SPEECHES

Budget vote speech by the Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, MP

Date: 24 May 2017

Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi

Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Chairperson of the Presidential Remuneration Review Commission, Justice Kenneth Mthiyane

Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Adv. Richard Sizani

Chairperson of the Government Employees Medical Scheme – Ms Nontobeko Ntsinde

Directors-General and Heads of MPSA entities

Honourable Members

Distinguished guests

Fellow South Africans

Honourable Chairperson, we are honoured to present to this House the Budget Vote of the Ministry of Public Service and Administration.

As the Public Service and Administration, we are forefront in building capacity of the state. Our role is to ensure that throughout all of government, services are delivered efficiently, effectively, in a manner that redresses the imbalances of the past and restores dignity to citizens previously denied access to basic government services.

We present this Budget Vote seeking to make right, these wrongs of our past. This is in line with the vision of generations of illustrious leaders that led our liberation movement.

As the nation commemorates 2017 as the “Year of OR Tambo”, we are reminded of the values that ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo stood for. We question ourselves on how we can embrace these values to strengthen our government, as we seek to decisively respond to the aspirations of each citizen of this country.

Oliver Tambo left us a significant and an enduring heritage. It is a heritage that enhanced our Constitution, and contributed to the inclusive and equitable policies of our democratically elected government. This is a legacy that lives on, and one we need to strongly build on.

This world renowned Constitution today, calls for a public administration that is accountable, transparent and development-oriented. We owe it to this remarkable legacy of OR Tambo, to ensure that public institutions are well-run and effectively coordinated. These are institutions that will diligently and consistently deliver in line with the heightened expectations of the public that we serve.

Against the increased citizen expectation for improved services, including the need for innovative service delivery tools, mounting pressure is put on government to find more creative ways of responding to citizen’s expectations.

Honourable Members

This calls for the public service to be more open minded and to embrace new thinking, new ways of doing things, as this approach will present opportunities to derive simpler solutions to our common day challenges.

To address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality as contained in the National Development Plan, the public service has to reinvent itself -- to find new ways of adding value to the systems and practices in place.

The Centre for Public Service Innovation, the CPSI, continues to entrench the culture and practice of innovation in the public sector through various programmes. In 2016 the CPSI took a strategic decision to launch a series of workshops that target the leadership of sectors to ensure that innovation is embraced as a vehicle for service delivery enhancement.

As part of this drive, the CPSI conducted four sector-specific workshops for 163 Hospital CEOs and Clinical Managers in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal where numerous health innovations, unearthed through the Annual Public Sector Innovation Awards Programme, were shared. The purpose of the workshops was to encourage the replication and mainstreaming of implemented public sector innovations within the Health Sector.

In 2016/17 the CPSI continued to facilitate the replication of innovative solutions unearthed through the Annual Public Sector Innovation Awards Programme. The Saving Blood, Saving Lives project from Edendale Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal, where it saved the hospital R16 million in three years, is an example of such an innovation.

In 2016 this project was recognised by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, as a Category Winner, for its role in reducing the use of blood and blood products thus saving government money. This project is the first recipient of the GEMS Health Award, an accolade that the Government Medical Aid Scheme bestows, within the CPSI Innovation Awards Programme, on health sector institutions that have used innovation to solve service delivery challenges.

Honourable Chairperson

We are happy to report to the House that the CPSI has facilitated the replication of this solution at various hospitals in Gauteng, namely, Bertha Gxowa Hospital where about R117 671.00 was saved between June 2016 and February 2017; Far East Rand Hospital where R180 000.00 was saved between November 2016 and February 2017; and Leratong Hospital with an average saving of R42 000.00 per month since November 2016. Tembisa and Pholosong Hospitals will be commencing in this financial year. Of importance is that these savings are used to address other service delivery challenges in these institutions.

Within the last year, the CPSI facilitated the replication of a crime prevention solution in 67 no-fee schools in Gauteng, in partnership with the Departments of Community Safety and Education. The solution connects households and schools to sector policing vehicles, police stations and community police forums for quicker response time to incidents of crime. To date, 25 police stations have been connected to households and schools in Gauteng and North West Provinces.

