Respond to protests within two days - Madonsela

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By: 
Eric Mashaba

Nelspruit - Violent service delivery protests that have rocked Mpumalanga are an indication that government is often not as responsive as it ought to be, says Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela was addressing a Stakeholders Forum attended by provincial government officials, political parties, non-governmental organisations and traditional leaders in Nelspruit on Tuesday as part of a two-day visit to the province.

"It helps to respond within two days when a community has a complaint. It's better to tell them where the problem is, and what you are doing to resolve it because if we make promises we can't keep, we lose integrity," she said.

Following the service delivery protests in Siyathemba township in Balfour early last month, Madonsela and Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, visited residents and heard that they had previously complained to the Dipaleseng local municipality about the irregular use of state funds.

Investigations into the allegations are currently underway, she said.

Since March last year, violent protests have rocked nine municipalities of the province, including Dipaleseng.

"There is also a Ministerial Committee which meets regularly to try and address the bottlenecks that hinder the effective and efficient delivery of services in a specific area," she said.

Mpumalanga MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Clifford Mkasi said the Public Protector must assist in restoring confidence in government.

"We hope this will contribute towards enriching the functions of the office in investigating queries and conducts of government officials, parastatals and public office bearers to eradicate corruption and run a clean government, without fear, favour or prejudice," he said.

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