First Presidential Hotline caller will be assisted, says Zuma

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cape Town - The very first person to get through to the Presidential Hotline when it was launched on Monday is to receive assistance, says President Jacob Zuma.

During the launch of the toll-free number which allows members of the public to lodge an enquiry or complaint directly in the President's office, Zuma himself took a call from a distressed citizen from Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape.

The caller's husband passed away in 2006 and she had been trying to access his pension but was experiencing problems.

"The King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality has acknowledged that there is an outstanding amount of money due to the caller and said they had been unable to locate her as she had moved from her place of residence.

"Staff will follow this matter until the money has been given to her," President Zuma said on Thursday.

Twenty one specially trained Public Liaison Officers took up their seats at the Union Buildings to handle calls and respond to general public inquiries and complaints over service delivery and questions about government.

They are supported by 50 agents at the State Information Technology Agency as well as 43 public liaison officers who do follow ups in government departments and offices of Premiers.

The President said he had been instructed staff to treat each case as if it was the only one and to follow cases through until resolution.

He added that despite the inevitable initial hiccups, government was pleased with progress made.

The Presidential Hotline number is 7737 or 1 PRES. If the lines are busy, the public can try fax on 086 681 0987 or 012 323 8246 or e-mail on president@po.gov.za.

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