MAVC: MONITORING SERVICE DELIVERY IN MPUMALANGA
Letter from the field from Thulane Ndhlovu
"The training of citizen monitors in Mpumalanga and our monitoring process are hindered by protests from civil servants in Kwa-Mhlanga (include Sassa officials). They are protesting against the Municipality for not providing them with water in this Government Complex, citing that
they can't use bathrooms, let alone water to drink, so they only open from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, then close offices to protest outside the Government Complex in the main entrance.
We've got permission to monitor, and the senior officials have no problem, but the situation here is worse than what I have imagined, so we came early, interviewing beneficiaries while they are busy, then when they close we continue for a while. It's not convincing enough that they say they are still going to continue this week, but I'm sure we will meet the deadline.
Even though the situation is bad here, but I managed to build a good relationship between us and the officials. They even asked us to help them with illegal deduction (from social grants) as they have no idea about what's going on.
I'm still convinced that I will reach the set target in time. Regarding our safety, I think it's safe inside as long we listen when they warn us to leave the premises."
The fact that officials themselves warned our monitors when to get out and when it was safe to proceed with monitoring shows that their grievance was against the Municipality, and not beneficiaries or our monitors.
KZN REGIONAL OFFICE ENGAGES AT 4 MAVC MONITORING SITES
The KZN Regional Office staff were privileged to visit our partners Folweni Community Resource Centre, Network Action Group (NAG), Philakithi Community Services, and Suid-Afrikaanse Vroue Federasie (SAVF) - clockwise in collage - from 6 - 8 October at their respective MAVC monitoring sites. These sites were Folweni Clinic, Umzinto SASSA Local Office, Q Clinic in Umlazi, and the Utrecht SASSA Local Office.
Driving over 1 200kms to visit the various sites in KZN, while exhausting, proved very rewarding as we visited the individual sites, met the relevant office Managers, watched the Monitors as they captured the necessary data and engaged with service users and officials to get a sense of what their perceptions about our Community-Based Monitoring project were.
The officials were very engaging and helpful and respected the work of the Monitors. Some service users were a bit sceptical but when the Project was explained to them and what the outcomes would be they were very willing to participate and have a share in improving service delivery at the respective sites.
The Community Based Partners have excelled in their commitment and passion to Make Human Rights Real, and are eager to see the outcome of their monitoring in the Reports which will be generated at the end of October 2014, and which will be shared with all partners, all sites and the service users of those sites.
MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT -WITH FOLWENI
Making all Voices Count: Black Sash works with our community monitoring partners to prepare for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners and community stakeholders & government facilities.
In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Folweni Community Resource Centre to review the results of the citizen monitoring process conducted in 2014, validate reports drawn from these monitoring processes, identify key successes and challenges, and then finally planning for a way forward (how would issues be solved, by whom, and by when).
Mama Magubane, the Deputy chair of the clinic committee attended and promised to take forward questions and concerns during the clinic committee meeting.
MAKING ALL VOICES COUNT -WITH PHILAKITHI
In our Making all Voices Count Project, Black Sash continues to prepare with our community monitoring partners for the upcoming Dialogues between our partners, community stakeholders and government facilities.
In KZN, our Black Sash staff joined with our partner Philakithi to review the results of the monitoring process conducted in 2014, in order to prioritise problems that came up, and to work out how these problems will be tackled. Part of this process was to validate reports drawn from the monitoring process, identify key successes and challenges, while planning for a way to move forward (how these issues would be solved, by whom, and by when).
QEDUSIZI HBC IN MPUMALANGA MAKES ALL VOICES COUNT
A facility Dialogue was held at KwaFene community hall in Mpumalanga in March. SASSA Manager and two staff members, COGTA representatives, ward committee members, Black Sash and Qedusizi HBC members were present. A Dialogue with the community also took place held at B1 Tweefontein community in Mpumalanga. Many members of the community attended and actively participated in the discussions. A SASSA representative helped to unpack some of the questions and issues people had with undefinedthem.undefined
KZN Regional Office MAVC Partners commenced Cycle Two community-based monitoring at service sites across Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga during the first week of July. We hope to fulfil our target of 300 questionnaires for beneficiaries, and 20 for frontline staff by 31 July.
MAVC Cycle TWO allows partners, beneficiaries, facility staff and other stakeholders to measure progress since the completion of Cycle One in March of this year and monitor whether issues agreed to with the development of a Joint Improvement Plan have been finalised or not.
This will also allow us to confirm whether or not issues picked up in Cycle One have been attended to and improved by the various sites.