Public Protector stakeholder forum continues in Limpopo
Stakeholders in Limpopo will on Wednesday and Thursday have an opportunity to engage with Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane on issues around the importance of establishing internal complaints resolution units, customer service units or sectoral ombudsman institutions within the provincial government.
Adv. Mkhwebane will be visiting the province as part of a nationwide roadshow to hold talks with government and other relevant stakeholders on the importance of addressing service and conduct failure complaints at municipal or departmental levels before the grievances could be escalated to her office.
The roadshow commenced in Mpumalanga in July, bringing together an array of interested parties, including representatives of the provincial government, municipalities traditional authorities as well as various civil society organizations.
It seeks to give effect to Pillar 7 of the Public Protector Vision 2023 – a detailed plan which is essentially about taking the institution’s services to the grassroots. Pillar 7 encourages organs of state to establish effective internal complaints resolution units, customer service units or sectoral ombudsman offices.
While it is true that the Public Protector’s mandate is broad, covering any and every administrative action within state affairs to the exclusion of court decisions, it is also correct that not every case must necessarily be brought to the institution.
“This is precisely why it is critical for organs of state to establish effective complaints resolution units, customer service units or sector-specific ombudsman institutions in the mould of the Health, Tax and Military Ombudsman,” Adv. Mkhwebane said.
That way individual cases that would ordinarily clog her office’s system would be handled by such institutions, allowing her team of investigators to focus on systemic and own-initiative matters.
Adv. Mkhwebane added that organs of state also need to develop Service Standards and Customer Service charters in line with the Batho Pele principles. This, she explained, would go a long way to put the power back in the hands of the public to hold their leaders to account.
Her first stop in the province will be at a local school in Driekop where she will have a discussion with the learners- whom the Public Protector describes as key to carrying her message home. Adv. Mkhwebane will then meet on Thursday with provincial and municipal officials as well as representatives from various civil society organizations.
The meeting with learners will take place as follows:
- Date : Wednesday, 15 August 2018
- Time : 13H00
- Venue : Sehlaku Technical High School, Driekop
The meeting with municipal and provincial government representatives is scheduled as follows:
- Date : Thursday, 16 August 2018
- Time : 09H00
- Venue :Fetakgomo Municipal Council Chambers, Burgersfort
For more information, contact:
Public Protector South Africa
(012) 366 7035
072 264 3272