Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake says social and economic transformation can only be realised by an effective state with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good.

The Deputy Minister said this while delivering her opening remarks at the 3-day Government Capacity and Performance Review conference on behalf of Public Service and Administration, Acting Minister, Mr Thulas Nxesi on Monday in Durban.

“With our history of deep social and economic divisions…there can never be any social and economic transformation without an effective state with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s developmental objectives.

“The effectiveness of the state highly relies on performance and performance management in public service that should be preceded by effective recruitment strategies and development plans to capacitate public servants.

“In essence, capacitated state, and capable government are a critical foundation of a developmental and interventionist state,” she said.

She told delegates that the work of the conference should therefore, go to the foundation of the National Development Plan (NDP) that requires stimulation at all times.

The NDP is rooted in various sections of society, working together to advance the national development plan of a just and equitable South Africa. Dr Pilane-Majake said the realisation of the ambitious plan heavily relies on the capacity of the state that will be interrogated at the conference.

Chapter 13 of the NDP identifies critical interventions to build professional public service and state capable of playing a transformative and developmental role in addressing vision 2030 towards eradication of poverty and inequality.

The NDP requires collaboration between various sections of society and strong leadership by government.

“The NDP is not the sole preserve of government, but a cross-sectoral responsibility. While government plays a significant role in mobilising and channeling developmental resources, collaborative efforts by various stakeholders to advance the developmental agenda of society is required.

“Therefore, the Multisectoral character of this conference is a manifestation of the NDP phenomenon that must be multiplied across government, at national, provincial and local level,” she said.

The following is identified as the strategic pillars towards the realisation of the overarching state capacity vision:

  • Building a professional public service with clear norms and        standards
  • Building a social compact with the people of South Africa
  • Building an effective and efficient state, capable of                  responding timeously to the needs of society.
  • Proper Management of political – administrative interface        for ease of government business
  • Use of technology to fast-track government business
  • Working towards one public service
  • Consolidation of governance of state-Owned Enterprises         (SoEs).

The conference is informed by the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP) developed in 2012. It seeks to ascertain the extent to which the government has manifested this commitment ten years later.

The theme of the conference, which is hosted by the DPSA in partnership with the University of KwaZulu Natal, the National Planning Commission, and the KwaZulu Natal Office of the Premier, is “Reflections on State Capacity and Government Performance through the first ten-years of the National Development Plan”.

“We want to thank the University of KwaZulu-Natal for having mobilised academia nationally, and thus providing intellectual leadership in the quest for a fruitful conference outcome. Special thanks to National Planning Commission, the public service commission, the National School of Government, for pulling this initiative together,” she said.