Service delivery: Civil society may be asked to monitor govt

2012-11-01 00:00

THE Ministry of Performance Monitoring in the Presidency yesterday said the national government is considering getting civil society to monitor the government’s delivery of services to the communities.

The citizen-based monitoring model will be in addition to the Presidential Hotline and the unannounced visits to departments’ frontline services.

This comes amidst the increase in the number of protests over the delivery of services in communities.

It was previously reported that the multi-level government initiative barometer recorded 200 violent protests in the country between January and August.

In a speech delivered on his behalf at a conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, the Minister for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, said the government was challenged with a disjuncture between positive reports from officials and how the public experienced service delivery.

Chabane said his department was now working with offices of the premiers and sector departments to conduct unannounced visits to key government frontline services.

“We have thus far been able to conduct visits in about 315 service sites since we began in 2011.

“Our findings indicate that, in general, there are acceptable levels of access, safety, adherence to opening and closing times and visibility of service delivery sites,” he said.

However, areas that required significant improvement included long waiting times, queue management and the absence of visible frontline managers at service facilities.

“Of grave concern is the significantly below acceptable standards of cleanliness and comfort with wide-spread severe neglect of facilities management and basic maintenance in these places,” Chabane said.

“We are now designing a citizen-based monitoring system that would help in ensuring partnership with civil society in dealing with the issues that affect our people on a daily basis,” said Chabane.

According to Chabane, the Presidential Hotline was equally serving as an important source of information to monitor the impact of government on citizens.

“The Presidential Hotline managed to achieve an 80% resolution rate.”

He also said the government had in 2009 adopted an outcomes-based approach where the electoral mandate was translated into 12 priority areas to ensure effective planning and monitoring.

Chabane’s spokesperson, Harold Maloka, said the new monitoring model was expected to be finalised and taken to Cabinet for approval next April.

“We hope that framework will be approved by the end of the first quarter in 2013,” Maloka said.

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