Mayor shocked at the state of Roodepoort call centre
“I AM ashamed.”
These were the words of City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba following an impromptu visit to the Roodepoort call centre this week.
The state of the building in which 240 employees work was shocking, he said.
Mashaba said the call centre in Roodepoort left him ashamed after he saw employees sitting on broken chairs and not being equipped with headsets.
The ablution facilities were also in a terrible state.
“I am disappointed at the state of this call centre. I am ashamed, as an employer, to put our employees in such working conditions. The building looks dilapidated. That can’t be a building of a government which calls itself a world-class African city.”
Mashaba said “no real maintenance” had been done at the Roodepoort centre. For example, the elevators had not been working for the past year.
“Worse off was walking into the building and having to walk to the fifth floor because the lifts are broken. The director says he has been reporting this for over a year and nothing has been done,” Mashaba said.
The mayor also visited the Harrison Street technical call centre on the same day.
The working conditions there were much better.
“Staff were properly equipped and most facilities were working. The staff at this call centre are in a world-class environment compared to what we found in Roodepoort. Issues around the working capacity, which impacts work flow for call agents, (exist) but will be addressed in due time.”
His decision to visit these centres was part of his service delivery plans, and he needed to see if all call centres were geared up for what the new administration wanted to achieve.
“They need to be the face of the city for our residents. They are the ones who interact with our residents on a daily basis. As a city we have a lot more to do.”
Mashaba said the problem sat with leadership and positive change needed to be implemented.
“The starting point is to ensure that we have a motivated workforce that can deliver. This is why it is important for the city to carry on with the skills audit. The problem does not lie with the 33 000 people (employed by the city). The problem is with the leadership. Leadership is sitting in nice offices earning millions. They are the people who are failing our residents,” added Mashaba.
In order to deal with service delivery issues, the city would need to go back to basics and deal with the root of the problem, he said.
“With the new administration in place, more will be done to ensure the city is fully functional for all citizens. I am taking matters quite seriously. I expect there to be serious consequences when departments do not do what they are expected to do,” concluded Mashaba.
AIMING FOR WORLD-CLASS: Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba arrived unannounced at the city’s technical call centre in Harrison Street, central Joburg. Showing him around is technical director Shaheed Mather.