Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

23 June, 2011

Minister Grant takes calls from the public at the WCED call centre

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

One of the main objectives of the WCED's strategic plan is to improve the responsiveness and efficiency of the WCED. An important element of this is to be more responsive to the needs of the public and our clients.

Over the last year an enormous amount of effort has been put into making the WCED a more caring and responsive organization.

Our Head Office and District offices of the WCED have been re-structured and equipped to provide rapid response service and support to schools, educators, parents and the public. Our various contact centres play an important role in helping us to meet this objective.

Today, Western Cape Education Minister, Donald Grant, marking Africa Public Service Day (Thursday, 23 June 2011) visited the WCED call and walk-in centres to take calls from the public and to gain first-hand experience of interaction between the department and its clients.

Sitting at one of the call centre desks, the Minister took down details of callers phoning in. One caller phoned in on behalf of his son, requesting a copy of his son's matric certificate. Another caller, an educator, asked for information on an application she sent in regarding a teaching post.

The Minister then went to the walk-in centre and spoke to some of the clients there, which included a young educator applying for a post.

The Call Centre forms part of the WCED's Client Services division, which includes call and walk-in centres at the department's head office in Cape Town.

The Call Centre facility also houses the WCED's Safe Schools Call Centre.

The facility has 16 seats, with nine allocated to general inquiries and five to the Safe Schools Call Centre.

Most callers to the Client Services Call Centre are teachers and officials who inquire about employment and salary issues. The WCED employs about 32 000 teachers and 9 000 officials. The Client Services Call Centre received more than 140 000 calls during the 2010/11 financial year, an average of about 11 700 calls a month or 500/600 calls a day.

The Safe Schools Call Centre provides a point of contact for learners needing counseling on various issues and for schools to report emergencies or incidents of vandalism and crime. In the last financial year, the Safe Schools Call Centre received 12 586 calls, averaging around 40 calls per day.

A new Visitor's Centre in the foyer of the head office building now complements the other centres, to provide a place where officials can receive visitors to the department.

About 6 500 people visit the Walk-in Centre every month.

Minister Grant was impressed with the efficiency of the system and enjoyed interacting with the callers.

"The majority of the callers that contact our call centres are educators. They are our most important asset; therefore, we need to ensure that they get the relevant service and support that they deserve," said Grant.

"It is also important that we assist and support our learners who need assistance, particularly in relation to issues such as violence, drugs and gangsterism."

The client services call centre number for the WCED is 0861 9233 22 The Safe Schools Call Centre is 0800 45 46 47

"I would also like to thank the dedicated staff at these centres for helping us improve the responsiveness and efficiency of the WCED."

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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2011 WCED