A Chinese delegation of the Shanghai municipal complaints office recently paid a visit to the City of Johannesburg’s ombudsman office to compare notes and build relations.
Acting ombudsman Advocate Ernest Chipu welcomed the delegation on 23 July along with Speaker of Council Vasco Da Gama. Leading the delegation was director Wang Jianhua.
Delegates of the two offices spoke on best practices and discussed how each of their systems worked. It was highlighted that their offices should help grow the relationship and dialogue between municipality and citizen. It became clear during the discussions that Shanghai’s efficiency was impressive. Jianhua said there were measures in place to deal with employees who did not perform. Performance, in this case, is a 60-day maximum turnaround time for a city of more than 24 million, compared to Joburg’s five million.
The City of Joburg’s maximum turnaround time is set at 90 days but there are cases that have been on their desk for more than a year.
Although the Shanghai office has been in existence for about 60 years compared to Joburg’s three years, Da Gama said it was essential that the City understood the processes to maintain their turnaround times. He requested the Chinese delegation to send the City a document around their structures and processes.
Chipu added that he hoped the benchmarking exercise would benefit both offices by ensuring effective, economic and efficient service delivery.