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Government unveils Africa Public Service Day

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Africa is determined to eradicate poverty and build shared prosperity through social and economic transformation of the continent, says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake, speaking at the launch of the Africa Public Service Day (APSD) on Monday, 20 June 2022.

“In the background of this ambition is the African Continental Free Trade Agreement that promotes a one prosperous Africa approach to development.

“The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is an ambitious trade pact to form the world’s largest free trade area by connecting almost 1.3 billion people across 54 African countries. The agreement aims to create a single market for goods and services in order to deepen the economic integration of Africa,” she said.

The official launch of the 2022 APSD, means that the country has marked the annual programme with a week-long series of activities until Friday, 24 June 2022. The country is set to join the rest of the African continent to commemorate the annual Africa Public Service Day (APSD) to be held in Tzaneen, Limpopo on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Deputy Minister, Pilane-Majake said the African Union (AU) rightly identified 2022 as the year dedicated to promotion of food security through public service in Africa under the continental theme: “Building resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent: Accelerated human capital, social and economic development”.

This theme, she said, is most appropriate given the challenges experienced in Africa and globally impacting negatively on food security.

These challenges are but, not limited to: COVID-19 pandemic; climate change in the form droughts, heatwaves, floods; and sky-rocketing grain, oil, and natural gas prices resulting from the “Ukraine-Russia Crisis”.

Focus of Africa Public Service Day in SA
Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake said South Africa must stand in solidarity with the rest of the African continent in building social protection mechanisms, accelerating human social and economic development.

This she should be done in being mindful of operational challenges in South Africa which are as follows:
• Population explosion that frustrates public service delivery;
• Over pricing of services rendered to government;
• Supplier database that is not talking to real needs on the ground excluding unsophisticated players in agriculture and agro-food processing who can manage to bring about real change in the lives of South Africans;
• Uneven public service delivery to citizens across the Public Service especially for almost forgotten remote rural areas in Limpopo; KwaZulu-Natal & Easter Cape provinces.

“This national focus that calls for paradigm shift in terms of government approach to service delivery will help respond to our unique challenges towards human capital development in line with vision 2030 as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP),” she said.

In his address to Public Servants during last year’s Public Service Month, President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that being in public service demands high level of professionalisation, selflessness, commitment, adherence to ethical norms and standards and observance of Batho Pele principles–putting the people first.

Commemoration of Africa Public Service Day will be a week-long programme with key sub-themes.

These will be implemented in the form of interactive dialogues between public servants, academics and civil society as follows:

• Using modernisation and digitisation in the public service to improve on food security;
• Innovation and incubation hubs for new entrants in agriculture and agro-food processing;
• nutrition-smart public service interventions at all levels in public service;
• Participation of women and youth in agriculture and agro-food processing;
• Access to land and public service assistance for players in food security and
• Strategies to build enforceable accountability mechanisms for officials in fast tracking food security in South Africa.