Tag Archives: Jacob Zuma

Education Department looking for ways to get the basics right

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga stated that her department will continue concentrating on getting the “basics right” in an attempt to fix the education system.

Motshekga was responding to President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

She reiterated the fact that her department would like to see teachers in class on time and also that learners must have enough textbooks.

“All of us are attempting to get the system to function,” she stated.

 

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga

Motshekga, who referred to Zuma’s speech as “brilliant”, mentioned that it focused towards unleashing the country’s potential.

She explained that job creation in the country was crucial as it motivated learners to study hard.

She remarked that it was demoralizing for a lot of learners to find out that despite the fact that they find themselves passing exams, they were not able to find jobs.

At the same time, responding to Zuma’s speech, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Leader Prince Mongosuthu Buthelezi felt that the President really should have said far more on education.

He stated the fact that the education system was in a crisis and needed to be fixed.

Overall, he felt the speech spelled out impressive plans, but was hardly surprising.

Source: BuaNews

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Do you have a complaint about service delivery – then call the President

Do you have an issue or complaint about a state run institution, government department or service delivery; or simply would like to ask a question.  Why don’t you consider calling the President to air your views.

All  South Africans can dial 17737 (toll-free from a landline) to get through to a call centre at the President’s office with questions or gripes pertaining to government service delivery. Some callers may possibly end up talking to Jacob Zuma himself!

Callers have a choice of being assisted in a number of languages, and calls are recorded and logged for quality, tracking and monitoring purposes. The call log assists the Presidency to keep an eye on turnaround times and in addition collect information and facts – to inform them, for example, which government department draws the most complaints.

 

The service is operational between 7.30am and 10pm, and has 21 well-informed hotline agents, supported by 43 public liaison officers, specialized in resolving inquiries.

Each government department and every province has assigned a public liaison officer to assist in handling enquiries that cannot be resolved by the Presidency alone.

Speaking to Zuma

Numerous callers could possibly be fortunate enough to talk to the President himself. Zuma has a direct link to a web-based platform where by he is able to take calls directly, dependant upon his schedule and when he is in his office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Zuma revealed that he intended establishing a public liaison unit, which would incorporate a toll-free hotline to deal with public inquiries, as part of the initiatives to move towards a “more interactive government”.

Deputy director-general in the Presidency Vusi Mona pointed out the fact that Zuma had attached a great deal of value to dealing with each inquiry as if it was the only one, and following it through all channels until such time as it received the attention it deserved. “This project is extremely close to the heart of the President. It’s one of his pet projects,” he was quoted saying.

 

Mona stated the hotline would likely turn into a key service delivery improvement instrument and monitoring and evaluation tool, which was of importance to the administration.

“The President has established that this is simply not a public relations exercise, but forms part of the government’s efforts to modify the way it operates.”

Zuma’s word of advice

Zuma spent time at the centre on its first day of operation to provide some words of advice to the call centre agents.

“You may possibly receive calls from extremely angry people, who would have been provoked by your colleagues from other departments,” Zuma pointed out. “Remain calm, patient and most of all be gentle and human. You are going to take care of a considerable amount of problems if you remain human and steer clear of being technical.”

Zuma added the fact that portion of the call centre agent’s job was to enhance the government’s image. “We want individuals to have the capacity to tell us precisely what their issues are with service delivery, to ensure that we are able to assist directly.”

He urged the staff to function together to eradicate the stigma that makes people believe just about anything from the government is bad or is of inferior quality.

“You are the frontline of government communications and citizen care and support,” Zuma explained. “Smile when you take those calls, as people can feel your mood wherever they are.”

Source: BuaNews

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Zuma says education ‘at the centre of govt policy’

President Jacob Zuma has announced a number of new measures to help boost South Africa’s education system, saying education and skills development were at the centre of the government’s policies.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma said that as from this year all grade 3, 6 and 9 students would write literacy and numeracy tests that were independently moderated.

The government aimed to increase the pass rate for these tests from the current average of between 35% and 40% to at least 60% by 2014, he said.

“We want to improve the ability of our children to read, write and count in the foundation years,” Zuma said. “Unless we do this, we will not improve the quality of education [in the country].”

In addition, each school would be assessed by officials from the Department of Basic Education and would be given an auditable written report.

Measures were also in place to assist South Africa’s teachers, such as providing them with detailed daily lesson plans. Learners would also be provided with easy-to-use workbooks in all 11 languages.

