Closing Ceremony of Service Delivery Month

Speech by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs Hazel Jenkins, on the occasion of the Closing Ceremony of Service Delivery Month, Mayibuye Centre, 29 September 2011.
We are gathered here this morning as both elected public office bearers and servants of the people to reaffirm our commitment to speed up effective service delivery to the citizenry of the Northern Cape Province, especially the poor, downtrodden and marginalised sectors of our society.

Your noble values of ubuntu, selflessness and dedication have given me hope that, united, we can do more to provide equal opportunities and progress for all our people.
Although this occasion marks the closing ceremony of Service Delivery Month, we will not rest until all our people have access to proper shelter, potable water, proper health and sanitation services, quality education, homes connected to electricity and to ensure that the unemployed enjoy access to decent job opportunities.

Indeed, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Service Delivery Month provided us with an ideal opportunity to reach out and interact with our communities as well as gain first-hand experience about their concerns and frustrations, which clearly demonstrates the commitment of the ANC-led government to deliver on the demands made by our people in the Freedom Charter that the “People Shall govern.”

During the 2009 fourth democratic elections, the African National Congress made a steadfast commitment to deliver services better, faster and smarter. After the elections, we committed through President Jacob Zuma that we are building a performance oriented state.

Guided by these two important imperatives, government has put in place a range of initiatives to ensure that we have public service delivery machinery that is effective and efficient to respond to the overwhelming mandate we received from our people.

The improvement of service delivery across all spheres of government is an absolute top priority for this government. Our constitution established three spheres of government and enjoins them to work together in terms of the principle of co- operative governance. This principle applies both to the executive and legislative branches of government.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we must continue to create a ‘new public service cadreship’, whose interests will be to expedite the restoration of the dignity of our people through ushering public service delivery with the necessary compassion, enthusiasm, patriotism and revolutionary depth, to advance the interests of the vast majority of our people.

We are talking about a public service cadre who is humble, compassionate and will listen, consult, and work closely with the communities at all times and will respect the importance of continuous two-way communication with communities.

For Government to improve service delivery to all its citizens in particular to be responsive and accountable to the communities we serve, and to collectively turn around the negative perception of Government, drastic action is called for.

While we will be putting more energy into the Batho Pele programme to improve the attitudes of public servants, I have no doubt that most of our public servants at the coal-face of service delivery want to serve the people well and want to be proud of their work.

While we are pleased to note that our Government has indeed done much to implement the commitments we made to our people in 2009, we acknowledge that we still have unfinished business on a range of issues in the period that lies ahead. We need to do more to create decent and sustainable jobs, to accelerate the delivery of services to the people including improving dilapidated houses, providing electricity and potable water, combating crime and corruption, improving our healthcare and our education systems.

That resounding mandate is a call to serve with humility and integrity in the course of leading, delivering services, developing our communities and, with these communities, creating a better life for all South Africans.

Despite some of the challenges we have mentioned ealier on, we are pleased as the provincial government to report that we have discharged our responsibilities diligently and effectively thus far and demonstrated, together with the masses of our people, that our march into the future of a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa is unavoidable and not negotiable.

To strengthen the capacity of the Provincial Administration, we have put in place effective monitoring and evaluation systems to track output, outcomes and performance of government programmes that impact directly on service delivery.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we need to decisively deal with corruption without fear or favour. Corruption is an ill that has to be removed from our midst as it serves to deny citizens what they rightfully expect from Government. Those who are involved or intend to get involved in corrupt practices be warned that it is not worth your while because you will be caught! Our law enforcement agencies have never been more determined to uproot this cancer from our society before it erodes everything we stand for as a nation.

We have no choice, but remain focus on our five key priorities, namely; education, health, the fight against crime and corruption, creation of decent work and rural development.

In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your participation in the Service Delivery Month and its many activities and programmes. The Service Delivery Month serves as a vital building block in the broader scheme of providing services to all our people, especially to those who are residing in the rural and far-flung corners of our province.

I am certain that when we celebrate this event in September 2012, we will, collectively be proud of our achievements underpinned by our resolve that together, not only can we do more, but much, much better.

I thank you

 

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