Iivula-Ithana Makes History On NBC

The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni IIvula-Ithana, became the first minister to be interviewed by the DamaraNama radio service of NBC since independence.

The interview a week ago with producer Jackey !Gaoseb on the popular programme “Around the Table,” was the first by a senior minister since 1990.

“The interview lasted for 15 minutes it was the first time to have a senior minister on our radio,” said !Gaoseb who was so excited he organized a Nama cultural group to perform for Iivula-Ithana.

“Around the Table,” is a two-hour programme that runs from 13h00 to 15h00 from Monday to Friday and concerns public announcements, death announcements and kids’ programmes and news.

She spoke about home affairs’ turn-around strategy, the challenges and successes of the ministry.

She said her ministry was fast moving away from the past image, where public perceptions about the ministry were bad and the ministry was perceived as a slow and under-performing ministry and this is possible because of the turn-around strategy.

She said the turn-around strategy has worked well to remedy the ministry’s shortcomings.

She noted that the first phase of the strategy, which focuses on three key areas – front offices, passports and ID production – have been successful.

Iivula-Ithana said office space has been redesigned in order to improve customer flow and control the queuing process, while the introduction of information officers also means that clients are helped as soon as they get to the offices and sent to the relevant desks.

“The public that have visited our offices can attest to it that going to Home Affairs now, you will not queue up to Independence Avenue as you used to in the past,” she said confidently.

The backlog in the ministry which included ID and passport applications has also been successfully cleared.

Reminding the listeners of the past, she said nowadays you don’t need to wake up at 4 in the morning to go to Home Affairs and people far from Windhoek who have applied for any documents need not travel long distances to come and check for their documents but rather simply send an SMS and they will be informed of their documents.

“Those are some of the systems we have put in place to help us serve the customers efficiently, faster and smarter,” she emphasised.

The minister took time to urge people responsible for finance to give her ministry more funds, as this will help in delivering quality service to the Namibian people.

The turn-around strategy will run for 18 months at a cost of about N$126 million.

Source : New Era