Presidency quarterly update on the Presidential Hotline
2 Dec 2009
We launched the Presidential Hotline on 14 September 2009, as part of our drive to change the way government works.
We wanted to establish a culture of taking citizens seriously, and putting them first in our work as government. The Presidential Hotline provides an appeal mechanism for citizens whose complaints have not been attended to satisfactorily by other spheres of government or departments. President Jacob Zuma undertook to update the public from time to time with regards to the performance of the hotline.
Since its formation, the Hotline has done much to promote government's responsiveness and accountability. It has received a large volume of calls, indicating both the need for such a service and the eagerness of South Africans to interact with government. Through this service, hundreds of people have managed to have problems attended to and resolved, and it has set a new trend with regard to citizen care.
The President receives complaints relating to the following:
a. Municipal services - electricity, sanitation, housing, water supply, sanitation.
b. Labour: unfair labour practices, dismissals.
c. Housing shortages, delays and corruption in the system.
d. Land claims delays and failure to resolve them.
e. Complaints by victims of crime, persons requesting pardons.
f. Poverty relief assistance.
g. Financial services: complaints about banks, insurance companies.
h. Complaints about parastatals.
i. Alleged breach of contracts by government departments, for example departments failing to pay for services rendered or paying late.
j. Requests for funding for bursaries, community projects, donations, business projects.
k. Complaints from political parties especially the Democratic Alliance.
While the hotline has been successful in resolving enquiries, the response of some government departments and provinces to enquiries has been far from satisfactory. The President's view that we need to do more to improve the attitude and performance of our public service to citizen care, has been proven correct.
In the first month of the hotline operation, only 12% of the opened calls with provinces were resolved, 26% of calls in October and 31% in November. Overall, only 18% of total calls opened with provinces in the past three months were resolved. With the national departments, in September only 19% of calls opened were resolved. However, the average response over the past three months is 33%
The President has directed all Ministers and Premiers to prepare turnaround strategies. Each department and premier’s office must indicate what will be done to ensure that all enquiries transferred to them for investigation are responded to urgently and efficiently.
The Presidency has treated this financial year as a pilot phase and will continue to improve the service and deal with whatever bottlenecks still remain. It is an effective service and we are daily encouraged by the excitement of people whose enquiries have been resolved.
The Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane is working with departments to ensure that the situation is resolved without delay and that departments put more effective mechanisms and resources to respond to enquiries. He is also working to ensure that the service performs better at a technical and human resource level.
We re-emphasise that we will continue to work to create an interactive, responsive and caring government.
Directors-General have been instructed by their Ministers to monitor the response and resolution rates of their departments and provinces on a regular basis and to ensure that citizens’ queries are being attended to. In this respect, all Directors-General will be given access to the Hotline IT platform so that they can use it as their own monitoring tool.
A study, led by the Department of Public Service and Administration, is currently underway to determine the functioning and effectiveness of all government call centres. Through it, we want to achieve greater efficiencies and integration of government call centres, thus resulting in better citizen care and enhanced interaction between government and our citizens.
The Presidential hotline quarterly report for resolved calls is available at http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/docs/hotline_report.pdf.
For further enquiries contact:
Cell: 082 047 2260
Issued by: The Presidency
2 December 2009
Issued by: The Presidency
2 Dec 2009
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