SPEECHES

Remarks by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration Ms Faith Muthambi, MP, to mark the end of public service month

Date: 29 Sep 2017

Programme Director

MEC OF COGTA in Mpumalanga: Hon. Refilwe Mtshweni;

Chairperson of the Public Service Commission ADV Richard Sizani;

Executive Mayor of Nkangala District Municipality Cllr LM Malatjie;

Mayor of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Cllr NS Mtsweni;v

Councilors present here;

All Senior Officials from DPSA, NSG, and CPSI.

Senior Officials of Mpumalanga Provincial Administration;

The Leadership of Eskom represent here, led by Mr. Aubrey Mzobe;

All Senior Officials from the Municipalities;v

Secretary General of PSCBC Mr Frikkie De Bruin;

Our Traditional leaders;

Leaders of all Youth Organisations including our special guests Ndlelenhle Youth Centre;

Members of the Media

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon:

We are gathered here to mark the closure of the Public Service Month here in Mpumalanga province. We are here to acknowledge and appreciate public servants who are dedicated to service delivery on a daily basis.

We celebrated this year's Public Service Month under the theme, Together Moving the Public Service Forward: We Belong, We Care, We Serve. Our focus was on the values of Batho Pele Principles - a very good programme of our Government which demands that public servants put people first.

Throughout this Public Service Month, we reflected not only on how public servants deliver services but also on the challenges that they face when they execute their duties.

During this public service month, we also monitored the levels of service delivery and also listened to the challenges and frustrations that communities go through on a daily basis in accessing services. Some community members are frustrated by waiting for long time in queues and eventually not being assisted.

We were therefore focusing on both the public servants and our communities who receive services from Government. This is because we acknowledge that in order for public servants to serve our citizens with dedication, we also need to take care of them as an employer. As Government, we want to continue to be an employer of choice.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

The Batho Pele Principles are aligned with the Constitutional ideals of; promoting and maintaining high standards of professional ethics; provision of service impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias; utilising resources efficiently and effectively; responding to people’s needs, the citizens are encouraged to participate in policy making and Rendering an accountable, transparent and development-oriented public administration.

Furthermore, the government has declared 2017 as the year of Oliver Reginald Tambo; as such public sector stakeholders through the Public Service Month initiatives, programmes, campaign and activities also took a stand in emulating and taking his ethos and values forward.

Monitoring and evaluation of frontline service delivery allows government to monitor and evaluate service delivery on the ground. We embarked on monitoring and evaluation visits to service delivery points and we are convinced that results of these visits will be able to assist in improving services to communities.

The importance of quality customer service in the public service cannot be overstated. Citizens are likely to develop perceptions about the public service based on their experiences when they interact with public service officials. It is important that public service officials treat citizens with dignity whenever they are to receive public services. In the long run, this programme is expected to improve service delivery and relations between service providers and users.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Access to public services by people with disability including workers remains a challenges twenty three years into our democracy. People with disability are still facing exclusion with regard to physical access to government buildings; access to transport to the service points; ability of government officials to modify service delivery processes to be disability friendly which include the ability to communicate and engage with the person with disability.

During my engagement with public servants, colleagues living with disabilities have raised a lot of concerns that need urgent attention.

Their concerns range from unfair treatment such as the fact that they are forced to apply for jobs online while some are visually impaired.

I was touched when a civil servant walking with crunches reveals that the toilet designed for people living with disabilities was turned into a storeroom in the Limpopo Department of Education.

We must have care and compassion for our brothers and sisters living with disabilities. We have agreed that we must look into the idea of organising an Indaba for people living with disabilities. As Government, we must ensure that we implement our policies when it comes to people living with disability.

The Public Service Month calendar of events programmes covering all three spheres of government departments and institutions include the following among others:

    • Mainstreaming Batho Pele Principles,

    • Public Service Charter,

    • Mainstreaming Disability within the Public Sector Matters.

Access to decent public services is not a privilege to be enjoyed by a few; it is a rightful expectation of all citizens.

Access to public services by people with disability including workers remains a challenges twenty three years into our democracy. People with disability are still facing exclusion with regard to physical access to government buildings; access to transport to the service points; ability of government officials to modify service delivery processes to be disability friendly which include the ability to communicate and engage with the person with disability.

On the budget vote I presented in Parliament in May this year, I said “government has made a significant progress in ensuring equality in terms of race and gender, but more work still need to be done in achieving the disability equality quota target of 2%. We care for people living with disabilities, so the Limpopo Department of Education must re-open the toilets for people living with disabilities. All Government institutions must work hard to improve the working conditions of people living with disability.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Last week our Government celebrated the Thusong Service Centre Week under the theme “Advancing Small Medium & Micro Enterprises at Thusong Service Centres”.

The Programme is aimed at providing the young people with the opportunities and platforms to unlock the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives and rural enterprises at Centres informed by the Nine Point Plan of government. The celebrations and roll-out of the Week took place across the Public Sector; with the hype being in the Provinces of Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Last week I visited the Casteel Thusong Centre, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga. I was impressed by the manner in which the centre is being managed, and by the fact that the facility is being kept in good condition. Thusong Service Centres are one of the success stories of our Government. Centres such as the one we visited in Casteel shows that this model can indeed work for the benefit of our communities.

