Public Protector to submit roadshow report to government

A report detailing important outcomes of her two-month nationwide road show, which culminates in the Eastern Cape this week, will be submitted to Parliament and government in due course, says Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela.

Speaking after her last meeting with interest groups in East London on Thursday, she said although the feedback would help tweak her office’s strategies, it was also important for some issues to be brought to government’s attention.

“We feel that some of the trends we picked up, such as the management of tenders, are important for government’s attention. Parliament also needs to hear about these,” she said.

During the road show, the Public Protector interacted with provincial and local government leaders, traditional authorities, civil society organisations, political parties, women groupings, media representatives and ordinary people in all provinces.

Apart from tender management, other issues that have been common throughout most provinces included defective RDP houses, allocation of same houses, learner transport tenders, allegations of corrupt activities and basic services rendered at municipal level.

The Public Protector told delegates that stakeholders throughout the country had pledged support to her office, reaffirming its constitutional mandate and encouraging her to continue “speaking truth to power” while doing her work without fear or favour.

“We also noted constructive criticism, which has highlighted some of our shortcomings particularly with regard to accessibility to our services and our responsiveness to complainants for purposes of enhancing our ability to deliver,” she said.

Earlier in the meeting, the Public Protector told delegates that an adversarial relationship with organs of state is undesirable but noted that such a position should not be the reason for denying complaints justice.

“Even though it is critical for an office such as mine to ensure good relations with organs of state at all times, it will be unfair to tell a complainant that they can’t get a remedy just because we are afraid of spoiling relations with government,” she said.

The Public Protector welcomed support from the Speaker of the Provincial Legislature Fikile Xasa who appealed to organs of state to support her office.

“South Africa is a constitutional state by design, it is not a mistake. Institutions such as the Public Protector are a deliberate part of that design and therefore must be supported.”

As the road show winds down to an end, residents of Bhisho and neighbouring areas will on Friday get an opportunity to share with the Public Protector their service delivery frustrations at Sweetwaters Community Hall. Accompanied by a team of investigators, the Public Protector will register new complaint at the venue while also raising awareness about her office’s services.

The road show, titled “The Public Protector Dialogues with the Nation” sought to solicit feedback on the work of the Public Protector and foster a common understanding of the institution’s mandate and role. It also focused on the importance of implementing the Public Protector’s remedial action.

This was 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:

Kgalalelo Masibi
Senior Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399

Published Date: 
Thursday, September 8, 2011