Gigaba’s secretary responds to 200 e-mails a day

2015-04-06 16:52
Nobuhle Mazibuko (City Press)

Nobuhle Mazibuko (City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - "Please email She will assist. Thanks.”

That is the standard response of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to the thousands of people who write to him on social-media networks with queries about the services rendered by his department.

For months now, and several times a day, Gigaba has been referring South Africans to his administrative secretary, Nobuhle Mazibuko, who handles most queries on his behalf.

Unlike her boss, Mazibuko is not a social-media butterfly. She is not on Twitter, but can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

City Press tracked her down to put a face to the name.

“I receive about 200 e-mails a day, written in all the official languages of our country and to which I have to respond and also forward to the relevant people in the department and follow up on,” she said.

“Sometimes I can’t make sense of the inquiry and sometimes the entire e-mail is written in the subject line. In such cases, I follow up with a telephone call, but we make sure every inquiry is addressed,” she said.

The majority of the e-mails are from people following up on their applications for ID documents, passports, unabridged birth certificates, applications for permanent or temporary residence and other services provided by the department.

“I have to speak to the department on behalf of each and every one of those clients. I then respond to the client on the status of their application. “I also try to make it transparent for the client.

"If you send me an e-mail, I will copy you on the e-mail to the people dealing with your application, so that you know exactly who is dealing with your query and, when they respond, you can see what exactly is going on,” she explained.

Mazibuko joined the department in October last year, having previously worked with Gigaba on special projects in the department of public enterprises.

Before she joined home affairs, Gigaba had encouraged her to be on social-media networks, saying “it would be useful when I join home affairs; it will be handy”.

But of course, not everyone who mails has a home affairs query – job seekers try their luck too.

Mazibuko told City Press she occasionally received e-mails from people who inquired about vacancies in the department, but others e-mailed her to report corrupt officials soliciting bribes from desperate citizens.

“No one has ever tried to bribe me, but I get e-mails from people who want to report officials who are seeking bribes, which, of course, we then investigate,” she said.

Mazibuko also fields telephone calls – but unlike e-mails, callers are angrier and shout at her out of frustration.

“Fortunately, I was a high school teacher, so I know how to deal with frustrated people and make them understand – because I have to make people understand the processes.

“When they do give me a chance, we get to a solution and, later, they send me an e-mail of appreciation,” she added.

Mazibuko loves receiving compliments.

“They uplift me. I enjoy it when people acknowledge our work. I have noticed that people want to know this face. I have taken people into my office, because sometimes they want to come in and see the face of the person helping them,” she said.

Read more on:    malusi gigaba  |  johannesburg  |  government  |  social networks

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.