Mayor shocked at the state of Rood­e­poort call cen­tre

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - HEIDI GIOKOS heidi.giokos@inl.co.za

“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.

PIC­TURE: NH­LANHLA PHILLIPS

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.

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