Public Protector presents annual report to Parliament, wraps up Good Governance Week

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has appealed to Parliament to assist her office get adequate financial resources in the next financial year in order to diversify and intensify investigative skills.

Presenting her office’s 2009/10 Annual Report to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Friday, 15 October 2010, the Public Protector said lack of adequate funding had a negative impact on the effective execution of her mandate.

“We are unable to meet our statutory obligations due to lack of sufficient budget. We have never been able to produce Executive Members’ Ethics Act reports within 30 days as required because of understaffing. We are also struggling to render prompt remedial action to ordinary complainants,” she said.

Currently, the Public Protector is operating on a budget of R112 million. The office has a total staff complement of 255, 91 of which are investigators.

The Public Protector also asked Parliament to assist with the enforcement of her investigation reports, indicating that some organs of state were still not implementing her recommendations spelt out in some of the 44 reports she issued during the period under review.

Meanwhile the Public Protector and the Deputy Public Protector Adv Mamiki Shai wrapped up the Good Governance Week on Friday, 15 October 2010 with spot checks at GF Jooste and Charlotte Maxeke Hospitals in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively.

They interacted with patients, establishing their hospital service delivery concerns and also met with management to find out what their challenges are. This was in a bid to promote good governance and market the Public Protector services.

The Public Protector said she was encouraged by the concrete measures taken by the GF Jooste Hospital management to implement her recommendation, following an investigation into allegations into an unlawful disposal of medical waste that resulted in a member of the public being injured.

“It is important for state organs not to see the Public Protector as an enemy but a catalyst that will help the state deliver on its promises,” Adv Madonsela told GF Jooste Hospital management.

The spot checks came after the conclusion of the three-day Public Protector-Commonwealth Good Governance Conference, which ended on Thursday, 14 October 2010.

Delegates at the conference called for a review of the legal framework regulating public financial administration in South Africa such as Public and Municipal Finance Management Acts. This was for purposes of fully incorporating fundamental requirements and principles of good governance as reflected in the various relevant international instruments such as the King Codes on Corporate Governance.

In the conference declaration, the delegates, who represented various oversight bodies in the country, also adopted a resolution to convene annually to discuss and explore issues affecting good governance and the agencies’ respective roles.

They resolved to have a common understanding of the concept of good governance, which includes characteristics relating to compliance with the constitution and the law, accountability, accessibility, transparency, capacity, participation and responsive to people’s needs.

A task team comprising representatives from these agencies, civil society and academic institutions would be set up by 15 November 2010 and would produce a draft framework for a cooperative good governance agenda by 15 February 2011.

The delegates also adopted a resolution to consolidate their collective resources to institutionalise collaboration between the agencies’ respective roles in promoting good governance in the country by means of regular meetings, popularising national governance frameworks and education.

Organised in collaboration with the Commonwealth, the conference brought under one roof South African oversight agencies and the academia, among others. These included Public Protector SA, Auditor General South Africa, the SA Human Rights Commission, the Independent Electoral Commission, Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Commission on Gender Equality and the Special Investigations Unit, among others. It aimed to emerge with a common vision of good governance and an understanding of the mandate and role of each of the oversight agencies.

Issued by Public Protector South Africa. For more information, contact:

Oupa Segalwe
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 072 264 3273
Tel: (012) 366 7035

Published Date: 
Friday, October 15, 2010