Today, on 24 April 2024, the Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake, led an information-sharing imbizo in the informal settlement of Zandspruit in the City of Johannesburg, Gauteng province.

The information-sharing initiative was part of the ongoing Ministerial Outreach. It fulfilled the cabinet resolution that Ministers and Deputy Ministers reach out to communities to explore ways of unblocking service delivery challenges and bottlenecks.

Also situated not far from the sprawling Diepsloot township, the community of Zandspruit similarly faces a plethora of development challenges, even with numerous service delivery interventions over the decades.

Several shacks were burnt to the ground in the informal section of Zandspruit most recently due to suspected illegal electrical connections or open fires. What Internal roads exist expose their underbelly of water and sewer pipes as they compete with shacks, the crudely built informal spaza shops, cars and human traffic.

Flanked by the City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Development Planning, Ms Eunice Mgcina, the Ward 116 Councillor, Mr David Mangena, senior management from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and the Department of Home Affairs, Deputy Minister Dr Pilane-Majake explained that the purpose of the imbizo was “not to promise the moon and the sun”.

“Part of what we do as the DPSA is promoting innovation by applying our minds to find the best possible solutions to the challenges that communities face,” she said.

Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake further noted that the general underdevelopment of the Zandspruit community, worsened by poverty and unemployment, means that most of the challenges encountered by the community are social in nature.

In this regard, the format of the Imbizo took a multi-departmental and agency approach, with representatives from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Home Affair either sharing information or offering limited services throughout the duration of the event.

In the morning, the Deputy Minister had handed over relief food parcels to 85 destitute households, including those affected by the recent shack fires in the area.

“The task of the DPSA is to pull all the efforts of government together and examine how services are provided even in the most vulnerable communities,” said Deputy Minister Dr Pilane-Majake.