The government will explore areas of collaboration with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to develop capacity-building programmes to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063.
This announcement was made by Public Service and Administration Acting Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi, while speaking at the UN DESA-APRM continental workshop on Thursday in Cape Town.
“The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is keen to explore areas of collaboration with APRM, UN DESA and other partners to develop capacity-building programmes to implement the SDGs and AU Agenda 2063. I believe that such collaboration can go a long way in enhancing the achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063,” he said.
UN DESA upholds the development pillar of the United Nations and is a pioneer of sustainable development and the home of the SDGs, where each goal finds its space and where all stakeholders can do their part to leave no one behind.
“The government of South Africa and the DPSA, in particular, have significantly supported the APRM since its foundation as a very special organ of the African Union that supports the whole continent to improve good governance policies and practices. South Africa benefited from the two peer governance reviews conducted by the APRM continental secretariat over the last 15 years,” he said.
In preparation for our 2nd Generation Country Review, the South African government established its APRM National Governing Council (NGC) under the leadership of Chairperson Mr Thulani Tshefuta.
In 2021, government completed the 2nd APRM Generation Country self-assessment which was followed by an Independent 2nd Generation Country Peer Review which was finalised on February 4, 2022, at the APR Forum of Heads of State and government.
The 2nd Generation Country Peer Review Report identified key challenges that currently face the country alongside various recommendations to improve public service delivery and citizens’ satisfaction.
It also identified best practices that the country was commended on. The 2nd Generation Country Peer Review Report concluded among others that “while post-apartheid South Africa is imbued with a vibrant political democracy, it is nevertheless, a democracy under severe socio-economic stress”.
Minister Nxesi said: “we still have a huge inequality gap amongst our citizens, as well as corrupt practices and other persistent rooted challenges, which continue to derail South Africa’s economic capacities and aspirations for a sustainable society.
“The 2nd Generation Country Peer Review Report encouraged the South African government to enhance the broad-based participation of citizens in decision making, gender equality, political and economic governance; strengthening preparedness to absorb shocks and disasters. The progress towards these objectives will also contribute to the achievement of our prioritised SDGs and Agenda 2063: “the Africa we want.”
Connected to this, Minister Nxesi said the 2030 national vision for development requires strong and efficient public service delivery.
According to the Minister, the South African government’s engagement and commitment towards Africa’s integration and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) illustrates its intentions in promoting development across the region.
“We have pledged various sectoral reforms to enhance public service delivery in alignment with the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) principles. The 2020-2025 Strategic plan of DPSA is guided by the seven priorities of the government-planning framework, which flags building a capable, ethical and developmental state as one of those priorities.
“I believe that CEPA principles, especially those pertinent to building the competence of civil servants, sound policymaking, accountability and leaving no one behind, have strong resemblance to our guiding principles for a transformative public service as stated in the “Batho Pele” white paper.
“Capacitating South African public civil servants with training on ethics and codes for a capable and efficient state is a priority for our department,” he said.