Access to information is a challenge faced by most South Africans, especially during the lockdown period. This has resulted in many, especially those in townships, having to leave their homes to access government or Sassa services.

A businessman from Port Elizabeth has now created a ward-based app that will trickle down important information from government to residents.

Corona fighters, a ward-based app, aims to put an end to long queues and people wandering on the streets. The app allows users to log in daily and find out what is happening in their ward. This includes information on social worker visits, food parcel deliveries and products available at local shops.

It’s also two-way communication. People can inform councilors and police officers about problems in their ward.

App creator and entrepreneur, Trevor Tambo, says job creation is also a key component of this app development.

“We have applied for funding from the National Development Fund. So, that funding or that investment is going to make sure that we are going to create jobs within the next six months. We will make sure that people are working at home, so just to boost the economy while we are also helping on the health side.”

The provincial Health Department has red-flagged shopping malls, funerals and Sassa offices as COVID-19 hotspots, making the app a handy tool in lockdown times.

People have reacted positively to the app.

“I think this app is going to help us a lot because it is going to keep us informed with what is happening in our area and prevent us from going out to the streets. Also, we are always on our phones, so we can now view all this information from the comfort of our homes,” says one resident.

“I really love this app because it is going to help us to keep safe, stay at home and be informed, which is what we all need at this time. With this app, there is going to be no reason for you to go out of the house because you have all the information on your phone,” another resident said.

Douglas Kruger, author of Virus-proof Your Small Business, a book on pandemic survival tips, believes businesses must maximise this time.

“In a world in which it is difficult to get around anything that can go online or be syndicated, it certainly looks like a winning formula. It’s also a winning formula from a wealth perspective. If you can make it once and sell it multiple times over you are already scaling up.”

The app will be available in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro from Monday and there are also plans for a national roll-out.

In the video below, businessman Larry Hodes explains how innovation can keep businesses afloat during COVID-19 outbreak.