7th Batho Pele learning network

Mainstreaming and institutionalising Batho Pele to promote the desired Public Service culture of Togetherness, Ubuntu

Date: 10 Nov 2008 - 12 Nov 2008

Venue: Feather Market Convention Centre, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape


The Batho Pele Learning Network (BPLN) is a learning platform that promotes sharing and exchanging of experiences and lessons that are aimed at improving service delivery through the implementation of the White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery of 1997 (known as Batho Pele). The BPLN was launched in 2003 by the Department of Public Service and Administration (dpsa) to ensure that those in the public service have a platform to:

  • Explore and reach an understanding on the meaning of Batho Pele and its importance in the business of government, particularly service delivery.
  • Understand government's various initiatives and programmes to make Batho Pele work.
  • Showcase government's efforts to put people first "for real" in service delivery.
  • Share and learn from each other based on practical experiences in implementing Batho Pele on the ground.

The BPLN continues to grow and to generate interest in the public service. The BPLN has matured into an appropriate platform to share and exchange experiences, including best practices as well as lessons learnt, while putting emphasis on initiatives and programmes relating to the promotion and implementation of Batho Pele. Participation has increased from 300 to 500 delegates coming from the public service and other service delivery partners.


The objectives of the 2008 BPLN are to:

  • Instill a sense of business unusual in the implementation and roll-out of the Public Service policies
  • Share practical tools and techniques for efficient implementation of Batho Pele
  • Examine blockages in mainstreaming and the implementation of Batho Pele and share solutions
  • Reflect on the implementation of the recommendations of the sixth BPLN

Approach and format

In the endeavour to enrich the learning platform, the information will be sourced through existing studies, research and other important writings relating to people-centric service delivery in the public service. Citizen satisfaction surveys will be sourced from both the private and public sectors including the Public Service Commission (PSC), Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Community-based organisations (CBOs), etc.

Presentations and case studies depicting service delivery realities from all levels of government will be shared.

In commissions, robust discussions for the purpose of learning, sharing best practices, discussing challenges and finding possible solutions will take shape in line with the following sub-themes:

  • Improving internal and external Public Service partnerships
  • Leadership accountability in the implementation of Batho Pele
  • Creating and developing the will to serve: is enough being done?

Strengthening public participation will be one of the highlights through representations by the Civil Society groups. This is in line with government's drive for wider consultation and citizens' participation in service delivery.

The guidelines booklet, titled "Batho Pele Guidelines on the functions of the Batho Pele Coordinators" will be launched during this event. This booklet was developed to provide guidance on the expected role of Batho Pele Coordinators.

Targeted Audience

  • The public servants from all three spheres, (senior and middle managers)
  • Civil Society groups
  • Organisations associated with public service delivery like South African Local Government Association (SALGA), Public Service Commission (PSC), National Development Agency (NDA), Human Rights Commission, Commission on Gender Equality, Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF), etc.
  • Community Development Workers (CDW)
  • Private sector partners


One of the challenges encountered in the implementation and mainstreaming of Batho Pele is that most departments treat this policy as an add-on function. Despite it being eleven years into operation, the Batho Pele policy framework continues to be seen as the eight principles and service delivery is seen as having a direct interface with citizens. For example, some departments that don't have direct interface with the citizens think they don't have an obligation to implement Batho Pele.

The proposed theme and sub-themes intends to afford service delivery practitioners the opportunity to examine, discuss, and debate the following, among others:

  • How to ensure that implementation of Batho Pele policy becomes the responsibility of all managers (senior or middle managers and even supervisors) and eventually of all employees in the Public Service?
  • What should be the role of managers in making sure that Batho Pele graduates from being a dream into being reality of putting people first "for real", even within the place of work?
  • How do we revive and strengthen a collective approach of improving service delivery?
  • How do we inculcate the belief set of Batho Pele, "we belong, we care and we serve"?
  • What are the short-comings of all the initiatives that have been put in place, what needs to be done to turn-around the gains and what are the proposed measures to sustain the achievements?


Day 1

Sub-theme: Leadership accountability in the implementation of Batho Pele
Programme Director: Ms Kholofelo Sedibe, DPSA

Day 2

Sub-theme: Improving internal and external Public Service partnerships
Programme Director: Gregory Makoko, Limpopo-Office of the Premier


  • Commission 1: Improving internal and external Public Service partnerships
    Facilitator: Mr Siyabonga Msimang
    Rapporteur: Ms Folusho Mvubu
  • Rapport

  • Commission 2: Leadership accountability in the implementation of Batho Pele
    Facilitator: Mr Aaron Nhlonipho
    Rapporteur: Ms Tshebeletso Malaka
  • Rapport

  • Commission 3: Creating and developing a will to serve: is enough being done?
    Facilitator: Mr Vincent Mabunda
    Rapporteur: Ms Veronica Motalane
  • Rapport

Day 3Sub-theme: Creating and developing a will to serve
Programme Director: Mr Ndlhovu

Last update: 31 August 2011

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