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Minister urge citizens to defend hard-won freedom


Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo says South Africans should join hands in the fight against corruption that continues to threaten the country’s freedom and its maturing democracy.  

“Our freedom was hard-won…we must nurture and defend it jealously at all times. Now, more than ever, we must defend our freedom against the scourge of corruption that is eroding our democratic values and our dream of being a capable, ethical and developmental State.

“By fighting to end corruption, we guarantee our citizens access to equal and quality services to which they have a Constitutional right. This further ensures that the efficiency of government and the processes of delivering services to the public are not undermined,” she said.

Minister Dlodlo earlier today, September 3, virtually delivered the keynote address to officially unveil this year’s Integrated Public Service Month under the theme: “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke – a resilient public service responsive to the coronavirus pandemic.”

September marks the Public Service Month in South Africa. The Public Service Month serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities as well as looking at the impact of government service delivery.

The Minister said the late struggle hero (Maxeke) is the one who first articulated what is today a fundamental building block of the democratic government’s Batho Pele principle.

“It was her who reminded us that when we work in the interest of our people, we must “kill the spirit of self” and “put the people first”.

“As a government, we honour these sterling contributions of Ma Maxeke to our present-day democracy as we remain committed to the principle of “Putting People First”, especially when it comes to the delivery of public services that address their needs,” she said.

According to Minister Dlodlo, public servants work matters. “I am well aware that the government’s commitment to quality service delivery means little without you, our public servants, who are at the coalface of service delivery in our country.

“Being a public servant is a noble calling and the greatest of all professions. It demands dedication, selflessness, professionalism, commitment, and the utmost faithfulness to the principles and standards of Batho Pele; of “Putting People First”, just as Ma Maxeke had enjoined us to do many years ago.

“We must strive to emulate the ethos of resilience championed by Ma Maxeke and live out the best and finest values of public service,” adding that Maxeke contributed significantly to this democratic government’s understanding of public administration as a system of governance that must at all times be caring, responsive and focused on putting people first.

She further said that public service is about complete dedication to the people and the nation. 

“It is you that our citizens come to for guidance and support with the issues affecting their everyday lives…it is you, the police officer they turn to for safety and protection when confronted with danger and calamity; it is you, the teacher they rely on to educate their children so that they are able to realise their full potential; it is you, the healthcare worker they turn to for life-saving medical advice and assistance;  and it is you, the frontline worker they trust to facilitate their access to public services that are necessary for their everyday lives and livelihoods,” she said.

Delivering message of support, chair of the African Peer Review Mechanism APRM) National Governing Council, Mr Thulani Tshefuta said: “the inclusion of the resilience of the state in our view is in line with the elevation of building of a capable, ethical and developmental state.

“Moving forward as APRM, in the next phase of our activities, we will be focusing on research, lectures and webinars, open submissions, dialogues, community based engagements and consultations and even media consultations, therefore, we are doing all these in order to put these in the hands of the people, so that they are empowered to reflect on the extent to which service delivery is impacting their lives.”