The South African Haj and Umrah Council’s (Sahuc) haj complaints process has yielded just three complaints from hujaaj, the country’s regulator has revealed. Each year Sahuc launches a special process in which pilgrims who have embarked on the annual pilgrimage are afforded the opportunity to air their grievances and concerns with the services they have received, be it against their respective operators or Sahuc itself.
The hajj governing authority has noted that all complaints have come from the Gauteng region. All three issues are currently being addressed.
Sahuc president, Shaheen Essop said the process afforded all pilgrims a limited period post-Hajj in which to submit their grievances, and was this far proving successful.
“Since it’s been established it has worked quite well. We enquire and request the public who have any material complaints to send them in to Sahuc so that it can be mediated and a resolve can be found,” he said.
Essop revealed that once the process closed complaints committees within all of the three regions would sift through the responses and seek to mediate a resolve with the complainant.
“If mediation fails then we go into an arbitration process. We have external legal personalities that sit as chairs of these and work through the necessary processes,” he explained.
All complainants are required to provide a copy of their contract with their chosen operator, as well as draft a report detailing what the complaint consists of.
“Once that goes through we then receive that, assess it and work through the necessary evidence that is put before us,” he noted.
Essop added that the services rolled out to hujaaj by operators have improved considerably in recent years, with a reduction of operators also playing its part in improving the quality of service. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)