Some cases received were sent back, either to the institutions they had emanated from or given to oversight bodies who could deal with them, in what Madonsela on Monday said was the rationalisation of services among institutions.
“I am not responsible for everything that comes through, and that we sometimes take cases that are beyond our jurisdiction is a lie,” she said.
Madonsela is the subject of a parliamentary investigation following allegations of misconduct.
Her deputy, Mamiki Shai, claimed that Madonsela had changed findings on a report into the DA-led Midvaal municipality and deliberately withheld the report’s release until after municipal elections had been held.
At the weekend, Madonsela reacted with shock to the allegations, calling them dishonest, false, misleading and dangerous – but she welcomed the probe.
She was also accused of biting off more than she could chew, and on Monday she said: “That we take on more than we can handle is a lie.”
Madonsela was speaking to the media during the launch of Good Governance Week at the University of SA. The campaign is Madonsela’s initiative and is in its third year. It has been escalated to a national event to include other oversight bodies and organs of state, and it will see a gathering of delegates meeting for a two-day conference.
Monday saw keynote speakers like Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Richard Baloyi and Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel address the opening of the conference, themed “Responsive service delivery through ethical governance”.
It was organised with the support of the German Technical Support Agency GTZ, and on Tuesday German ambassador Horst Freitag said reliable and sustainable service was essential for any society.
“Governments exist to serve people’s interests,” he said.
Baloyi told the gathering that the conference wanted to discuss responsive service. He said dialogue, in all situations, had proved to be one of SA’s strengths.
“As we listen to people and see them take to the streets to protest, when we see violence we realise that there is a demand that is not met. We need institutions to deal with these issues,” said Baloyi.
The government’s mandate to deliver good governance was outlined in the constitution. “We have to develop delivery-oriented public administration… and encourage the public to participate,” he added.
This week’s activities include a public lecture at Unisa and workshops at institutions of higher learning; unannounced visits at identified public service delivery points; visits to schools; interactions with rural communities; and outreach visits to shopping centres.
Madonsela said most of the ideals set out last year were not met, but a charter, which was meant to have been adopted by this week, was in the making.