Public Protector, SALGA sign MOU
Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Chief Executive Officer of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Mr. Xolile George on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Cape Town. The MOU was signed on the sidelines of the inaugural SALGA Council of Mayors event hosted in the city. In terms of the MOU, both organizations commits to ensuring an improved municipal cooperation and compliance with the Public Protector’s investigations and remedial action, with a view to ensuring expeditious resolution of service delivery complaints to avert violent and destructive protests.
They further commit both to collaboration on advocacy and outreach initiatives aimed at facilitating improved access of their services to communities in far flung areas.
Regarding increased access, the MOU allows the Public Protector to have branded lockable collection boxes and complaints form in all municipal offices across the country. According to the Public Protector, this will ensure that the public has an opportunity to lodge complaints without any hassles. A Public Protector official will on weekly basis collect all the complaints.
The agreement further commits both organizations to sharing experiences in an effort to identify main areas of complaints against municipalities in order for SALGA to assist the municipalities in strengthening its internal processes and procedures.
It also commits the Public Protector to provide technical and advisory support to the ombudsman offices in municipalities where such has been established. The Public Protector played a key role in the establishment of the Health, Tax, Military Ombudsman offices and within the City of Johannesburg.
The partnership is expected to help in reducing service delivery and conduct failure complaints against municipalities that have consistently accounted for a lion’s share of the Public Protector’s caseload over the years.
Speaking after the signing, Adv. Mkhwebane said her office was excited about the getting into the partnership as it fitted into the Public Protector’s vision of ensuring that her office reached more people particularly those in rural areas.
In an advice directed at municipalities, Adv. Mkhwebane encouraged them to continuously engage their constituencies to ensure that they are informed about their programmes and procedures. She said this would go a long way in addressing the often violent service delivery protests.
For more information, contact:
Ms Cleopatra Mosana
Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 072 321 7585
Tel: 012 366 7006