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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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LETTER: Why are government departments so inefficient and ‘offline’ so often?

Published Mar 1, 2022


On Thursday I went to the UIF office in Roodepoort to register for unemployment. I knew there were always long queues for this benefit so I arrived there at 06.45am.

We stood in two lines in the passage leading up to the offices (of course, no Covid-19 protocols were followed, but for those inside, the appropriate spacing rules applied). But, I digress. We queued in this passage from 7.30am after the first batch were allowed into the offices. By 9.45am the queue still hadn’t moved. I went to check what the problem was and was informed that the system was “offline”. They did not know when it would be back online.

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What happens to the patient people who queue endlessly for the likelihood that the systems may come back online that day? If they do, maybe within 10 minutes they go offline again.

Recently when I took someone to Home Affairs - next door to the UIF offices -their computers were also offline.

For pity’s sake, these are important government institutions. People’s lives and livelihoods depend on them. Why are theses systems so unstable?

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I was able to leave to try another day. But, what about the poor people who are desperate to be registered and cannot afford the time, bus and taxi fares to keep coming back?

Can this government not get anything to operate efficiently?

Gladys Bell Gauteng

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