Public urged to be patient with busy hotline

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pretoria - The Presidency has urged members of the public who do not get through to the Presidential Hotline the first time, to be patient, as the glitches will be sorted out.

The service experienced high caller volumes on its first day in operation yesterday, which led to some people being unable to get through the first time.

"Yesterday we experienced high call volumes because it was the first day. However, our technical teams are spending the day sorting out various glitches," Director General in the Presidency Vusi Mona told BuaNews on Tuesday.

The 17737 toll free hotline, which has been set up so that disgruntled citizens can lodge a complaint about service delivery directly with President Jacob Zuma's office, received more than 7 000 calls in its first three hours of operation on Monday.

At least 40 call centre agents fielded about 2 420 calls per hour, or 40 calls a minute. They are supported by a network of 43 Public Liaison Officers. Each department and each province has assigned a Public Liaison Officer who will help deal with enquires that can not be solved by the Presidency alone.

Mr Mona said the high call volumes at the centre showed that South Africans were desperate to make their grievances heard and interact with government.

Glitches will be ironed out over the next few weeks to have a "fully functional service" by end October, said Mona.

"The next few weeks will be spent perfecting the service and ensuring that all technical and operating aspects work efficiently."-