Public Protector pilots alternative access points for complaints
Communities living in outlying parts of the country such as Tshidilamolomo in the North West, Bolata in the Free State and Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal will no longer have to travel to Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) offices in faraway towns and cities to lodge service delivery and conduct failure complaints.
The PPSA is piloting a complaint drop box avenue, which will augment current accessibility points including the institution’s 18 walk-in offices nationwide. The drop boxes have been placed in around 40 municipal areas in all provinces but the Northern Cape, which will soon follow suit.
Most of the drop boxes are located within the premises of local traditional authorities while some are situated at municipal offices and Magistrate’s Courts. Complaint forms and information material published in local languages will be placed alongside each drop-box to facilitate a seamless complaint-lodging process.
The PPSA offices are located in cities and towns where government departments, State Owned Enterprises and municipalities, among other organs of state over whom the Public Protector enjoys jurisdiction, are situated for ease of access. This often means complainants must spend money to access the office. It is hoped that the drop box system will alleviate this problem.
In terms of section 182(4) of the Constitution, the Public Protector “must be accessible to all persons and communities”. In addition, the Public Protector Vision 2023 enjoins the institution to take its services closer to the dwellings of grassroots communities.
Other accessibility efforts include the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, in terms of which Magistrate’s Offices will be used as access points for services. The modalities of this agreement are still being finalised
“The Constitution entitles everyone in the country to the services of the Public Protector. The system we are piloting will see Public Protector officials in the provinces visiting the drop box sites periodically to collect complaints for further handling in the respective offices. This way we are closing the distance between the public and the office,” explained Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, adding that the drop boxes will be rolled out to more areas post the piloting phase.
The drop boxes are situated at the following places:
- Tshidilamolomo Traditional Council Offices, Ratlou Local Municipality
- Christiana Magistrates Court, Lekwa-Teemane Local Municipality
- Wolmaransstad Magistrates Court, Maquassi Hills Local Municipality
- Baphuduhucwana Traditional Council, Greater Taung Local Municipality
- Barokologadi Traditional Council in Pitsedisulejang, Moses Kotane Local Municipality
- Cosmo City Multi-Purpose Hall, City of Johannesburg Metro
- Chief Mogale Community Hall and Kagiso Multipurpose Centre, Westrand District
- Thokoza Customer Care Centre, Ekurhuleni Metro
- Mamelodi Community Radio Station, Tshwane Metro
- Sedibeng SASSA Offices, Sedibeng District
- Barolong boo Seleka Traditional Council, Thaba Nchu, Mangaung
- Namahadi Traditional Council in Qwa-Qwa, Maluti a Phofung
- Bolata Traditional Council in Qwa-Qwa, Maluti a Phofung
- Dinkoeng Traditional Council in Qwa-Qwa, Maluti a Phofung
- Kholokoe Traditional Council in Harrismith, Maluti a Phofung
- Mhlaba Traditional Authority offices, Ehlanzeni
- Emfumbeni Traditional Council offices, Gert Sibande
- Hoxane Traditional Council offices, Ehlanzeni
- Ndzundza- Mabuza Traditional Council offices, Nkangala
- Mashilane Traditional Council offices, Ehlanzeni
- KwaTembe Tribal court. Umkhanyakude
- Ukhukhanya koMzinyathi Tribal Court, Amajuba
- KwaQiko Tribal court, Ugu
- COGTA House or Administration building in Ulundi, Zululand
- Links Korana Traditional Council offices, Port Alfred, Ndlambe Local Municipality
- Pato Traditional Council offices, Tsholomnqa, Buffalo City Municipality
- Ludidi Tribal Authority, Emaxesibeni, Alfred Nzo District Municipality
- Mpheo Tribal Authority, Mthatha, OR Tambo District Municipality
- Ba-Phalaborwa Traditional Council
- Makhuduthamaga COGSTA Office
- Blouberg Traditional Council
- Bungeni Traditional Council
- Mogalakwena/Mokopane COGSTA Office
- Matzikama Municipal offices, Vredendaal, West Coast District Municipality
- Cape Agulhas Municipal offices, Bredasdorp, Cape Winelands District Municipality
- Langeberg Municipal offices, Ashton, Cape Winelands District Municipality
- Bitou Municipal Offices, Plettenberg, Eden District Municipality
- Beaufort West Municipal offices, Beaufort West, Central Karoo District Municipality