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Celebrating 25th anniversary of SA Constitution

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South Africans should be proud of the explicitness of constitutionalism in the public administration, says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake.

The Deputy Minister delivered closing remarks at the virtual Public Service Month (PSM) dialogue on Constitutionalism and Public Administration on Tuesday.

“The explicitness of constitutionalism in public administration is certainly an accomplishment that we should all be proud of as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our democratic Constitution.

This is indeed something we, the people of this beautiful country, must be proud of as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our Constitution, and the entrenchment of constitutionalism in our public administration system,” she said.

According to Dr Pilane-Majake, this indicates that South Africa clearly meets all the requirements of constitutionalism.

On 21 March 1960, 69 unarmed people were brutally killed while, 180 more sustained injuries when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in Sharpeville to protest against the Pass laws. 

In an effort to symbolically pay homage to those who were killed, the late former President Nelson Mandela signed the South African Constitution into law on December 10, 1996 in Sharpeville. Therefore, this year, the country commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Constitution.

“Our Constitutions injunction that public administration must be governed by its core values and principles, including a set of principles specific to public administration is indicative of the wide-ranging scope of constitutionalism in our system of public administration.

“Our Constitution’s principles about public administration not only reflect the idea of open, accountable and transparent government.

“These principles represent specific norms in relation to accountability, a high standard of professional ethics, transparency, public participation, unbiased and equitable service delivery, a developmental orientation, responsiveness to people’s needs, timely access to accurate information, efficiency, effectiveness, and the economic use of public resources,” she said.

The Deputy Minister said these norms speak to the depth of constitutionalism in the public administration system.

This Constitution dictates that public administration must be broadly representative of the South African people, with employment and personnel management practices based on ability, objectivity, fairness, and the need to redress the imbalances of the past to achieve broad representation.

Today’s dialogue is part of a series of discussions taking place this month as part of the 2021 integrated Public Service Month celebrations proceeding under the theme: “The Year of Charlotte Maxeke–building the capacity of the state through a resilient workforce that responds to the coronavirus pandemic.”