Johannesburg Smart City Innovation Challenge Seeks Solutions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The City of Johannesburg’s Smart City Office and the Tshimologong Innovation Precinct are looking for proposals for smart city innovative solutions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim of the Smart City Innovation Challenge is to find and develop digital technology solutions that respond to urban and community challenges, which include:

  • Smart mobility: with the easing of lockdown, public transportation presents the biggest risk of the spread of infection;
  • Safety: the city has seen increased incidents of gender-based violence, looting, and property damage under the lockdown. It is feared that this may only increase with the economic challenges that will follow the pandemic; and,
  • Food security: food distribution to the hungry faces many challenges, such as lack of data, lack of distribution coordination, health concerns, and the lack of capacity.

The two winning applications will attend a virtual bootcamp for a rapid development and prototype launching process and will each receive a prototyping grant of R100 000 (~$5,800 US). There will be the opportunity for further funding to take at least one solution into implementation. To learn more about the challenge and how to apply, visit the City of Johannesburg website at

 Lawrence Boya, the Smart City Office Leader, said “This innovation call is an opportunity for innovators of our City to bring forward their innovative solutions to help our City respond in a smarter way to challenges posed by Covid-19. We also hope to use this initiative to help to grow innovation in Joburg and thus make Joburg the Leading African City of Innovation.”