Public Protector highlights key achievements
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela on Tuesday highlighted the key achievements her office registered during the 2010/11 financial year.
Presenting her office’s annual report for the same period in Parliament, she said her office had been able to make an impact by influencing major policy changes while also ensuring justice for ordinary people. These included government accommodation leases, over-charging for outsourced services, paying for shoddy workmanship, non-competitive procurement processes and in the area of ethics.
People who had been denied critical services that impacted negatively on their human rights such as social security had also been helped after her office’s intervention, she said.
She told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development that most cases of maladministration were due to skills shortage, poor controls and corruption.
The Public Protector added that money clawed back from irregular practices with her assistance could be used for critical responsibilities such as education and health care services.
She sought the committee’s buy-in into her proposed national footprint, which suggests an additional ten regional offices spread across the country in a move geared towards boosting accessibility efforts.
Currently the institution has only 20 offices, which are not nearly enough to cater for the country’s population of 50 million heads. More people are also reached through the mobile office service, which is present only in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
The Public Protector also exchanged views with committee members on whether her findings were legally binding, an issue to which she drew the committee’s attention to the global jurisprudence that organs of state were compelled to implement unless a court of law could prove irrationality on her part. “It cannot be that the architects of our constitution meant for the Public Protector to be an avenue for investigations that eventually lead to nothing,” she said.
Issued by the Public Protector South Africa.
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