Thusong Service Centres have come a long way into being the current premier service delivery points since their establishment in 1999.
Their reputation as reliable community service access points was highlighted when Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Minister for Public Service, Mr Jean–Claude Kibala visited the Bontheuwel Thusong Service Centre in Cape Town yesterday (Thur).
Bontheuwel is one of the Cape Flats' poverty-stricken areas, and the facility's presence there has been a source of assistance to the community and those from the surrounding areas.
Among the crucial services provided are community policing, skills training and employment recruitment, social welfare and drug rehabilitation.
Accompanied by Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, the visiting Minister toured the entire centre, inspecting the varying services on offer and asking questions on how they operate.
Interviewed on his impressions of the centre, Mr Kibaka said he had no doubt that his country would use the Thusong Service Centres model as part of his government's service delivery programme.
"The SA Government's policy of collaborating with communities, NGOs and business is a good example to be followed," he said.
Mr Kibaki is scheduled to visit the Maponya Mall Thusong Service Centre in Soweto, Gauteng on Saturday before folding his week-long visit of the country in which he formed part of a delegation from different countries of the Continent.
According to the Bontheuwel Thusong Centre's manager, Ms Rushine February, the facility has seen millions of people through its doors since it first operated in 2000.
The centre has also hosted Ministers from China, Togo, Nigeria and Japan, while its SAPS section was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma while he was still the Deputy President in 2005.
Commending the centre for the services it provides, Deputy Minister Dlodlo said the facility was in need of more assistance to enhance its good service, and promised follow-up visits by DPSA officials to assess how the department could help.
I am very impressed that out of virtually nothing financially, you still manage to render a good service like you are doing," she said.
While the building is owned by municipality, the centre depends on rentals by service providers to pay salaries to its staff.