Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele has saluted an employee who has been trending on social media for her dedication to her work.
Cwele on Monday paid an unannounced visit to the Home Affairs officers in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal, where he met with the employee, Nosipho Mkhupheka. The visit was also part of efforts to monitor service delivery.
Mkhupheka at the weekend hogged the spotlight after social media user Marius Botha posted that he was moved by her dedication to her work as she assisted citizens beyond office hours.
"Ms Mkhupheka is one of the best examples of the thousands of Home Affairs officials who are dedicated to serve our people with a smile. When I arrived, the office was full and she was still assisting our citizens. The people who were there at the time I arrived said they appreciated her work," said Cwele.
The Minister said the department has thousands of unsung heroes, who quietly go about doing their work. He encouraged them to continue serving with integrity and pride.
Mkhupheka, a supervisor in the branch since 2012, has been a civil servant for 30 years.
"When I leave my home each morning, I put myself in the shoes of the citizens who come to our office. I greet them when we open our office and regularly communicate with them should we have challenges," said Mkhupheka, a human resources graduate.
She said even though she is the one in the spotlight, she would not be able to serve in the manner she does without the support of her team and managers. She says she often assesses what services the citizens require when the knock off time arrives and determines which customers can be assisted on the day and advises those who can't be assisted on the day about options available to them.
"What happened last week surprised me. I wasn't expecting it. Usually, I would be working beyond office hours with Elvis Mavundla and Malcolm Ratube. They left shortly before the picture was taken and after we assessed how we were going to assist the citizens," said Mkhupheka, who initially wanted to be a social worker.
"I thank God for giving me the passion, energy and love to serve the citizens," she said.
Cwele has been visiting front line service delivery offices throughout the country. He has observed that the network connection is one of the main reasons for long queues at the offices.
"I support the department's efforts of finding lasting solutions to the connectivity challenges. I thank all those staff members who go beyond the call of duty to practice the principles of Batho Pele on a daily basis," said the Minister.