Public Protector assures Olifantshoek community a joint fast tracked investigation with the Auditor-General

Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela met with the Olifantshoek community following weeks of service delivery protest which resulted in schools being closed in the area. Concerned about schools closure, the Public Protector arranged a meeting with community leaders and the broader community with a view to reach an agreement that would necessitate the reopening of schools in the area.
Members of the community were given an opportunity to raise complaints which are at the centre of schools closure. A variety of service delivery concerns were raised including lack of maintenance of social amenities such as parks, swimming pools and lack of employment opportunities in the local mining industries. Other issues raised included but were not limited to water and electricity supply, sanitation and allegations of corruption and maladministration levelled against the Gamagara Local Municipality, particularly around procurement processes.
In addition, matters of governance and management of the Community Development Trust Committee were raised regarding the alleged unexplained postponement of the election of new Board members into the Trust Committee; and the lack of accountability of the current Board.
Having noted the community concerns, the Public Protector appealed to the community to allow the children go back to school for their better tomorrow, consistent with Section 28 of the Constitution which promotes and protects the rights of children. She impressed upon the community that the children are not just the future but education makes the future brighter.
At the request of the community, the Public Protector undertook to:
  1. Request the involvement of the Auditor-General in the investigation of the allegations of corruption;
  2. Get independent forensic company paid for by the Public Protector to conduct investigations into all the allegations raised; and
  3. Make available a provisional report into the above allegations by the end of October 2012.

The Public Protector closed the meeting by stating that she cannot resolve political issues which the communities raised, but can only deal with matters relating to administrative action by state actors. She undertook to engagement continuously with the broader stakeholders in the area with a view to resolve the school impasse.
For more information, contact:
Kgalalelo Masibi
Public Protector South Africa 
Cell: 079 507 0399
Toll Free: 0800 11 20 40
Published Date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012