Public Protector to investigate land
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela will urgently look into
a complaint by a representative of a Cape Town community
that government’s land claims process was unfair.
The complaint was one of many service delivery grievances
that emerged during the Public Protector’s community
outreach meeting with residents of Manenberg outside Cape
Town on Tuesday.
Speaking during the meeting, Jane Mzongwana of Gugulethu
township, complained that communities with land claims were
not properly documented. They were also not consulted and
educated on how the land claims process would unfold,
thereby putting them at a disadvantage, she said.
She said some pensioners who had lodged claims on pieces
of land in Kensington, Bellville, Parow and Goodwood outside
the city, among other places, were still awaiting
Other issues raised included allegations of corruption in
housing allocation, illegal house extensions that infringed
other people’s rights and poor enforcement of by-laws in
relation to licensing of shebeens.
Senior citizens staying in old age homes complained about
the payment of high boarding and lodging fees, raising
concerns about paying value added tax when they had
contributed during their working lives.
More complaints relating to a school that allegedly
expelled learners who were unable to pay school fees,
problems with social grants, enforcement of laws against
crime and municipal services such water and lights.
Responding to the complaints, the Public Protector
undertook to process the matters and revert the community
timeously. “We will find out exactly what happened and if
you were wronged, we’ll find a remedy,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Public Protector urged organs of state
rendering essential services directly to communities to
establish internal complaints handling mechanisms in order
to respond adequately to the plight of dissatisfied
citizens. She, however, stressed that the mechanisms needed
to be competent and credible.
Speaking earlier at the same event, Executive Mayor of
the City of Cape Town Patricia de Lille said the city had
established an internal ombudsman and a call centre to
handle service delivery complaints, encouraging locals to
make use of such platforms.
Describing this development as “encouraging”, the Public
Protector urged service delivery points such as public
hospitals and water boards to follow the example of the
She commended the management of JF Jooste Hospital in
Manenberg and the provincial health department for swiftly
implementing the remedial action taken following an
investigation into the disposal of medical waste. The probe
came after a community member was pierced by a used syringe
while walking in the area.
The meeting formed part of stakeholder consultative
forums launched in July under the theme “The Public
Protector Dialogues with the Nation.”
The forums are aimed at soliciting feedback regarding the
work of the Public Protector and foster a common
understanding of the institution’s mandate and role. They
focus on the importance of implementing the Public
Protector’s remedial action.
This is for purposes of ensuring administrative justice
by organs of state in respect of service failure and
ensuring accountability in the exercise of state power and
control over public resources.
For more information, contact:
Senior Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399