GovChat CEO: COVID shows 'desperate need' to digitise gov't services

The pandemic has seen the GovChat platform transform into a critical component of the South Africa government’s pandemic response. We chat with founder and CEO Eldrid Jordaan.

eldrid jordaan
Eldrid Jordaan

By 1pm each day Eldrid Jordaan has had about 12 different meetings. As the founder and CEO of GovChat, the official citizen engagement platform for the South African government, Jordaan is the man responsible for connecting millions of citizens with the government officials that represent them. And his workload has only increased due to the coronavirus outbreak; with local government utilising the platform as part their efforts to handle the social and economic impact of the virus.

In this Q&A, Jordaan talks to CIO about why he created the platform – which was launched in partnership with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in September 2018 -and how he and his team have contributed to government’s fight against COVID-19.

Tell us about your career path.  

I was part of the team that founded Mxit, a South African free instant messaging application. I looked after government at Mxit, which allowed me to gauge users' appetite for a platform that would give young South Africans the change to engage with government. This experience taught me that people didn't really want to communicate with national government; they were more interested in engaging with their local public representatives who could address issues closer to home. When Mixt closed down, I started GovChat.

What was the business/social problem you wanted to solve with GovChat?

To continue reading this article register now

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams