Public Protector concludes stakeholder consultative process in Glenmore, Mpumalanga

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela wrapped up her seven-week provincial stakeholder consultations in Mpumalanga today, where residents of Glenmore village near Carolina raised their frustrations about service delivery.
One of the key concerns raised was the issue of land distribution to facilitate subsistence farming in tribal authorities and time recovery plan for learners particularly, matriculants who will lose a month during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and a shortage of teachers.
Another burning issue was the issue of undocumented children of illegal immigrants that have been in the country for a long time, who can’t get birth certificates, identity documents and matric certificates. Residents also complained about lack of medicines in the clinics; inadequate number of policemen and police vehicles; slow pace of delivery on low cost housing; social grants; and unemployment.
In her address, Adv Madonsela told the community members that among the measures her office aimed use to ensure a responsive public administration in the new fiscal year are to exhaust all the powers given by the Constitution, such as mediating, conciliating and negotiating instead of just investigating.
“I commit my office to resolve your complaints speedily and ensure remedial or corrective action for all administrative wrongs by public authorities. Never again shall you wait for a year to be told what is delaying your pension payout, identity document or any other service. We will use our power to subpoena and charge uncooperative public officials for contempt of the Public Protector if need be,” she said.

Representatives of public authorities, in the area including Inkosi VJ Nhlapo Local, councilors Pat Magagula and Petrus Soko, reported on progress on most of the concerns raised and promised to follow up on other concerns.

Yesterday Adv Madonsela met with various interest groups including representatives from government, Chapter 9 Institutions, the media and delegates of civil society in Nelspruit.

She told stakeholders that the most prevalent complaints received by her office in the province related to delays in the processing of applications for identity documents, various types of social grants, houses and general service delivery issues.

Adv Madonsela added that a team of investigators from her office was making progress regarding the probe into allegations of maladministration at Dipaleseng Local Municipality, adding that the outcome would be made public once the investigation is concluded.

The investigation followed complaints of irregular awarding of tenders, among other things, leveled against the municipality by interest groups when Adv Madonsela visited Siyathemba Township in Balfour after service delivery unrests in the area.
Speaking on behalf of Premier David Mabuza, Public Works MEC Clifford Mkasi committed the provincial administration to cooperate and assist the Public Protector during investigations and also to market the institution to citizens.

Mpumalanga was the last province the Public Protector visited since kick-starting the nationwide consultations in Alexandra, Gauteng early in February. A national stakeholder forum was also held in Pretoria, earlier this week.

The aim of these meetings were, among other things, to engage stakeholders on the Public Protector’s proposed Vision 2020, establish stakeholder expectations regarding the services of the Public Protector and discuss cooperation to improve the responsiveness of the Public Protector to complaints.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 31, 2010