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Durban's citizen-friendly, OSS site

By   |  August 21, 2007

The official website for Durban, otherwise known as the Ethekweni municipality, has undergone a facelift. The site, which switched from Microsoft to Plone roughly two years ago, has had some improvements to its design.

Tectonic spoke to the site’s webmaster, Angela Spencer, to find out more.

Spencer explained that the site utilised various Python-based modules for Plone. These underwent some customisation for the site, which was carried out by Durban based BEE company, Adapt IT.

“All work was done locally in order to promote local economic development,” said Spencer.

Examples of features on the site include the ability for residents to enter their account number and check their current water, lights and rates balances.

An exciting new feature currently being worked on is the integration of blogging functionality. Spencer said this would be up and running by the end of the year. She said they wanted to get people talking about Durban and to interact with their local government rather than merely being passive citizens.

After jokingly mentioning to her it was lucky Durban was so laid back and that such a tool would probably see much abuse hurled at government if set up in Joburg, Spencer said: “That might happen, but it is a part of democracy.”

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