Cape Town – New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has given her maiden speech in Parliament outlining her vision and reiterating previous calls by her predecessor Thuli Madonsela for more money for the institution.
The Public Protector and her team are in Parliament to present the institution’s annual report at a meeting with the justice committee.
Mkhwebane was welcomed by committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga who praised the process that led to her appointment.
On her third day at the office Mkhwebane told the committee that her vision was to have empowered people at grass-roots level who would be able to hold leaders to account.
“Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean I am going to give high-profile matters less attention. I intend instilling a culture of resolving disputes and people’s concerns through negotiations – and speedily,” she said.
She intended to make sure the office is responsive to the needs of the country.
“I envision a South Africa where duties are performed with integrity, free from maladministration and abuse of power,” she said.
Her key focus, she continued, was to increase access to the office’s services to ensure that people at grass-roots level enjoyed the country’s constitutional democracy.
Mkhwebane said her office intended to negotiate with the public broadcaster and other media houses to act as ambassadors for public awareness around the work of the office of the Public Protector.
The office would also engage traditional leaders, schools and tertiary institutions.
The backlog in the Public Protector’s office would be dealt with, she told MPs.
She took the committee through her plans to deal with low staff morale at the office.
She reiterated the calls for a bigger budget for the office and the need for more office space.
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