Mkhwebane happy with system she inherited but decries low staff morale


Mkhwebane happy with system she inherited but decries low staff morale

Sipho Mabena | 2017-02-02 14:36:32.0

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane the new Public Protector. File photo


Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says she has inherited a strong institution‚ with sound systems‚ dedicated‚ experienced and hard-working team from her predecessor‚ Thuli Madonsela.

“With this combination‚ I have no doubt in my mind that we will do our best to realise my vision of taking this institution to the grassroots‚ where many of our people are yet to taste the fruits of democracy‚” she said.

Mkhwebane said that she had a good reception by the staff at the Public Protector’s office, though she is considering legal action over the spying allegations.

The Public Protector‚ however‚ also said she has had to tackle the issue of low staff morale in her office‚ which she said was as a result of the institution’s inability to implement the Occupation Specific Dispensation for legally qualified senior managers.

“There has been continuous engagement with labour unions to address other issues that have contributed to low staff morale such as performance management and related policies as well as job evaluations‚” she said.

Mkhwebane said between November last year and January this year‚ they have advertised 45 vacancies that must be filled urgently to help her office deliver on its mandate.

The Public Protector said she will criss-cross the country from mid-February in stakeholder engagement road shows.

She will engage premiers‚ members of the executive councils as well as members of provincial legislatures‚ general public and political parties represented in parliament.

Mkhwebane said with the engagements‚ themed “Broadening Access”‚ she sought to achieve‚ amongst other things‚ to introduce herself to stakeholders‚ communicate her vision and solicit views.

In addition‚ she hoped to increase awareness about her office and mandate‚ as well as increase access to her office.

“I will spend at least two days in each province‚ engaging with government leaders on the one day and affording them an opportunity to engage with us. Our first two engagements will take place in Gauteng‚” she said.

Mkhwebane said she may oppose President Jacob Zuma’s application to take the State of Capture report on review – depending on the legal advice she gets from senior counsel.

“I expect a comprehensive legal opinion from senior counsel in the second week of this month.”

The Public Protector said people have been very outspoken about the office‚ with some voicing frustrations while others were being supportive. She hoped the outreach programme would afford the public a chance to interact with her directly.

TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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