Fri Oct 21 11:15:22 SAST 2016

Mpimpa hotline clogged up

By Zinhle Mapumulo | Oct 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The presidential hotline is still clogged up with calls from concerned citizen but few of them have actually been attended to.

The presidential hotline is still clogged up with calls from concerned citizen but few of them have actually been attended to.

At the launch last month in Pretoria of the presidential hotline, 17737, Zuma said: "We are working to address this challenge to ensure that we give every call the attention it deserves."

But yesterday President Jacob Zuma said the government was trying to deal with people not getting through to the presidential hotline due to high call volumes.

He said the fact that some people could not get through should not be seen as a problem, but rather a success since it indicated the number of people wanting to voice their concerns to their government.

"We will continue to improve the service each day until we reach a stage where each South African is able to obtain quality service with ease, as it should be."

The hotline was piloted on September 14.

An agent at the call centre this week said they received on average 530 calls an hour. "Most of them are complaints about corruption and poor service delivery. We also get compliments and suggestions on how we can improve our services," Khakhu Nesongozwi said.

She said callers were pro-mised feedback from relevant departments within three days, but admitted that in most cases it took longer than that because of investigations relating to the complaint.

"If a person does not get any feedback they are allowed to call in again and enquire about what had happened regarding their complaint. We do get a high number of people calling again wanting feedback."

The hotline and public liaison staff in the presidency are backed by 43 public liaison officers in all government departments and offices of premiers. They have the responsibility of following up the public enquiries and complaints lodged and ensure that all are attended to efficiently.

Citizens can also fax their complaints to 086-681-0987.

In the first three hours of its operation, the "mpimpa hotline", as it has become known, was bombarded with more than 27000 calls, with 2500 received in the first hour.

Zuma answered the first call from a woman in Mount Frere, Eastern Cape, who complained about the ill-treatment she received from a local magistrate's court. Nesong-ozwi could not say if the complaint had been dealt with.

Housing issues included un-finished RDP houses, the slow pace of housing delivery and corruption at municipalities.

There were many queries relating to corrupt officials at at the Home Affairs and Land departments, unfair dismissals and general unemployment problems.

Zuma said the hotline was aimed at improving service delivery and was not a public relations exercise.

Calls from Gauteng made up 30 percent of all calls received, followed by Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. The Northern Cape and Mpumalanga had registered the lowest number of enquiries. - Sapa


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