Honourable Chairperson of the House;
Minister for Public Service and Administration, Adv. Ngoako Ramatlhodi;
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
All protocols observed.
We deliver this Budget Vote for the Ministry of Public Service and Administration at a significant juncture in our democracy. It was during this month 20 years ago, that the people of South Africa adopted the country's first ever democratic Constitution.
This progressive Constitution which is still lauded the world over, was the sum of the collective wisdom of the people of South Africa and was arrived at by general accord. It is a Constitution derived from the many decades of the struggle for liberation of our people and the international solidarity we received that led to the demise of apartheid.
It was in this, one of the largest public participation programmes ever carried out in South Africa that the process of drafting the Constitution which involved many South Africans occurred.
Pioneering this public participation programme was the June, 26, 1955 assembly in Kliptown which saw the adoption of the Freedom Charter. The Charter was unique in being the first time ever that the people of South Africa converged to formulate their own vision of an alternative society.
The Freedom Charter has helped model our public participation architecture and a number of programmes have emanated from that experience.
This nature of public participation and a participatory democracy witnessed in these processes, is an intrinsic one which is now embedded in how we approach our work as the public service.
Over the past year we have undertaken substantial work in improving the level of citizen satisfaction with services across the spheres of government. As part of the Imbizo programme, we have embarked on a public participation initiative in the Eden District of the Southern Cape, a district that covers Bitou, George, Hessequa, Kannaland, Knysna, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn local municipalities. Our approach has been quite focused.
Instead of visiting different communities in widespread localities during the quarterly visits, we have invested and intensified our energies in getting to the root of the issues within this district and resolving these issues, hand-in-hand with the community affected and other partners both in the public service and the public sector.
From these engagements we have learnt that the future of the public service lies not only in interdepartmental collaboration, but also intergovernmental cooperation.
It is crucial moving ahead that we foster a spirit of a government that is united in its action, one that is transparent and consultative and whose machinery works seamlessly to uplift our communities. This will position government a step ahead as it seeks to make a real, meaningful and definitive change in the lives of our people. We are after all a unitary state.
In our budget vote speech to this house in July 2014, we undertook to strengthen the capacity of the Community Development Workers Programme, the CDWP to serve as an early warning system providing alerts on communities in distress as a result of poor service delivery.
The revised Public Service Regulations that Minister Ramatlhodi has spoken at length about will be an enabling tool for the Community Development Workers Programme. These will serve as an important legal foundation for the programme as they make provision for the development of a framework that structures the work of the programme.
Once developed, the framework will provide a platform for the regular communication of governmental and other information to communities in an accessible manner.
CDWs continue to make an impactful difference in communities and this is exemplary in the case of Alice Ledwaba, a CDW from ward 11 in Limpopo who intervened in the case of a young poor boy aged 7 who was given a new nose and mouth after a tooth ache problem completely destroyed his face. The young boy's pride and confidence were restored after an operation was performed at the Steve Biko Steve Biko Memorial Hospital. Due to her intervention, the family was also given a house as their living conditions in a shack were not good.
This is just one of the examples we share as we embark on further work to strengthen the programme and its visibility in the communities.
I commissioned a study conducted by the DPSA to resolve a number of issues that impacted on the effectiveness of the Thusong programme.
A business case on the institutional arrangements for the management and coordination of the Thusong Service Centre Programme and a funding model for the Thusong Service Centres have been developed. This work has been modelled on international best-practice and benchmarking of integrated service centres.
I am pleased to inform this house that this study has been completed and we will soon present recommendations to Cabinet on this matter. I am hopeful that with this important research and the far reaching recommendations that have been made in the reports, that we will commence the journey of ensuring that this key programme of government is better governed and resourced.
As host country to the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM Secretariat, I am pleased to report to this house that in January 2016, the African Union APR Forum Summit unanimously endorsed the appointment of Dr Eddy Maloka as the new Chief Executive Officer.
