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BOUQUETS and brickbats, along with service delivery queries and concerns, can be logged directly with the premier on the new hotline, 0860 428 8364.
PEOPLE will get a voice in the government through the Gauteng premier’s hotline; the number – 0860 428 8364 – was released yesterday.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane Premier Nomvula Mokonyane: Hotline long overdue It is the number to dial to file complaints about and submissions on a range of public services, including billing, roads, health care, policing and other services.Premier Nomvula Mokonyane declared the line up and running on Thursday, 2 February in the midst of dozens of resident who had gathered at the Grace Bible Church in Pimville Zone 1, Soweto.

The hotline will attend to complaints about and recommendations for delivery of public services from the provinces’ departments, municipalities and agencies. It has 70 trained call centre agents who are on duty from 7am until 10pm.

On the day, Mokonyane, flanked by the Speaker of the City of Joburg, Connie Bapela, and the mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mondli Gungubele, announced that the hotline was a confirmation of the government’s quest to better the lives of residents.

Representatives from municipalities and government departments in the province were present; they included MECs, Speakers and mayors. They were witnesses to a memorandum of understanding signed by all departments, municipalities and agencies in committing to service excellence. Mokonyane also attached her signature to the document.

“The government’s commitment to people-centred and people-driven service delivery remains intact and strong. What drives us is our sense of responsibility in changing and improving the conditions under which people live,” she said. “In carrying out this responsibility we always seek in consultation with the residents of Gauteng innovative ways that will ensure constant contact and communication between ourselves and the masses we serve.”

She said the hotline was long overdue, following the launch of the presidential hotline in 2011. “Statistics received from the national presidential hotline show that the majority of the calls logged emanate from Gauteng … This means that Gauteng residents are in dire need of direct contact with their government at provincial level. This platform, therefore, will enable residents to escalate matters quite easily.”

Mobile call centresMobile call centres will be on hand to handle callsTestimony to Mokonyane’s sentiments, in March 2011 during the soft launch, done to test the hotline’s effectiveness and mechanisms, 95 000 queries were tackled through the line. The findings were that the service was able to provide timeous and reliable information that helped the government to send out task teams to deal with the concerns raised.

A total of 70 percent of concerns logged during the testing stage was resolved and 30 percent was at departmental and municipal level. These concerns included electricity outages, housing, fraud and corruption, customer service, long queues at the frontline desk, requests for tar roads and maintenance.

Fuelling Mokonyane’s sentiments, Bapela vowed that Johannesburg would be at the forefront to ensure that people’s voices were heard.

“The premier's hotline will ensure that services are delivered to the people and as the City of Johannesburg we have always believed in interacting with communities. We are not going to wait for the complaints before we start delivering.”

Bapela said also called upon other municipalities to play along.

Gungubele also encouraged municipality to work extra hard. “Let us not wait for complaints to be filed first, delivering services is our mandate. Let us work together to ensure that local government works for our people.” He stressed the importance of communication and regular interaction among ward committees, councillors, community and community development workers.

Complaints, recommendations and submissions can also be forwarded via the fax on 011429 3222 or posted to Gauteng Premier's Hotline, Private Bag X115, Marshalltown, Johannesburg, 2107.

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