Mkhwebane wants provinces and municipalities to establish own ombuds

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will this week engage with provincial and local government‚ and other stakeholders‚ in Limpopo on the importance of establishing internal complaints resolution units.

Mkhwebane’s visit on Thursday and Friday is part of the her office’s national roadshow on the importance of addressing service and conduct failure complaints at municipal or departmental level before the grievances could landed with her.

Her first such roadshow was in Mpumalanga last month‚ where she met representatives of the provincial government‚ municipalities‚ traditional authorities and civil society organisations.

In a statement announcing the visit‚ the public protector said that while her mandate was broad‚ not every needed to be brought to the institution.

“This is precisely why it is critical for organs of state to establish effective complaints resolution units‚ customer service units or sector-specific ombudsman institutions in the mould of the health‚ tax and military ombudsman‚” Mkhwebane said.

She said that‚ in that way‚ individual cases that would ordinarily clog her office’s system would be handled by such institutions‚ allowing her team of investigators to focus on systemic and own-initiative matters.