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​The City of Joburg has set up an extensive nerve centre, the Integrated Intelligence Operations Centre (IIOC) to integrate all municipal data on a single platform in a bid to improve decision-making on critical service delivery issues, using technology.

Setup at the JMPD headquarters in Martindale, west of the metro, the nerve centre is powered by an extensive broadband network, which enables high-quality access to Internet-delivered services. It is the City’s single largest spot with such an extensive bandwidth.

The IIOC fuses countless streams of complex data and information, which is readily made available for analysis and better decision-making, says Neani Mulaudzi, a Network Operations Manager at the Metro Trading Company (MTC), a city-owned entity charged with the deployment of Broadband.

Mulaudzi says the IIOC is designed to enable the City to integrate all existing municipal systems and to enable it to use its available resources efficiently in an effort to reduce response times on service delivery needs. 

In future, the IIOC will serve as a modern Data Centre, allowing seamless interoperability, transmission, sharing and exchange of data packets between all City-owned entities. “Once all entities have been connected to the nerve centre, they will have reliable information or intelligence for virtually all critical decision making, be it new infrastructure projects, hiring of key personnel, service delivery improvements, safety and security or responding to a crisis,” says Mulaudzi. 
This kind of a system enables Joburg to compete comparatively with international peers from across the globe and to stay ahead of the curve on the African continent.

“The IIOC enables the City to have a single integrated platform for critical municipal data for the benefit of the city’s population and economy. It makes it easier for the City to make informed decisions based on evidence and to anticipate and respond to occurrences rather than reacting to them,” Mulaudzi explains.

He says the IIOC will, in the end, help the City to integrate data from various entities through a single coordinated platform. “Once fully fledged, the IIOC will host all of the City’s entities in a bid to create coordinated efforts in service delivery,” he adds.

Now the IIOC only hosts the JMPD’s extensive network of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, which monitor crime in and around the Inner City. Mulaudzi says the JMPD was prioritised in order to bolster safety and security in the City and to mitigate petty crime around the Inner City. Other entities will be brought on board once deployment plans have been finalised.

In future, CCTV surveillance in the IIOC will not only be used for crime detection and prevention but to monitor and analyse traffic flow and congestion, maintain active control over the maintenance of municipal services and improve emergency response times and overall service delivery.
In general, Intelligence Operation Centres enable cities across the globe to do more work with limited resources, thus become Smart Cities using technology. The idea of an IIOC is to make the City operate more efficiently and address municipal backlogs adequately.

“Residents of Joburg will, in future, take pictures of faulty or damaged municipal infrastructure and send that to the IIOC. This information will then be used to initiate work orders for repairs and maintenance of public infrastructure, explains Mulaudzi.

An extensive broadband network powers the IIOC. Access to broadband connectivity helps the City facilitate information sharing, stimulate economic development, and improve health services and security, Mulaudzi adds. “Using smart technologies enables the City to plan adequately, pre-empt deterrents in its work and improve overall service delivery.”​