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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 395

Paragraph Numbers 15 to 22

Volume 1

Chapter 12

Subsection 3

■ METHOD OF WORK

Commissioners allocated to the region

15 As in other regions, the Cape Town regional office included a Human Rights Violations Committee and a Reparation and Reconciliation Committee. Commissioners Adv Denzil Potgieter, Ms Mary Burton and committee member Ms Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela were assigned to the Human Rights Violations Committee, while commissioners Dr Mapule F Ramashala, Dr Wendy Orr and Ms Glenda Wildschut were assigned to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee.

Staffing

16 The total staff complement was seventy-four. After some staff contracts came to an end, further appointments were made in order to cope with additional national tasks assigned to the regional office.

17 The regional manager and the Reparation and Rehabilitation co-ordinator started work on 18 March 1996. The statement takers and briefers started a week later and commenced immediately with training.

18 At this stage, recruitment was done through agencies that assisted with the work of sifting through hundreds of applications. However, the application of affirmative action policies proved problematic. This was resolved, in the main, by the appointment of people who understood the communities they were to work with. In the beginning, job descriptions often proved inadequate and staff members were re-deployed in line with needs that only became apparent after work had begun.

Accommodation, resources and equipment

19 The national finance director managed the allocation of office space and resources for the Western Cape regional office. This removed much of the responsibility from the regional manager and allowed the region to focus on other aspects of the work such as planning the work of the region.

20 Although there were many advantages to being based in the same building as the national office, there were also difficulties, including a blurring of the distinction between national and regional staff. National demands often made regional planning very difficult and, despite the advantages of the close proximity of the Finance Department, it was often difficult to maintain effective cost controls.

21 A policy of frugality and conscientious cost saving guided the allocation of resources, and the region put in place systems to monitor the use of equipment like vehicles and cell phones.

Methodology and assessment of work

22 The Cape Town regional office held a weekly regional management meeting, weekly regional commissioners’ meetings, team meetings (for hearings and statement taking) and meetings of the Investigation Unit, Support Services Unit, statement takers and briefers.

 
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