As part of the bigger plan to infuse e-learning in the education sector, I am happy to announce that the CPSI facilitated a ministerial handing over, as recent as the 13th of March, of multi-media computer labs to two schools in Umtata, namely, St John’s College and Ngwayibanjwa. The implementation of these facilities already contributed to the improvement of matric results of these schools in 2016.

Honourable Members

The CPSI’s Annual Innovation Conference has become the biggest community of practice or forum for the public sector which draws delegates from all three spheres of government as well as the private, academic and non-governmental sectors.

In 2016 we drew delegates from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and as far as the People’s Republic of China. During the Ministerial Roundtable within the conference, the Minister for Public Service and Administration and Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services engaged the delegates on the need for and the critical role of innovation in improving service delivery.

On behalf of South Africa as a United Nations member state, the CPSI continues to serve as an Online Regional Centre for the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) to strengthen regional integration in line with Outcome 11. In this regard, the CPSI supported the UNPAN Annual Capacity Building Workshop in partnership with the UNDP to enhance the participation of SADC member states in the Network and its activities relating to public sector innovation and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.

We were humbled by and proud to have successfully coordinated the 2016 (4th) All Africa Public Sector Innovation Awards Programme on behalf of the African Union, as part of the efforts towards achieving Agenda 2063. This culminated in a ceremony held in Addis Ababa in December 2016 to celebrate Africa’s successful public sector innovations that improve service delivery.

Honourable Chairperson

Across the globe innovation is increasingly regarded as a key that unlocks value to most governments, as this innovation grows from a mindset that is engrossed in finding tangible solutions to the real challenges that exist in our systems.

In this regard, our government has ensured a consistency in participating in programmes and platforms that create space for engagement and reflection aimed at finding collective solutions to the continued global challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

As member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee and having handed over the Chairmanship of this global initiative in September 2016 to the Government of France, our responsibility has been to steer the partnership to harness new technologies that offer opportunities for information sharing, public participation and collaboration.

We have harnessed new technologies in line with the Open Government Partnership commitment to foster a global culture that empowers and delivers for citizens, and advances the ideals of open and participatory 21st century government.

Our work has been premised on the notion that transparency begets access, it is also about sharing and reusing information that is open- freely accessible and useable in various formats.

This recent narrative has given citizens a new voice to participate in government activities that affect their daily lives; and a tool to hold local government, especially their cities, accountable. Moreover, in encouraging the use, reuse and free distribution of data, governments promote problem solving, business creation and innovative, citizen-centric services.

Government has made considerable progress in this space. In 2016, we introduced hackathons as part of the open data project which has served as a channel for unearthing impactful innovations from within the community.

I wish to highlight our flagship program the #Hack4water challenge, the winners of which were announced at the World Water Day Summit Gala Dinner hosted by the Department of Water Affairs under the auspices of the United Nations in the city of Durban in March 2017.

In collaboration with the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Open Government Partnership South Africa launched the #Hack4water, challenging South Africans to innovate to solve South Africa’s water challenges. The launch of this challenge was preceded by an unconference on 1 March 2016 themed “How can we work in partnership to tackle South Africa’s water challenges” to define the problem statement for the #Hack4water challenge.

The campaign was launched through a website, www.hack4water.org.za where ordinary South Africans could submit their #Hack4water, be it a low tech home innovation or high tech corporate solution. We even encouraged people to tell water related stories as their #hack4water. The point was to use open data to change mindsets, both internally in government and within communities as a new way of engaging the public.

The #Hack4water initiative engaged communities, researchers, entrepreneurs to solve challenges by analysing the data and raise awareness about issues of water management by promoting use of the data. Launched nationally, the campaign challenged South Africans to provide their solutions in categories that include individuals or groups of individuals; youth or schools; enterprise category; researchers and storytellers.

Outcomes from this data challenge are expected to contribute to the advancement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 and the World Water Development Report.

Honourable Members

The OGP sees itself as a partner better positioned to establish linkages with interlocutors such as local government in order to build bridges between global goals and local communities.

Thus Goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which seeks to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, resonates well with the role we have envisaged the OGP to play in the South African context.

