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Source: South Africa News Agency

Citizens who want to engage with government will now have greater access to the administration thanks for the revamped presidential hotline.

Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Thembi Siweya, launched a modernised presidential hotline with a Khawuleza mobile app and USSD code on Tuesday.

Currently, the toll-free hotline can only be reached through telephone and email channels with a target turnaround time of seven days.

However, this new app and USSD code will enable citizens to lodge a service delivery complaint in all official languages through their cellphones and track their queries through a reference number.

Also, whistle-blowers will now able to report any poor service delivery and corruption anonymously.

“In this pilot phase of the app, the focus will be on service delivery in the Limpopo province. Based on experienced gathered and assessment of the state of readiness in other provinces, Khawuleza mobile app and USSD code will be rolled out in the remaining eight provinces, an effort which will then culminate in a national launch of a reengineered presidential hotline,” she added.

The Deputy Minister applauded officials in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for developing the app in-house and saving government’s scarce resources.

She also thanked the Limpopo provincial government for volunteering to collaborate with her department to test the efficiency of this new system.

“Our team tells us that when we were looking for a partner to test and pilot the initiate, you were willing to work with us and integrate with the Premier’s hotline,” said the Deputy Minister.

The Deputy Minister urged citizens to use the new platforms optimally as a way of encouraging accountability and improvement of service delivery.

“In so doing, it will also be pertinent to be responsible and desist from clogging the system with misinformation.”

The presidential hotline was established in 2009 to create an interactive, accessible and responsive government. 

The hotline is supported by a network of public liaison officers in national departments, provinces and municipalities. – SAnews.gov.za

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