Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake, has urged South Africans including public servants to stand in solidarity with the rest of the African continent in strengthening agriculture.
“Food security is essential to Africa’s human capital development and securing the resultant benefits of social and economic growth and development. Food security in Africa must be prioritised. I urge all South Africans – including public servants to stand in solidarity with the rest of the continent as we strengthen agriculture and agro-food systems,” she said.
The Deputy Minister delivered the keynote address at the national event to commemorate the annual continental Africa Public Service Day held in Tzaneen, Limpopo on Thursday 23 June 2022, where the day’s activities started with a visit to a farm of Ms Linda Nghatsane.
Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake emphasised the importance of standing in solidarity with the rest of the continent of Africa in building social protection mechanisms, accelerating human social and economic development.
“As a caring and responsive government, we acknowledge that these national challenges must be addressed as a matter of priority, which is why we are balancing the continental Africa Public Service Day theme for 2022 with our national priorities for the South African Public Service under the theme:
“Rebuilding the State and restoring trust and pride by tackling human capital development challenges for social and economic development”.
“This national focus that calls for a paradigm shift in terms of the 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.
The NDP and the professionalisation of the public service
According to Deputy Minister Pilane-Majake, the NDP has been clear that a capable and developmental state starts with the quality of people who work for the government of SA.
“These public servants must have appropriate skills, knowledge and competencies in addition to the right attitude to implement government policies efficiently and effectively. This we call professionalisation of public service towards realisation of a capable state, a framework the DPSA is still developing in collaboration with NSG towards this envisaged renewal of public service,” she said.
Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu on behalf of Limpopo Premier, Mr Chupu Mathabatha said: “This event will offer us an opportunity to interact directly and interface with challenges facing our continent.
“I refer here to challenges in the areas of governance, public administration, civil service, and service delivery. We have embraced this event because of our yearning to make a humble contribution to the cause of Africa’s agenda to build capable states with the ability to drive the continent to Africa Agenda 2063. This platform will allow us to respond swiftly and in a more tailored fashion to challenges of public service on our continent.
“As a province we align fully with the theme of this event. We are committed to the task of contributing our energies to building resilience in nutrition on the African continent. We are committed to the urgent task of accelerating the development of human capital on our continent. We understand that related to this task is the task of fighting against the phenomenon of brain drain on the African continent.”
Commemoration of Africa Public Service Day has been a week-long programme with key sub-themes. These were 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 chain and
- Strategies to build enforceable accountability mechanisms for officials in fast tracking food security assistance in South Africa.
The APSD, which is derived from the collaborative work of the Pan-African Ministers programme, is not only aimed at enhancing governance and public administration, but it is a platform for the public service space to display and reward initiatives and achievements. The APSD is one of the strategic platforms that enable public servants in Africa to reflect on the function of the public service.
It also provides an invaluable opportunity for public servants to promote values such as professionalism, accountability, responsiveness, ethics and performance in the delivery of public service. The APSD, is commemorated to reflect on the function of the public service; its mission and objectives, programmes and projects, successes and challenges.
The day is meant to accord due recognition to and make known the importance of civil service, its positive contribution and benefits to public servants, the population, civil society, private sector and government.