South Africa's complaint hotline scores 40 calls a minute



JOHANNESBURG - South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday launched a toll-free complaints hotline for disgruntled citizens which lodged more than 7,000 calls in just three hours.
"This equates to about 2,420 an hour or 40 calls a minute," said presidential spokesman Vusi Mona.
The initiative, which fields callers in South Africa's 11 official languages, follows a recent wave of violent protests amid growing anger among the country's poor over government service delivery failures.



South Africa's complaint hotline scores 40 calls a minute
Zuma took two calls after lines opened and urged call center staff to "remain calm, patient and be humane".
"You may receive calls from very angry people," he said.
"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."
"We want people to be able to tell us what their problems are with service delivery, so that we can assist directly."
After the lines opened, Zuma took calls from a distressed woman over problems in accessing her late husband's pension, and from a man who complained of unfixed sewerage leaks.
Staff log details, averaging 15 to 20 minutes, are then passed on to public liaison offices in various government agencies.
Glitches will be ironed out over the next few weeks to have a "fully functional service" by end October, said Mona in a statement.
The hotline was announced by Zuma in June shortly after he took office with promises to beef up service delivery and improve the lives of the country's poor.
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Tuesday, September 15th 2009
AFP
           


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