As one of the first countries to have been reviewed in the APRM, South Africa will keep up with its trend of adhering to the principles of the APRM as we undergo our Second Review.
We began this Africa Month on an extremely high note with the successful hosting of the meeting of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee on 4 May, and the 3rd Africa Regional Meeting as the Open Government Partnership of South Africa on 5-6 May in Cape Town. This Regional Meeting was hosted under the theme "Open Government for Sustainable Development in Africa".
The significance of this Regional Meeting has been the ability to attract small civil society organisations that were initially not part of the OGP. These grassroots embedded civil society organisations articulate the voice of local communities which are often side-lined in such deliberations. This inclusive approach is in line with our commitment as the Lead Chair of the OGP, to broaden participation and include the vulnerable sectors of our society in the partnership.
The Regional Meeting also featured an important discussion on the role of legislatures in the Open Government Partnership. I am a champion for this initiative because I truly believe legislatures are the true representatives of the people, and that their role in open government will help to deepen and expand the effectiveness of the review process and foster deeper levels of accountability from governments.
During the meeting we also launched South Africa's 3rd OGP Country Action Plan. This is an ambitious plan, one that introduces a level of innovation in how we address the daily issues that affect our people. A copy of the plan will be circulated.
I am pleased to report that the Centre for Public Service Innovation, the CPSI, has reached a point where replication, even across sectors, and up-scaling of innovations are taking root.
In response to the CPSI's plea for improved support towards funding innovation, we have secured, additional donor funding of R50 million over the next 5 years to fund the up-scaling of innovative models and solutions that improve service delivery.
We will in this financial year conclude the development of a model to manage energy more efficiently in hospitals, bringing about significant savings that can be used to improve hospital infrastructure.
In line with the Annual Performance Plan tabled in Parliament in March this year, the NSG anticipates providing training to 20,000 learners in the areas of leadership, management and administration and a further 32,600 newly appointed public servants on the compulsory induction programme.
Through this outreach plan, the NSG will also generate revenue to support its training operations to a projected sum of R151 million in line with its cost recovery model and financial sustainability plan.
The NSG has identified a suite of compulsory programmes for public servants in the areas of human resource management, financial management, supply chain management and monitoring and evaluation that must be prescribed and taught on-line.
The NSG has engaged former Directors-General regarding the Executive Induction Programme (for salary levels 15-16) and will be preparing for the piloting of this programme in this financial year. The use of former Directors-General is part of a Cabinet-approved strategy for the utilisation of serving and retired public servants as educators and trainers, to provide the NSG with the leverage to reach learners across the components of the state.
This year we will commence implementing compulsory capacity development, mandatory training days and minimum entry requirements for the Senior Management Service (SMS).
We have embarked upon a number of reforms that will ensure that the future we envision through the National Development Plan is a reality firmly etched in the core of the existence and being of every single citizen of this country.
Ours is to ensure that we build a capable public service, orientated towards meeting the developmental aspirations of our people. This is a constitutional imperative we dare not fail to realise.
As I conclude this vote delivered in the period leading up to Youth Month, I take this opportunity to honour the youth of June 16, 1976. We honour them as we celebrate this year, 40 years of the Soweto uprising which marked a turning point in the pace and vigour of our people's quest to national liberation.
This was an incredibly audacious generation, which 44fought with a fearless fervour. We remain indebted to the likes of Tebello Motopanyane, Tsietsi Mashinini and Murphy Morobe amongst others who led a revolution that would result in the freedom that we celebrate today.
It will be with the same level of zeal displayed by this youth that we tackle our duties in the coming year as the public service.
We do so reminded that the Constitution recognises the intrinsic worth of all human beings, and this begins with realising the right to basic services, in order to restore the dignity of all our people.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION
For further information please contact:
Departmental Media Liaison Lebhang Mafokosi
Departmental Spokesperson Dumisani Nkwamba on 0828859448/ DumisaniN@dpsa.gov.za