Public Protector Aocate Thuli Madonsela has challenged municipalities to follow in the footsteps of the City of Joburg by establishing credible, internal complaints-handling mechanisms, with a view to improving service delivery.
She was speaking in Pretoria on Wednesday following a fruitful benchmarking meeting with the newly appointed Ombudsman of the City of Joburg, A. Siduduzo Gumede, whose office opens its doors for service in July.
The Public Protector said, if established, such avenues would help reduce the workload directed to her office and give it more time to focus on systemic and complex investigations. With a jurisdiction that covers more than 2000 organs of state, including over 270 municipalities, the Public Protector’s funding is not commensurate with the workload.
“This is an encouraging step by the City of Joburg as it will ensure that complaints against the municipality are dealt with internally and speedily resolved,” she said, adding that her office was instrumental in the establishment of A. Gumede’s office.
The Public Protector told A. Gumede that most complaints against the City of Johannesburg included billing problems, valuation of land, failure by municipality to enforce its by-laws and tender irregularities.
The Public Protector said she would provide A. Gumede with a list of the complaints lodged with her office against the City of Joburg, with a view to offloading some of the matters to his office.
Both parties also explored the areas of collaboration as well as the Public Protector facilitating the standardisation of approaches and skills development.
Committing to work with the institution, the Public Protector explained that her office took pride in the fact that its call to the authorities of the city to establish such an institution had been responded to positively.
The Public Protector was also instrumental in the establishment of the Military Ombudsman. Since then, the bulk of the complaints concerning military matters that were previously lodged with the Public Protector now go to the Ombudsman.
Issued by: Public Protector South Africa
Source : South African Government