Communication with more than 10,000 registered contractors on the CIDB database needed to be quick and inexpensive. CIDB developed a web application, which allows for the automatic generation of SMS messages to get appropriate information to stakeholders on time. The i-Tender/RoP online hub was set up in 2005 as a value-add to clients to facilitate the government's construction tendering process. It provides for the two-stage registration of construction projects - namely, advertising tenders and awarding contracts - as well facilitating the most efficient matching of projects with qualified contractors. For many contractors their cell phone is their main communication device especially when on site. SMS will ensure that registered contractors are proactively informed of new tenders when they are advertised, subsequent to being matched against the Register of Contractors.
Clickatell was able to provide the CIDB with a single point of seamless integration through its SMS gateway. Rather than manage connections to the networks of each local mobile operator, the CIDB can now concentrate on developing and extending the i-Tender/RoP hub and delivering the benefits to clients and contractors as rapidly as possible. Cost savings will also be leveraged through Clickatell's bulk buying of data traffic across all networks. Anton Lan, Head of SA/Africa at Clickatell, adds that while SMS is being used successfully as a low-cost, instant and pervasive communications tool in the private sector, its value cannot be overlooked in facilitating effective e-government in South Africa. "With Clickatell's SMS gateway we are able to provide the CIDB with turnkey mobile communication services that require minimal investment and show immediate benefits," he says.