national elections held in May, a nutrition scheme for creches, and a hospital pharmacy automation system.

The awards were held in four categories: information and communication technology, service delivery institutions, improvements to internal systems of government, and innovative partnerships to deliver services.

The full line-up of winners:

Innovative use of ICT for effective service delivery

  • Winner: Digital Pen for Mental Health by the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal
  • First runner- up: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Second runner-up: Gauteng Agriculture Potential Atlas
  • Third runner-up: Elections Mobile Application from the Independent Electoral Commission

Innovative service delivery institutions

  • Winner: Jojo Diesel Tanks by the Department of Roads and Transport, Limpopo
  • First runner-up: RAF on the Road by the Road Accident Fund
  • Second runner-up: Safe Anaesthesia for Africa Project, Ngwelezane Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Third runner-up: Dietetics Creche Outing: Malnutrition Kicked Out, Department of Health, Limpopo

Innovative enhancements of internal systems of government

  • Winner: Case Management and Community Empowerment, Tembisa Hospital, Gauteng
  • First runner-up: Pharmacy Automation, Helen Joseph Hospital, Gauteng
  • Second runner-up: Extra School Support Programme, Department of Education, Gauteng
  • Third runner-up: Open Development Engine, Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional Affairs, Limpopo

Innovative partnership in service delivery

  • Winner: The Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Joint first runner-up: Learn-not-to-Burn Programme, Department of Education, Gauteng and Community Food Production Units, Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Second runner-up: Lego Project, Tshwane South District in partnership with Hands on Technology

SouthAfrica.info reporter and SANews.gov