“Our education targets are simple but critical,” Zuma said. “We want learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day.”

He urged parents to co-operate with the government in making this a success.

Among the performance areas that would be closely monitored were the number of matriculants qualifying for university entry as well as the maths and physical science pass rates in matric.

This followed a continuous decline in South Africa’s matric results, to a 60.6 percent pass rate in 2009.

Zuma said the government wanted to increase the number of matriculants qualifying to enter a Bachelor’s degree to 175 000 a year by 2014.

Source: BuaNews

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Presidential Hotline caller will be assisted

The very first person to get through to the Presidential Hotline when it was launched on Monday is to receive assistance, says President Jacob Zuma.

During the launch of the toll-free number which allows members of the public to lodge an enquiry or complaint directly in the President’s office, Zuma himself took a call from a distressed citizen from Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape. The caller’s husband passed away in 2006 and she had been trying to access his pension but was experiencing problems.

“The King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality has acknowledged that there is an outstanding amount of money due to the caller and said they had been unable to locate her as she had moved from her place of residence. “Staff will follow this matter until the money has been given to her,” President Zuma said on Thursday.

Jacob Zuma

Twenty one specially trained Public Liaison Officers took up their seats at the Union Buildings to handle calls and respond to general public inquiries and complaints over service delivery and questions about government. They are supported by 50 agents at the State Information Technology Agency as well as 43 public liaison officers who do follow ups in government departments and offices of Premiers.

The President said he had been instructed staff to treat each case as if it was the only one and to follow cases through until resolution. He added that despite the inevitable initial hiccups, government was pleased with progress made.  The Presidential Hotline number is 17737 or 1 PRES. If the lines are busy, the public can try fax on 086 681 0987 or 012 323 8246 or e-mail on president@po.gov.za.

Source: BuaNews, SABC

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Zuma Hotline Launched

The Presidential Hotline, which allows members of the public to lodge an enquiry or complaint directly in the President’s office, received about 7 261 calls in its first three hours. Vusi Mona, Deputy Director General in the Presidency told BuaNews about 2 420 calls were being handled per hour, or 40 calls a minute, since the hotline became operational at around 9am.

Calls to the toll free hotline number, 17737, take about 15 to 20 minutes to ensure all the information is captured. “The public response to the hotline is overwhelming,” said Mona, adding that this showed that the hotline was not a public relations exercise, but was meant to improve the way the government works and makes the government more accessible.

He said the only challenge thus far had been the large caller volumes, but he assured the public that a technical team was working around the clock to ensure operations ran smoothly. Twenty one specially trained Public Liaison Officers took up their seats at the Union Buildings to handle calls and respond to general public inquiries and complaints over service delivery and questions about government.

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. Mona said that the next two weeks will be used to identify and solve technical glitches so that when President Jacob Zuma officially launches the service, all the interim problems have been eliminated.

President Zuma visited the centre on its first day of operation to offer a word of advice to the call centre agents. “You may receive calls from very angry people, who would have been provoked by your colleagues from other departments. Remain calm, patient and be humane and human. You will solve a lot of problems if you remain human and avoid being technical.

“They will say there is no water, there is no electricity; and be ready to deal with all of that efficiently and professionally. It is a service delivery hotline so expect all those types of questions,” said the President. He said that once the system was working efficiently, the volume of calls was expected to go down “as government should by then be more responsive, departments will have learnt the importance of responding quickly”.

Part of the call centre agent’s job is to improve the government’s image. “We want people to be able to tell us what their problems are with service delivery, so that we can assist directly.” He urged the staff to work together to eradicate the stigma that makes people think anything from government is bad or is of inferior quality. “Let me reiterate that you are the frontline of government communications and citizen care and support. Smile when you take those calls as people can feel your mood wherever they are.

“Your attitude will speak volumes. Remember we are doing this to improve government service delivery, and you are in the forefront of that campaign.”  Zuma was able to answer a few calls as the hotline opened. He took a call from a distressed citizen from Mouny Frere in the Eastern Cape who complained about receiving ill treatment at her local magistrates’ court.

The caller’s husband passed away in 2006 and she had been trying to access his pension but was experiencing problems, said the Presidency. “President Zuma also took a call from a gentleman from Ekurhuleni North, Benoni, who highlighted his disappointment that his area has been experiencing sewerage leakages for months on end without the municipality resolving the matter,” said the President. Zuma recorded the details before handing them over to the call centre agents.

Source: BuaNews

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