This is to bring South African cities up to par, with the growing trend of cities across the world opening up public data and getting entrepreneurs and researchers to help solve social and economic challenges.

The OGP in South Africa in partnership with national and international partners hosted the inaugural Responsive Cities Challenge in 2016. The challenge was to solve the following challenges in 4 cities:

    • Tshwane: How to use open data to reduce cable theft in Tshwane?

    • E-Thekwini: How can eThekwini Municipality use open data to better connect government to citizens?

    • Kimberley: How to use open data to improve water management in Northern Cape cities and towns?

    • Ekurhuleni: How to we use open data to assist residents that are at risk?

Young people from all these cities responded showing how their solutions had social impact, were sustainable, used open data and were innovative. We intend to continue rolling out these initiatives so as to strengthen our collaboration efforts.

Honourable Chairperson

Our mandate as the Public Service is guided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the Public Service Act, 1994 as amended, as well as other statutory and legislative requirements.

The Minister spoke earlier about the need to have a professional and ethical public service. For us to attain this ideal public service, training and development need to be constant partners in the lives of the public servants, hence government made a decision to ensure that the National School of Government (NSG), fulfils this role.

The National School of Government is responsible for the training of public servants on Induction, Leadership, Management and Administration programmes. It targets public servants and coordinates education, learning programmes and interventions, both nationally and internationally.

The NSG has committed to provide training to 20 000 public servants in areas of Leadership, Management and Administration and 32 600 of the newly appointed public servants on the Compulsory Induction Programme for the financial year 2016/2017. The commitment was exceeded as 55 904 learners were trained through face-to-face and online interaction.

The NSG piloted two open online courses whereby public servants take responsibility of their own learning. The online courses enable the NSG to reach a large number of public servants in a short period of time, reduce costs for delivering training and allow learners to enrol for the course at their own time and pace. This online platform realised an intake of 18 000 public servants. The NSG is considering rolling out more online courses, focusing on the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the National Development Plan, among others.

Honourable Chairperson

The NSG has developed a suite of Ethics and Anti-corruption programmes in collaboration with the Department of Public Service and Administration. These programmes are aimed at creating an ethical organisational ethos in Departments as well as capacitating officials to implement the Public Service National Anti-Corruption Strategy.

A total of 295 public servants have been trained for the 2016/2017 financial year, bringing the total trained to 7 056 since inception in 2010. Furthermore, the NSG launched an online course on Ethics in the Public Service in September 2016 to give effect to the constitutional obligation for public service employees to uphold ethics and integrity, as well as to promote the Code of Conduct as contained in the Public Service Regulations, 2016. Thus far, 1 000 public service employees have enrolled for the course.

Professionalisation of the public service is not only limited to lower levels of employees nor new entrants to the system. Executives and senior managers need to keep abreast with developments around their areas of scope and to this extent, the NSG has developed Executive Induction Programme.

Honourable Chairperson

As a government training institution, the NSG is directed to design, develop and facilitate a compulsory induction programme for all newly appointed Directors-General and Heads of Department from both National and Provincial spheres. The Executive Induction Programme (EIP) for salary levels 15 - 16 was piloted in March 2016.

We are pleased to report to the house that on 9 March 2017, the NSG held a successful inaugural launch of the Executive Induction Programme (EIP) targeted at Directors-General and Deputy Directors-General. The goal of the EIP programme is not only to familiarise participants with their specific work environments but also to inspire participants to build a public service which responds effectively and collectively to their task. It is about building a capable and committed Public Service cadre with the necessary knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to do their job effectively. The launch attracted departmental Heads from various provinces.

It ensures a comprehensive understanding of the state machinery and its policies supporting the developmental agenda. Since its establishment, the National School of Government has focused on ensuring that Public Servants on all levels across the spheres of Government are appropriately inducted in the values and principles of Public Administration enshrined in Chapter 10 of the Constitution.

In 2016, we reported to this House that the NSG will commence with the implementation of compulsory development, mandatory training days and minimum entry requirements for Senior Management Service. We are proud to announce that the NSG has commenced with the roll-out of the Compulsory induction programme for senior managers at salary levels 13 - 14.

