SPEECHES: Remarks by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Faith Muthambi, MP, on the occasion of unnanouced visists to service delivery points in Polokwane

Date: 26 Sep 2017

Leadership of the Limpopo Provincial Government;

Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality Cllr John Mpe;

Executive Mayor of Polokwane Municipality Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng;

All councillors from the District and local Municipalities

Senior Leaders of all spheres of Government;

All Public Servants;

Members of the Media;

Ladies and gentlemen;

Good day to you all

We are embarking on this unannounced visit to monitor service delivery and also to listen to the challenges and frustrations that communities go through on a daily basis in trying to get access to services.

We are visiting the Front Line Service Points to assess the facilities, the conduct of public servants, and the quality of service that our people are receiving.

During this public service month, we have been visiting various communities and engaging public servants about the importance of Batho Pele Principles and the Service charter.

The contents of these documents must be fully understood by both the public servants and the citizens so that they can fully understand what to expect of each other.

By taking over the roles of being public representatives and public servants, we are aware that we have signed a contract with our people, and such a contract must at all times deliver the expected results.

We have visited the three (3) clinics within this area, the SASSA offices, as well as the Department of Home Affairs offices. These are some of the departments that renders daily services to a majority of our people, most of whom are poor and marginalised.

Ours is a Government that cares for all regardless of social class. We continue to emphasise that our people must be served and treated with respect and dignity.

The Batho-Pele principles emphasizes the importance of service delivery and putting people first. It is through this approach that government intends to change lives of South Africans for the better.

Frontline service delivery monitoring is an important element in the process of delivering services to our communities across the country. Monitoring and evaluation of frontline service delivery allows government to monitor and evaluate service delivery on the ground. The results of my visit will be able to assist in improving services to communities.

In July this year, I visited one of the rural Police Station under Ratlou Local Municipality in the North West Province where I was greeted by the uncleanliness of the facility and dirt on the surrounding, although the station had cleaning personnel. What shocked me is that the cleaner was just relaxing on the chair with her fancy jean trouser and busy taking care of her nails.

During the 2004 State of the Nation Address (SONA) President Thabo Mbeki said “We must be impatient with those in the public service who see themselves as pen-pushers and guardians of rubber stamps, thieves intent on self-enrichment, bureaucrats who think they have the right to ignore the vision of Batho Pele, who come to work as late as possible, work as little as possible and knock off as early as possible”

This statement (by the former President) emphasises the people-oriented culture of the public service, which is informed by Batho Pele Principles.

The objectives of this visit is to assess the quality of services rendered, the state of the facilities and the conditions at the service site. But our intention is also to listen to challenges faced by the public servants who are operating in this facilities so that we can improve their working conditions and make them happy.

As Government we have realised that paying unannounced visits to government’s frontline facilities has resulted in a tangible improvement in services across the country. We also rely on our people to inform us when there are service delivery deficiencies, through the Presidential Hotline and other communications channels that have been made available.

We are encouraging our public servants who are working on this facilities to always report when facilities are not in good working conditions. We do not want our communities to suffer because the tools of trade and facilities are not in good condition.

There must be a sense of urgency in the way in which we do things as public servants and representatives, more especially those who are interacting directly with the people.

After this visits we will be following up to assess if the managers of these facilities are indeed acting on the recommendations. We will support them in whichever way we can.

We encourage our communities to be in constant contact with their councillors and ward committees to ensure that their challenges are urgently communicated to relevant departments whenever there are service delivery challenges.

Together we are moving the public service forward: we belong (to our communities), we care (for our communities), and we serve (our communities).

I thank you!

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