Stop violent protests and turn to us instead – Adv Madonsela
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has called on communities to refrain from violent service delivery protest marches, saying such actions resulted in the unnecessary destruction of infrastructure needed for development.
Speaking to residents of Alexandra in Johannesburg during an outreach clinic on Wednesday, Adv Madonsela urged communities to entrust her office with complaints about services or wrongdoing by public authorities rather than embarking on violent demonstrations.
“While it is understandable that communities get unhappy when government takes long to deliver on its promises, violent protests are not necessarily the answer,” she told a packed Alexsan Kopano Resource Center hall.
Community members used the face-to-face interaction with the Public Protector to voice out their dissatisfactions regarding government service delivery. Among the main complaints raised were matters relating to glitches in the issuing of identity documents (IDs), duplication of ID numbers and delays in housing delivery.
“I feel happy that the Public Protector has taken time off to come and listen to our grievances with the intention of helping us. For a long time we have felt like we have been forgotten,” said 52-year-old Duduzile Chiya, an unemployed mother of three, who said she was still waiting for a low cost house she applied for in 1996.
A team of investigators that accompanied Adv Madonsela had their hands full taking complaints from hundreds of distressed residents with the aim of launching investigations and finding solutions.
Adv Madonsela also shared with residents the proposed Public Protector Vision 2020 and mission in an effort to solicit their comments and inputs to jointly path the direction the institution will take over the period of her term of office.