Mr Mestantika Seopela presented the Thusong Service Center Framework at the Thusong Indaba

The Governmentís transformation agenda has been defined by a series of legislative and policy measures aimed at redressing the imbalances of the past in order to create an inclusive society characterized by shared and equitable economic growth.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996) and the Reconstruction and Development Programme that were adopted at the dawn of the new democratic dispensation in South Africa provided a broad legal and policy framework to address the social and economic imbalances of the apartheid legacy, and to improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

The expectation of citizens from the Government is to deliver quality services to all in a fast, efficient, simplified and seamless manner.

It is, however, critical to note that, since the elections of the first democratic Government in 1994, considerable strides have been made in broadening the access of services and continuous improvements towards ensuring equity in service delivery.

With the introduction of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is responsible for implementing and coordinating interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service which is an essential element of a capable and developmental state in line with Outcome 12, Sub-Outcome 5, of the NDP.

Despite the progress made, the NDP acknowledges the continued unevenness incapacity that leads to uneven performance in the public service.

In order to achieve objectives of Outcome 12 as outlined in the National Development Plan, Sub-Outcome 5 intends to provide access to citizens with government services through the TSC Programme.

To achieve this, various departments have to work in an integrated manner, to ensure that this objective is met. The success of the Public Service depends on its ability to optimize service offering in an integrated manner.

The Thusong Service Centre Framework outlines the required approach, mechanisms, resources and management support, to ensure that all service centres comply with specific standards that will enable the government to offer services in a citizen-centric approach.

The ultimate goal of the Framework is to entrench an integrated approach to service delivery, guarded by resource provision and integrated planning towards development and management of service centres.

The notion of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a factor in the entire planning process, as Information Communication Technology (ICT) has contributed in the manner in which government must offer and provide services to its citizenís.

The impact that 4IR is placing on every society in the world, is impacting the manner in which citizens are now doing business with the state. The need for a strategy towards e-services, and how citizens will access such services using technology is critical in deciding what type of service centres to establish, and how citizens will get access to such centres in accessing government services.

Urbanization and the effect of Spatial Development Planning which was implemented by the previous dispensation contribute in the manner in which services are offered and made accessible to citizens. The TSC program brings better integrated spatial planning to ensure greater reach and accessibility of government service offerings.

Consultations with various stakeholders including the private sector indicate that there is a shift in terms of the purpose and what the programme needs to achieve.

A shift into the operational model which will focus on enterprise development mainly and youth development with a mix of government services has been proposed as the next approach to the service delivery channels of the Thusong Service Centre program, to achieve the 2nd and 3rd Generation Business Model proposed.

This will assist in achieving the objective of the Framework to provide the Public Service with a guideline of appraising common standards, approach, application, measurement, and reporting required for effective and efficient service delivery in providing access to government services to citizens.

For the Thusong Service Centre Programme to be managed and monitored in an efficient and effective manner, there needs to be a lead department that is responsible for the coordination, establishment, and management and monitoring of the programme at National level.

The current Thusong Service Centre business Model in line with the second generation business plan is based on a six-block approach made up of Government Services, Economic Development Services, Education and Skills Development Services, Office Services, Information and Communication Services and Private Sector and Community activities.

Monitoring will ensure that challenges experienced are mitigated and necessary reviews are undertaken to the Framework and will be done using a designed tool that will measure the effectiveness, functionality and efficiency of the Thusong Service Centre under review.

The functionality of the Thusong Service Centre will focus on whether the site can offer services to service recipients and it has the appropriate tools of the trade to offer those services.

Monitoring and Evaluating of the Framework must focus on improving how the Thusong is functional and remain operative from service offering. The above variables will be assessed in line with service standards developed to measure the functionality of the centre.

The Framework recommends that Thusong Service Centres should receive national government financial and resource-based support which should be directed through the national coordinating department or institution responsible and it should be delegated with specific responsibilities to provincial and local government and hold them accountable and responsible for such responsibilities.

This will assist in achieving the objective of the Framework to provide the Public Service with a guideline of appraising common standards, approach, application, measurement, and reporting required for effective and efficient service delivery in providing access to government services to citizens.

Mr Seopela Presented the Thusong Service Centre Framework at the Thusong Service Centre Indaba in Cape Town on 2019/09/ as part of the Public Service Month. The draft framework is currently under consultation with all stakeholders of the program across provinces.