Remarks by the Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Dipuo Letsatsi- Duba, MP, during the Frontline Public Servants Imbizo PDF Print E-mail

08 September 2017, Mitta Siperepere Convention Centre, Kimberly.

The Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas
Members of the Executive Council;
Mayor of Sol Plaatjie Local Municipality and Councillors;
Director-General of the Province; 
Heads of Departments and Senior Managers present;
Our esteemed guests - the Public Servants! Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives us great joy to see large numbers of public servants who heeded the call to join us on this momentous occasion today, to mark the Public Service Month, an annual celebration on our public service calendar.

This occasion occurs in the year that we celebrate the centenary of ANC President, Oliver Reginald Tambo, a magnitude figure in the history of this country. We use the occasion to celebrate his life and as the servants of the people, we wish to emulate the values of service, humility and passion, which comrade OR lived for.

As we embark on these annual celebrations of the Public Service Month, we ought to utilise the opportunity to reflect on the gains and challenges we have recorded as a young nation in our public service. The programme provides a valuable platform for us to engage and interact with one another as public servants on service delivery matters across the three spheres of government.

It further provides an opportunity to share and showcase programmes reflecting on the achievements, best practices and emerging challenges whilst strategising about the responsive solutions towards delivering effective, efficient and quality services.

Our main aim is to depart from and transform the old public service culture into one that Comrade OR Tambo would be proud of and this will require continuous improvement and a slick public service which optimises decision-making and systems, as envisaged by the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030.

The NDP highlights the need for well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and are capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s developmental objectives.  Public servants are therefore, the change agents, enablers and facilitators of networked and integrated good governance and public administration towards Vision 2030.

Just last week we visited Maponya Thusong Service Centre, situated at the Maponya Mall in Soweto, to observe how frontline officials are providing services to citizens in that state- of art government’s integrated service delivery model, and I should say it was very impressive over and above minor operational challenges. We also made an unannounced visit to Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus in Gauteng. The standard of care that patients receive in the hospital is impeccable in the true spirit of Batho Pele, from cleanliness, queue management system, functioning of equipment to attendance of patients.

These are some of the areas we can learn and adopt best practices to improve service delivery systems and operations for our other public service institutions. As public servants, we ought to be at the forefront of our societal transformation journey and we must not be complacent as we mark our successes but seek to do much more with much less.

As public servants we need to recommit ourselves to the Public Service Charter and the Batho Pele ethos of the public service - whose notion demands that we put our people first- through programmes that are accountable, free of corruption, and visibly portray a positive attitude. We therefore need to accelerate the embracing of the Batho Pele Norms and Standards by all our departments, especially those that are service oriented.

The Batho Pele Principles demand of us, public servants, that when we engage with citizens, we should treat them with the utmost respect and dignity.

Batho Pele Principles demand that we must Consult citizens on the level and quality of services rendered; we must inform  citizens of the Service Standards they should expect; we should give Access to services they are entitled to; we must treat the citizens with Courtesy; we must provide them with correct and accurate Information on services they are entitled to receive; we should demonstrate to the citizens the Openness and Transparency on how government is run; we must provide citizens with a Redress mechanism if the promised standard of service is not delivered and finally, we, as public servants must render public services on a Value for Money basis in order to ensure that services to citizens are provided economically and efficiently.

As Ministry for the Public Service and Administration, we are the drivers of this campaign to continually instill the Batho Pele values in all public servants, especially our frontline staff.

Ladies and gentlemen:

As government, we are guided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa which envisages a Public Service that, amongst others, maintains and promotes a high standard of professional ethics; promotes efficient, economic and effective use of resources, and is accountable for its actions.

Therefore, the DNA make-up of our public servants must consist of men and women with impeccable conduct, including high work ethics, a display of high morale, humility and pride associated with being a loyal public servant. The administrative culture in the public service must therefore resemble an organisational culture that is informed by the Batho Pele Principles and the values of serving the people.

In conclusion allow me to stress that Public Service Month should continuously serve not only to celebrate public servants but also as a renewal of commitment by public servants to serve the citizens of our country with the utmost dedication and professionalism.

We therefore call upon on public servants to remain committed to our cause even beyond the Public Service Month - let it be a daily programme of action of delivering services to our people.

Ladies and gentlemen, as a Public Service we have an obligation to live by the Batho Pele value statement – Moving the public service forward: We Belong, We Care, We Serve!

I thank you.