I made a commitment to our people that the problems they raised with me last week will be resolved. In fact some of them were resolved while I was still addressing the event.

We encourage our people, especially the youth, to utilise all opportunities presented by Government. I am happy that young people this area are taking their lives seriously.

We must applaud the efforts of Ndlelenhle Youth Centre and Eskom, for ensuring that our young people are taken care of. Today we have 45 graduates from Ndlelenhle Youth Centre, who are also from the class that benefited from Eskom intervention, and are being awarded End-User Computing certificates today.

During the Public Service Month Ministers and other leaders of the spheres of Government conducted unannounced site visits to service delivery sites, and the senior management service members in government were also deployed to the coalface of service delivery across the three spheres of government. The unannounced site visits and deployment to the service delivery points are important service delivery mechanisms as they improve senior managers’ understanding of the problems at the coalface, its negative impact on service delivery, and its causes; increasing motivation and ability to work with frontline staff and managers to resolve the issues.

Furthermore, the unannounced site visits and deployment to the service delivery points are important service delivery mechanisms as they enhance performance; pride; and professionalism. Senior managers’ presence on the frontlines sends a visible signal that the department is serious about resolving frontline service delivery problems including increase employees’ beliefs that leadership values improvement including caring about their well-being

On Tuesday this week, I visited Limpopo’s Mongwangweneng Village (Ga Mamabolo) in the Capricorn District Municipality wherein I made an unannounced visits to Mapodu Clinic (Spitzkop) to monitor the quality of service delivery. I discovered that Doctors don’t visit the clinic due to bad road infrastructure. A Psychiatric Doctor only avail himself twice per year and the clinic is understaff, with only three nurses looking after the community members of Ga-Mamabolo. The toilets are no-longer flushing and the situation is unbearable. I also visited the Mamabolo clinic.

I was inspired by the visionary leadership of Chief R.M Mamabolo who abandoned his busy schedule and accompanied me to unannounced visits at the Service Delivery points. It was a good experience to spend a day with a leader who cares about the wellbeing of his community.

We urge our traditional leaders to be involved in the community development programmes, and to speak on behalf of their people whenever there are service delivery deficiencies.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Today I am here in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality to wrap-up the Public Service Month.

MEC, here I am happy to see the developments in terms of youth empowerment. These young people are the future of our country and we must take of them.

The NDP provides an aspirational vision of South Africa in 2030 and the context within which all youth oriented programmes should be located. Youth Sector Development and Economic Emancipation by taking forward and showcasing Transformation discourse and strengthened Partnerships.

Today we are witnessing 45 students from the Ndlelenhle Youth Centre receiving certificates as well as work of encouragement to the 100 new entrants who are busy acquiring new skills.

The certificate awarding ceremony is a testimony and demonstration of our commitment and demonstration of Government at work in the emancipation and empowerment of youth to take charge of their future. Sikima Mutomutjha skills development programme of Ndlehlenhle Youth Centre is targeting the Youth of Nkgangala District especially those from Thembisile Hani Local Municipality.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

This Skills Development Programme is meant to assist young people with Basic Computing Skills based on their needs and flexibility. This is a six months programme with participants receiving accredited certificates upon their completion of all modules. The Ndlelenhle Youth Centre further empowered them with coaching and career guidance and training on job preparedness skills.

The programme commenced in 2012 and to date over 200 young people have graduated on the programme. The Programme has won an award in its first year of inception from South African Association of Youth Club.

I salute Eskom for the job well-done in supporting our young people.

Remember, in 2016, Eskom Kusile, participated on Ministerial Imbizo here in Kwaggafontein and renovated Ndelenhle Youth Centre. Ndlelenhle Youth Centre is a youth development centre from Thembisile Hani Local Municipality. Eskom’s contribution was a good demonstration that through Izimbizo, government is able to make further impact in the communities and fast track service delivery. The 45 graduates from Ndlelenhle Youth Centre, who are also from the class that benefited from Eskom intervention, are being awarded End-User Computing certificates today.

This is a course that they have completed using Ndlelenhle Youth Academy facilities that were donated by Eskom. Eskom Kusile, led by Messrs Abram Masango, Frans Sithole and Matome Makwela attended a “sword turning ceremony” of this centre on 25 November 2016, where they committed to complete what was presented as concept then. They have since delivered on their promise – the offices have been renovated, boardroom extended, office furniture supplied, laptops donated, three air-conditioned mobile computers with furniture supplied, ablution facilities built.

In Conclusion

As we close this public service month today, we must be reminded that the upholding of Batho Pele Principles does not end today. We as public representatives and public servants, must always put our people first.

We must work together with our communities and other stakeholders to improve the level of service delivery.

Together Let us beat the Drum for Service Delivery to ensure; a better understanding of improved services; internalisation and integration thereof with major focus and emphasis on ownership and championship of service delivery policies and programme.

Together Let Us Beat The Drum For Service Delivery because We Belong, We Care, We Serve!

I thank you.


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