The Thusong Mobile Centres Project is an integrated service delivery vehicle initiated by the Western Cape Department of Local Government to bring government information and services closer to where people live. A Thusong Mobile Centre is a place where various government departments visit in an area that does not have government offices and where people would otherwise have to travel long distances to access service.
The Thusong Mobile Centres are effective because all provincial government departments and agencies work together to make them fully operational. This is an ongoing initiative that focuses on the rural areas and under-serviced areas with the following key objectives:
- To bring government information and services closer to the people.
- To promote access to opportunities as a basis for improved livelihoods.
- To create a platform for greater dialogue between citizens and government.
- To promote cost-effective, integrated, efficient and sustainable service provision to better serve the needs of citizens.
Some specific benefits to communities include the following:
Department of Agriculture:
Provides information on training in agricultural skills and soft skills, support services to farmers and farm workers and food security projects.
Department of Human Settlements:
Verifies subsidy amounts and criteria to clients, gives advice on landlord/tenant issues or disputes, confirms the status of subsidy applications, gives advice and updates on projects, eg PHP, the transfer process and title deeds, provides information on affordable rental housing and handles general enquiries.
Department of Transport and Public Works:
Provides information on the EPWP construction industry, Innovation and Empowerment Programme and Masakh'Isizwe Bursary Programme.
Department of Health:
Renders services such as TB testing, HCT testing, blood pressure and glucose tests, PAP smears and breast examinations and family planning.
Department of Home Affairs:
- Takes applications for birth registration from children 0-14: requires clinic card, maternity certificate, school extract, parents' ID photos.
- Late birth registrations for those older than 15.
- First issue of IDs: requires birth certificate, copy of mother's ID and two photos.
- Temporary identity documents : 2 photos and R70, valid for 2 months.
- Re-issuing of identity documents: ID number, two photos and R140; also applicable when going on the married surname of spouse.
- Re-issuing of birth, marriage and death certificates: different requirements, costs R20.
- Passports: bring ID, old passport, two photos, costs R400.
Department of Labour:
Provides advice and information on learnerships, resolving disputes, compensation for occupational injuries, unemployment insurance fund and claiming unemployment benefits.
South African Social Security Agency:
Renders services regarding grants for older persons, disability, care dependency, foster children, child support grants-in-aid and social relief of distress.
SA Police Service:
Provides information about safety and security, conducts the drafting of affidavits and certifies documents.
Thus far, the Department of Local Government has implemented ten Thusong Mobiles across the province.