SPEECHES

Honourable Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration on on the occasion of the NCOP debate on the Public Administration Management (PAM) Bill, 2013 (bill 55-2013), 4 March 2014

Date: 7 Mar 2014

Introduction

  1. Effective service delivery requires an efficient and accountable administration devoid of red tape with strong anti-corruption and compliance measures. The issue of coordinated service delivery is at the heart of the ANC's concerns regarding Intergovernmental Relations as it is a means of advancing overall development and service to the people.
  2. The Public Administration Management (PAM) Bill, 2013 Bill 55-2013 being considered today reflects key resolutions taken in Mangauing where it was resolved that "the powers and functions of the three spheres of government should be reviewed to provide greater clarity and facilitate more effective service delivery and development .- that there should be greater integration of planning across the spheres and public entities."
  3. This is in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 ("the Constitution"), which requires cooperative and effective government while recognising that government in the national, provincial and local spheres is distinctive, interdependent and interrelated (section 40(1)). Together the three spheres of government are required to provide effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government for the country.. This cooperative governance is also important within spheres of government without which it is not possible to provide integrated service delivery.
  4. The NDP affirms cooperative governance in stating that "The different spheres of government are interdependent and we need to find ways of ensuring they work together more effectively." The Public Administration Management (PAM) Bill, 2013 Bill 55-2013 provides an opportunity for Parliament to strengthen the democratic values and principles governing public administration in Chapter 10 (section 195(1)) :of our Constitution with respect to national and provincial departments as well as municipalities..
  5. Constitutional values and principles which include among others a developmentally oriented public service, impartial and equitable provision of services, participation of people in policy and an accountable public service provide the framework for intergovernmental relations.
  6. The drive towards coordinated government has been at the heart of government's transformation and reform programmes for a number of years. In 1998, the Presidential Review Commission advised government that coordination at the centre of government was weak, and that intergovernmental relations needed to be improved. As a result, Government reconfigured its Cabinet committees.
  7. Government set up other systems and processes designed to engender co-operation and central planning as well as horizontal integration. To complement horizontal integration, a system of vertical integration was developed taking the form of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act 13 of 2005 which established forums to promote and facilitate intergovernmental relations between the President and Premiers, Premiers and Mayors, and Ministers and provincial Members of Executive Councils responsible for concurrent portfolios.
  8. Despite the positive changes that have been introduced to promote coordination, there is room for improvement in public service delivery. Government does not present itself as a coordinated front, but as a myriad of national, regional, provincial and municipal offices each with a separate identity, each operating in its own silo.


Role of Thusong centers and Community Development Workers in promoting intergovernmental relations


It is this continues problem with coordination that Thusong Centres and Community Development Workers (CDW) were introduced as policy instruments to bring government closer to the people and enhance Intergovernmental Relations. Both attempt to ensure a more open and agile government by fostering democratic governance through civic participation and fostering government responsiveness to people and .promote transparency. Ideally the CDWs should provide direct feed back to government enabling government to plan better, execute better and provide direct feedback to communities on government programmes and their implementations. .Preference is to have the CDWS located in the Thusong centres and where none exist in rural areas to be placed in the Traditional Authorities' offices in order .to promote a more agile government that is responsive and through which information on government services can be filtered to the communities in which they are located and service and fed back to government. for planning that is responsive to the actual needs of the people..


Concluding remarks

I would like to thank members of the NCOP for having advanced the bill to this stage.


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