Knysna Mayor asks residents to use correct communication channels

Knysna Executive Mayor Cllr Elrick van Aswegen asked residents to use the relevant communication channels created for enquiries, complaints and interaction with the Municipality.

“Over the last few months, we’ve had an increase in residents contacting municipal staff directly rather than using the dedicated communication channels. We have more than 1000 staff working in the organisation and deal with a wide variety of enquiries on diverse topics. Council approved a communication structure and all communication must be handled by this structure to ensure transparency and accountability.”

Van Aswegen said in addition to the public ignoring dedicated Municipal communication channels, he was also shocked by the way certain residents interact with Municipal staff.  “Staff is being victimised and bullied and understandably this has an influence on their working environment.  It is not in the interest of the community or officials to be personally attacked, threatened and treated with suspicion. We have lost excellent officials in the process and run the risk of highly qualified individuals not applying for vacant positions due to rumours, rarely based on fact, creating a bad reputation of the town and the Municipality. “

He said that all allegations of fraud and misconduct are investigated. “We do not turn a blind eye to corruption or fraudulent activities, but evidence must be provided to act – we cannot act on hearsay. We also have to follow procedures as set out in the relevant legislation and often these matters take time. I understand when the public gets impatient, but we cannot rush the process. We have to follow the correct procedures or a case can be thrown out. On the other hand, we as a Council have a duty to protect our staff and if allegations are found untrue and caused professional and/or personal damage to the individuals they could take the necessary forms of recourse.”

“These are difficult times for Knysna residents and businesses – the economy is under stress and will take time to recover. Now is the time to work together to find solutions to benefit the town. Bullying, bad mouthing and victimising Municipal staff are not helpful, in fact, it creates a stressful and non-motivational work environment and in the end service delivery is affected. Keep in mind Knysna Municipal employees are Knysna residents that also have Knysna’s wellbeing at heart. It is in the interest of all of us to have a well-run Municipality with dedicated and motivated staff.”

Contact details for easy reference:

  • sending an email to knysna@knysna.gov.za (the only official correspondence email address for the municipality)
  • writing to us at P O Box 21 Knysna 6570 (for traditional mail)
  • for service complaints send an email to customercare@knysna.gov.za
  • report fraud & corruption by downloading the Knysna Municipality mobile app for free from app stores for Apple or Android (non-smartphones are also supported) or http://knysna.comunity.me
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