SPEECHES: Remarks by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Faith Muthambi, MP, at the Ministerial public participation (Imbizo), Setlagole, Ratlou Municpality, North West Province

Date: 7 Jul 2017

Executive Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality;

Mayor of Ratlou Local Municipality;

Speaker and Councillors;

Traditional Leaders;

Directors-General and Senior Managers present;

Our esteemed residents- the Community of Ratlou Local Municipality;

We would like to thank you most sincerely, the residents of Ratlou Municipality, for the warm welcome here today, during a very important month in the history of our country and the world.

As you are aware, the month of July is dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of the founding father of our democracy, former President of the Republic Mr Nelson Mandela.

Both locally and internationally, on the 18th of July, the world pauses to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day in honour of the departed statesman. Therefore on this month, South Africans and the nations of the world are called to contribute 67 minutes of their time, to help those in need in order to effect positive change in someone’s life, in memory of the legacy of President Mandela.

The month of July calls for all citizens to continue to live by the values of our Constitution that provides for the rights of all people living in our country and affirms democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom for all.

This month also bring more emphasis to our commitment as government and as reflected in the Constitution and the National Development Plan to continue to strive for human dignity and basic rights where every citizen is able to access clean water, has shelter, sanitation, feel safe, children have access to quality education and is able to put food on the table for their family, through total eradication of the triple challenges of inequality, unemployment and poverty as aspired by our former President Mandela.

We however, have noted here in Ratlou that more still needs to be done to realise these aspirations.

As Minister for the Public Service and Administration, our role is to ensure that government services are being rendered and you as citizens receive such services, it is therefore that reason that we as government are amongst you today.

On our arrival here, we had an opportunity to visit some of your service delivery points to gain first-hand experience and garner information about how we provide services as government through our public institutions.

We also had a chance to engage with frontline officials that you interface with when accessing these services.

We have observed improvements in how they are delivering services, challenges that continue to confront them, but most importantly what should we do as government and the community to make sure that they continue to deliver quality services.

We have noted the many challenges that the local municipality is currently experiencing, from lack of scholar transport for some learners who resides far from schools, bad infrastructure, lack of proper sanitation, to acute water shortage where in some instances the situation is dire that members of the community rely on water from a stream for drinking, among other critical challenges.

This has given us a sense of the progress we have made thus far as government, and has also provided a highlight on the reality that more still needs to be done to make a better life for all.

It also shows that, we should move a bit faster and smarter and should not lose the gains that we have made when we step up our pace if we want to realise the ambitions of the NDP, as we acknowledge that our people are starting to lose patience.

Today as government, we recommit ourselves to the Service Charter- a social partnership that we signed as an employer, the public servants, unions and civil society representing you our citizens, to reinforce our commitment to service delivery improvement for the benefit of all citizens.

The Charter pledges a public service that is professionalised, trained, capacitated, effective, efficient and development-oriented and it commits public servants to serve citizens promptly, courteously and help them make the right choices in accessing services.

As government we are entrusted with the mandate to make sure that public servants are fully empowered to inform you as citizens in situations where services cannot be rendered within the reasonable time or as expected. During our visit to some of the service delivery points, we discovered that there are challenges with the waiting period to be served and we will ensure that intervention is brought in this regard.

In the meantime, we need to ensure that public servants have the right and necessary tools, equipment and conducive environment to provide the community with a better service.

Public servants will go a long way to improve the relationship between government and the community if they treat citizens with courtesy, in a professional manner and go an extra mile to serve the community. This is what Batho Pele is about – Putting People First.

In conclusion:

As government, we will continue to provide better and improved services to you. We are a government that is guided by Batho Pele Principles when rendering services to our communities. All the issues which were raised during our engagement here, will be attended to and we want to make an undertaking that we will return to Ratlou Municipality to assess progress in this regard.

I thank you.

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