Labour slates poor service delivery at Alberton centre

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Department of Employment and Labour has condoned reports of poor service delivery at the labour centre in Alberton, in Gauteng.

“Under no circumstances should clients be sent back without being assisted/helped by the staff at any one of our offices at any point in time,” the department said on Monday.

This was in the wake of reports of the public being turned away and not serviced during working hours.

“The incidents of poor service delivery experienced by clients at the Alberton Labour Centre is the antithesis of expected behaviour by officials of the government in general and the Department of Employment and Labour in particular.

“What is reported to have transpired at this particular labour centre should not have happened,” reads the statement.

The department said it was not the policy of the department to cut queues between 7:30am to 4pm during week days.

Gauteng chief provincial operations director, Tshepo Mokomatsidi, said: “We view this allegation in a serious light and will institute an enquiry to establish the facts and where necessary, will take appropriate action against any staff member found to have been involved in this unfortunate incident”.

Despite this, the department reiterated that the closure of its Germiston Labour Centre in 2018 had led to a client influx to the Alberton Labour Centre.

“Since 2020 all our offices in the province (Gauteng) had to operate with half of normal capacity of staff at all times. Because of the job losses that have been exacerbated by the onset of the pandemic, we find that we have high demand for our services and this has put a strain on our operations,” he said.

In order to overcome the influx of clients at the labour centres, the department came with different directives on how best it can assist the clients under COVID-19 restrictions. It introduced the appointment system where clients are given dates in which they can come to receive services at the labour centre.

This appointment system was augmented by a system called, “One Day Service Delivery”, which aimed to ensure that on the date of the appointment the client is able to leave our Labour Centres with the full knowledge of whether the application have been approved or not. This was done to minimise client traffic which could have exposed them and our officials to COVID-19.

Furthermore, the department also came up with a directive which introduced the use of ‘Pay Sheets’ to effect payment benefits without the need for clients to come to their offices to submit payment continuation forms. It is unfortunate that some clients prefer to come in person which has an impact on queues.

The department said it was committed to providing quality services to all its clients within the scope and of also adhering to the health and safety protocols to protect both clients and staff members from COVID-19 and in future would work hard to ensure that such unfortunate events do not happen again. –

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