Parliamentary Question: Poor customer service



DATE OF PUBLICATION: Friday, 26 February 2010


Ms H N Makhuba (IFP) to ask the Minister of Home Affairs:

(1) Whether she has been informed of officials at offices of her Department that are allegedly negative and uncaring towards applicants for identity documents, resulting in applicants being uncertain of what documents to bring to the offices when applying for and finalising applications for ID documents; if not, why not; if so,
(2) whether she intends taking any steps in this regard; if not, why not; if so, what steps;
whether she intends introducing a system whereby applicants for ID documents are assisted properly, especially in the rural areas; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?



Yes. Clients have reported uncaring behaviour from officials. Feedback from clients is, mostly, received through correspondence, as well as, via my Complaints and Compliments Unit. During my office visits, and my interaction with members of the public, concerns with regard to poor service delivery by our officials, are also, brought to my attention.

Steps already taken include, the compulsory wearing of name tags for easy identification of officials to ensure that members of the public can identify the official(s) that served them poorly. Disciplinary action is undertaken against the officials who do not comply with service delivery standards. Before the introduction of the compulsory wearing of name tags it was difficult to take action against officials for poor service delivery. I also conduct unannounced office visits to identify offices which have service delivery challenges.

Some of the initiatives already implemented by the Department are:

Pamphlets and posters on photograph requirements for identity documents, and passports were distributed to front offices for the public’s attention.

We have deployed floor walkers at our offices to assist clients with the completion of forms, and to inform clients of the requirements for the respective applications.

Offices have been instructed to establish information desks, where clients are informed on the requirements for all applications.
63 offices have been refurbished, and have clear and proper visible signage.

One hundred and seventeen (117) fully computerised mobile units, as well as twenty five (25) 4X4 vehicles, are deployed, especially in rural areas.

A National Campaign was started last year, and launched on 23 March 2010, and this campaign focuses, among other things, on the collection of ID applications in rural areas, as well as the registration of births of unregistered children.