AS WARD councillor for eThekwini Ward 18, where the Pinetown Home Affairs office is situated, and as a member of the DA, I wish to express my sincere frustration at the situation at Home Affairs and other public sector organisations.
In February 2008 our leader Helen Zille visited the office in Pinetown to discuss our serious concerns about service delivery in that office.
DA activists had earlier uncovered the charging of hundreds of rands to "streamline" the process of obtaining an ID book.
While I have no doubt that the minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was genuinely upset by the loss of Skhumbuzo Mhlongo, he chose to end his life because of the frustrating reality that the DA so patently brought to the attention of Home Affairs over a year ago.
It is high time the government stopped viewing the opposition as yapping dogs and started viewing us as partners.
In 2008 we acted in the interests of all South Africans by bringing this issue to the attention of the department and I suspect our requests were ignored because of the party from whence they came.
President Jacob Zuma has committed the government to working together to do more.
It should now be crystal clear to everyone employed in the public sector that people's lives hang in the balance and their poor performance can be the deciding factor.
Warwick Chapman, Pinetown