Public Protector Pays Unannounced Visit
to SASSA Service Centre
19 October 2011
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday paid an
unannounced visit to the South African Social Security
Agency (SASSA) in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria during a
spot-check on government service delivery points.
The unannounced visit, which formed part of the activities
of the Public Protector Good Governance Week, followed a
public lecture the Public Protector delivered at the Tshwane
University of Technology (TUT) earlier in the day.
At SASSA offices the Public Protector interacted with
members of the public queuing for services. Though the
majority of the people were satisfied with the service they
had received, some complained about waiting for too long
before they could be attended to and repeatedly being sent
back home to fetch missing documents.
An elderly woman, who had been queuing since 08:30 for a
foster care grant application and by 14:00 she was yet to be
given attention, complained that she was spending a lot on
taxi fare as she was repeatedly forced to go home without
having been helped.
However, other members of the public told the Public
Protector that they had no complaints as they were being
treated with respect and that officials were responsive to
their needs. Talking to the manager of the office, the
Public Protector said her visit was not a fault-finding
mission but to merely check on how ordinary people were
being served by organs of state.
“The majority of the of the people we interacted with were
happy but as always there are a few gaps here and there that
need a bit of controls and quality assurance. The idea is to
help you grow in excellence,” she said.
She urged members of the community not to hesitate to
approach her office in the event they had complaints
relating to government services and conduct, including
problems with applications for social grants, housing and
identity documents as well as suspected acts of corruption.
During the Public Lecture at TUT, the Public Protector told
students that government stood a better chance of delivering
a better life to the people as promised in the constitution
if it dealt decisively with maladministration, unethical
governance and corruption.
She said South Africa was a modern democracy, which based on
a constitutional rather than parliamentary supremacy. She
further stated that democracy was about ongoing dialogue
between those entrusted with public power and control over
“Modern democracy is not just about casting a vote once
every five years and waiting for what happens at the end of
the channel. We have a constitution that promises us a
better life and serves as a bridge to a better society,” the
Public Protector said.
She challenged students to come up with solutions to the
country's challenges, which included the growing levels of
unemployment among young people in particular, inequalities
between the rich and the poor and a growing economy that was
not matched by the absorption of the unemployed into the job
She discouraged public protests in favour of active
citizenship through direct and indirect dialogue with
government in pursuit of good governance. The lecture also
formed part of the Good Governance Week, which aims to
enhance access to Public Protector Services while promoting
good governance in state affairs.
Issued by: Public Protector South Africa.
For more information, contact:
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communication
Public Protector South Africa
Tel: 012 366 7035
Cell: 072 264 3273