Accompanying Clients

Part of referring clients and contacting partner organisations is sometimes accompanying clients. Those from rural communities require extra attention since most of them have never travelled to the cities before, and have neither bank accounts nor knowledge of how to open one.

Coordinators travel with clients to service points such as banks, Social Welfare offices for grants, Home Affairs for identity documents and birth certificates, and hospitals or district surgeons for forensic examination. In 2009, coordinators accompanied 291 clients to service providers.

“I travelled to Johannesburg and confronted the official in her office. Her first response was of fright, saying “Do you ever arrest people?” to which I replied, “Sometimes!”  

- Coordinator Zodwa Maramane

(Left) Field Coordinator Jabu Sangweni accompanies a client

One provident fund employee underestimated coordinator Zodwa Maramane who tried to obtain death benefits for her client. The employee was arrogant and obnoxious, refusing to cooperate. Zodwa asked her “And what will you do if I turn up in your office?” to which the employee replied “I would like to see you turn up in my office”.

Zodwa boarded a bus to Johannesburg with her client and confronted the employee in her office, whose first response was of fright, saying: “Do you ever arrest people?” to which Zodwa replied, “Sometimes.” The employee took out a file and unconvincingly tried to persuade the coordinator that no money was owing to the client. Zodwa cut her short and said “I am not interested in that file because you wrote it. You will now give me a cheque for the full amount owing to my client”. The employee meekly did so and the coordinator and her client rushed to the bank and banked the cheque for R 45 000. The client was extremely grateful to the coordinator and her final comment was, “I never thought I would see Johannesburg”.

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