Presidential hotline flooded with complaints

The presidential hotline has received 72 299 calls in its first year of service, of which 57 375 were complaints, the department for performance monitoring and evaluation said.

“The service resolves about 4 000 cases per week, which puts the resolution of all complaints to a total of 30 540,” spokesperson Harold Maloka said in a statement.

The majority of complaints had to do with housing, employment, safety and security, water, electricity, citizenship issues, social grants, education and training, road construction and maintenance and health services.

Maloka said the hotline was also being used by whistle blowers and 350 cases of alleged corruption had been received.

“These relate to alleged social grants fraud, tender fraud in various departments, corruption in municipalities, correctional services, housing departments and others.”

While a number of people had been helped, getting a quick response from government departments and provinces was still a major problem, Maloka said.

In order to resolve this the president had decided to make directors general responsible for resolving queries and complaints in their departments.

The department for performance monitoring and evaluation said it would conduct a first year assessment of the hotline to look at problems, successes and opportunities to improve the service.

It was established by President Jacob Zuma last year to “ensure easier access to the presidency and to promote citizen care and a government that was responsive, interactive and effective”.

The hotline turned a year old today.

Zuma thanked people who had taken the time to call the hotline.

“We thank those who report anti-corruption allegations as well, they will help us in our campaign to ensure clean governance and to root out corruption in the public service,” he was quoted as saying.

“We will continue working to improve this service as it is clearly a valuable tool in keeping government in touch, and also to train public servants to take members of the public seriously when they raise issues and enquiries.”

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