The 5th annual service delivery learning academy

Date: 12 Jul 2006 - 14 Jul 2006

Venue: ICC, Durban

Background and Rationale

The theme of this year's Annual Service Delivery Learning Academy encapsulates the government's commitment to deepen and accelerate service delivery within the context of a developmental state. This year's Academy will feature government's efforts to accelerate social and economic development and growth, and to deepen citizen involvement and participation in the service delivery chain.

Most of the presentations, in both plenary and breakaway sessions, will be on case studies and experiences of key government officials in their quest to drive economic and social development through skills development. Also featured will be flagship projects and initiatives at local and provincial levels, on improving access and accountability in service delivery, and positioning local government as an engine for growth and development, within the context of a citizen centric and driven paradigm.

Format of the Academy

The first part of the academy will highlight high-level development initiatives of the state within the context of ASGISA, as well as key targets and deliverables in the next few years. A panel discussion will then analyse challenges of inter-sphere coordination in the delivery of these development initiatives. The next part of the academy will deal with improving access, accountability and citizen participation, highlighting high-level challenges and possible solutions. Complementary to that will be a session dedicated to real-life case studies on how government is seeking to improve access and participation in the service delivery chain. During the last day the spotlight will fall, in particular, on service delivery initiatives at local level and the resultant challenges going forward.

Day 1

Sub-theme: The State of developmental initiatives: a reflection

Keynote address - The Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, will give a keynote address, setting the tone for the conference. The Minister will outline government's developmental imperatives through initiatives such as ASGISA, and reflect on efforts to create a strong developmental state to deliver on these initiatives. She will also reflect on the process of creating a single public service to achieve seamless service delivery across government.

The Social safety net as a development intervention: evaluating the impact and looking forward - Over the last few years government has spent massive resources on taking people out of poverty through social grants. Ms Thilde Stevens of the Department of Social Development will highlight some achievements to date in using the social safety net as a social development intervention, and will also reflect on the impact of social grants, and how government is planning to address these challenges to make the programme sustainable.

A critical reflection on the role and mandate of JIPSA in skills development: JIPSA is a high-level initiative to identify solutions to skills shortages in critical areas of the economy and the public service. Ms Xolile Caga from the JIPSA Secretariat will share with the audience the main thrusts and objectives of the initiative, its relation to ASGISA and other existing skills development initiatives, and reflect on some key targets over the next three years.

Panel discussion on "Integrated local development: challenges of inter-sphere coordination and partnership development" - Given a whole range of development initiatives spearheaded by government and supported by the private sector, organised labour, and civil society, there is a need for improved coordination across the board. Various initiatives are being undertaken and implemented mostly at local level. A panel discussion from local government, will interrogate the challenges of coordination and integration across the three spheres and the need to build strong partnerships to effectively implement these projects and create sustainability. A SALGA senior executive will deliver the main presentation, followed by responses from the private sector, provincial government, and academia.

Day 2

Sub-theme: Maximizing access to government services: entrenching public participation and accountability

Leveraging local resources for economic growth and development: the case of Enkwalini village - The presentation by the National Department of Transport will highlight the use of local resources and the improvement of the transport and freight infrastructure to unlock the economic growth potential of the fertile Enkwalini region in rural KZN. This is an initiative to enable local entrepreneurs to easily access secondary markets in order to sell agricultural produce.

Entrenching public participation and good governance in a developmental state context - Government has pronounced itself on creating a strong developmental state that responds and proactively seeks to drive growth and development, using the machinery of the state. What about the participation of the citizenry in this developmental process? This is the profound question that Dr Ivor Chipkin, Senior Researcher at the HSRC, will deal with. In addition, he will critically engage on the subject of a developmental state in the context of active participation of the citizens in the governance and development processes.

Brakaway commissions

Enhancing access to economic opportunities - This commission will share and discuss various initiatives to expand and bring economic opportunities closer to the general public. GCIS will share their initiative to inform the public on existing economic programmes and opportunities of government. The Eastern Cape Youth Development Board, an NGO, will share with the participants its youth development initiatives, with an emphasis on social, empowerment, and job creation programmes. The NDA, a government supported development agency that works closely with civil society and community groups, will share its experiences on an innovative agricultural empowerment project.

Leveraging information tools for targeted service delivery - This commission will focus on experiences in the use of information tools to support decision-making and service delivery. The CSIR as the foremost science and technology parastatal in the country, will demonstrate how GIS is used to improve greater access to public services. The Municipal Demarcation Board will share with the audience the new technological innovation, SA Explorer Version 4, and how it is being used as a tool for decision-making. The National Department of Public Works will share the case of Zimisele Turnaround Programme, an initiative to improve customer relations' capability in its workings.

Citizen participation in governance - The commission will interrogate the challenges and experiences in deepening participation of the public in service delivery and governance. This will include work currently being done through the CDW programme and ward committees at municipal levels. The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government will reflect on the achievements and challenges in making a Citizens Charter a reality to the public and some of the lessons learnt since the launch of the initiative eight months ago. The Ilembe Education District in KZN will demonstrate how they are making Batho Pele a reality.

Day 3

Sub-theme: Local government as a focal point for accelerated growth and development

Cultural performance on local service delivery : Ms Gcina Mhlope-Becker is Africa's Favourite Storyteller. Storytelling has become a popular business medium for conferences and seminars and Gcina is a master at creating stories to complement business themes. She will render an artistic item/play to demonstrate and show why and how public servants should put people first.

Making local government work: a reflection on policies, towards a single public service, public participation, and building accountability in the system - Local government has over the past five years undergone profound policy changes and encountered vast service delivery challenges. The Honourable MP Lechesa Tsenoli, erstwhile civic activist and former MEC in the Free State provincial government, will reflect on the current local government policy framework and related initiatives to build accountability in the systeMs He will also outline the role of the local sphere in accelerating growth and development and reflect on how the legislative arm of government should exercise oversight and evaluation.

A critical reflection on local government performance: Mr Kevin Allan will take stock and give a critical analysis of the performance of local government over the past five years. In his analysis, he will draw on some specific cases. He will then point out some of the possible solutions that could be explored to make local government work better.

The role of local government in stimulating local growth and development: the case of Rustenburg municipality - Rustenburg town is situated in the foremost precious platinum deposits in the world, and is one of the fastest growing towns in South Africa. The Municipal Manager of the local council, Mr Eric Matlawe will provide a chronology of change and transformation in the municipality, and outline what the role and contribution of the local council has been in stimulating growth and development in the town.

Building local service delivery capacity: the case of Siyenza Manje - The DBSA has partnered with the Department of Provincial and Local Government as part of government's efforts to make a decisive intervention in building the technical, financial, and planning capacity of local government. Mr Steve Mathenjwa of the Development Bank of Southern Africa will share with take the audience through the main thrusts of the intervention, its fit with Project Consolidate, and some of the challenges going forward.


Day 1

Programme manager: Mr Tony Wadsworth, EC Office of the Premier
Sub-theme:The State of developmental initiatives: a reflection

Day 2

Programme manager: Ms Colette Clark, DPSA
Sub-theme:Maximizing access to government services: entrenching public participation and accountability

Day 3

Programme manager: Mr Joseph Leshabane, DOH
Sub-theme:Local government as a focal point for accelerated growth and development

Last update: 30 August 2011

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