Honourable Members

In August 2016, the NSG entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA) to collaborate on areas of capacity building in local government. The MOU also provides for collaboration in, inter alia, public lectures and/or leadership platforms for reflection, utilising local and international experts, targeting mayors councillors and top leaders in local government; and induction programmes for councillors and senior managers to promote the narrative of back-to-basics in municipalities. The collaboration between the NSG and SALGA is currently cementing efforts to professionalise the local government sector.

A total of 312 trainers trained by the NSG inducted the new councillors from August to October 2016. The 312 trainers are now being professionalised by the NSG to receive accredited trainer qualifications at the Education, Training and Development Practice Sector Education Training Authority (ETDP SETA) in preparation for the further training of councillors in portfolio-based training courses as part of the back-to-basics strategy.

In a further measure to capacitate training at the NSG, in February 2016, Cabinet approved the use of retired and serving public servants as trainers in the NSG. This initiative will be piloted with the implementation of the CIP for public servants. It enables public servants to add value to the public service. They will impart their experience, expertise, skills and knowledge to mentor, coach and train the public servants. This initiative will further improve in an efficient and cost effective manner the quality of the services we give to the public.

The Rutanang Ma Afrika Campaign includes the utilisation of retired and in-service public servants. Retired public servants refers to those individuals who are no longer employed by the State, but have proven themselves in the delivery of services to the people of South Africa and whose expertise and experience can be utilised. These individuals will be utilised as independent contractors.

In-service public servants refer to public officials who are currently employed by the State. These officials will enter into an agreement to provide education and learning with the NSG through their releasing department. Currently the NSG has commenced with the recruitment drive for the Rutanang Ma Afrika campaign.

Honourable Chairperson

We live in global world as such, we need to benchmark and also exchange ideas with other countries on how they capacitate their public servants. It is against this background that the NSG entered in a five-year partnership with the Chinese Academy of Governance (CAG). Through this agreement, 29 senior managers have already completed the CAG / NSG programme. For the financial year 2017/2018 senior and middle management will be trained at CAG by both South African and Chinese experts who will develop a common curriculum that will be delivered at the NSG.

On the other hand, the European Union (EU) is funding the NSG with an amount of R10 million to support the Public Service Training and Capacity Building Programme. It is a multi-year programme covering the period 2014 - 2020 and is endorsed by the National Treasury.

As a country, we are not selfish about the knowledge and systems that we possess and as such, we do share these with fellow African countries. The NSG has contributed towards the skills development and capacity building in countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The NSG is also a member and Secretariat of the African Management Development Institutes Network (AMDIN). The school participates in initiatives championed under the Strategic Technical Committee of the African Union (AU STC). The AMDIN Secretariat is in discussion with the UNDP Independent Evaluation office (IEO) to sponsor a programme on popularisation of the Charter on Principles and Values of Public Administration with its member states. Popularisation of the Charter training will first be conducted for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

The School has, in association with the Technology Innovation Agency, partnered with the American University, Washington DC, to offer a Master Instructor Train the Trainer Programme. The Foresight, Innovation, and Leadership Programme: Aligning and Building for South Africa was developed by the Institute for Leadership Development in Africa in collaboration with the American University.

The ten-day programme synthesizes theory and experiential learning together with unparalleled program content to develop participants’ insight, team building competencies, influencing capacity, and their ability to engage and empower others. The Program is designed to instill both a mindset and the needed behavioral competencies to enable participants to better address the increasingly complex regional challenges they face. The first training took place in December 2016 with 36 learners trained by American University and NSG.

Honourable Chairperson

As I conclude, I wish to reiterate that we have a mandate and an obligation as the Ministry of Public Service and Administration to ensure that we deliver an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service.

This is in line with the vision of an inclusive, united and a democratic South Africa that President Tambo who we honour this year, advanced throughout his political life.

History will judge us harshly, should we fail to build on the gains of our hard earned liberation to bring a meaningful change to the lives all citizens of our country. As the public service, we are central in bringing about this change. The trajectory has been set for us, and all we need to do is to thrust in this righteous path that has been directed by our great leaders.

I thank you.


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