Governance and Human Capital Committee Chairperson Councillor Nkosenhle Madlala addressed delegates at the annual Mayoral Customer Service Lecture. From left is Mandla KaNozulu Kheswa, Allison Schoeman, Sipho Shezi, and Dr Ntokozo Makoba. Insert: EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda with Sipho Shezi.
THE CITY remains committed to improving service delivery. This was reiterated during the annual Mayoral Customer Service Lecture. During the event, eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda outlined plans to consolidate all service delivery contact centres under the Sizakala Customer Service Unit by the end of the year.
This was in response to the prolonged waiting times experienced at customer care centres. “As leaders, we recognise the need to enhance customer care and provide the necessary tools for employees, especially frontline staff, to efficiently carry out their duties,” said Mayor Kaunda. He emphasised the importance of instilling a culture of courtesy and respect among City employees, aligning with the principles of Batho Pele. The event, which was hosted by the Sizakala Customer Service Unit, saw panelists emphasise the need for servant leadership and adopting an active approach to addressing challenges faced at customer care centres. Sipho Shezi highlighted the critical role culture, philosophy, dignity, and belief systems play in determining the success of any organisation.
He is the founder of the Civic Movement in South Africa and a renowned activist focusing on excellent customer service in the workplace. Shezi urged City officials to understand and address the needs of customers. He called for servant leaders to engage with the community directly rather than being bystanders. Echoing Shezi’s sentiments, other panelists stressed the need for public trust in the Municipality. Key recommendations included improving responsiveness, maintaining a clear vision, implementing real-time tracking of service requests, and providing ongoing training for staff in customer service excellence.