Minister Nkadimeng participating In a Panel Discussion at the SAAPAM Annual Conference

Academics and experts in public administration are playing a crucial role in shaping government policy in alignment with the National Development Plan (NDP) and professionalizing local government, according to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Ms Thembi Nkadimeng.

In an exclusive interview with The Public Servant at the ongoing 22nd Annual Conference of the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, Minister Nkadimeng highlighted the significance of external voices in policymaking.

The conference, which commenced on September 24, 2023, is a collaborative effort between the University of South Africa (Unisa) and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and will conclude on Friday, September 29, 2023. SAAPAM’s mission is to promote good governance and effective service delivery by advancing professionalism, scholarship, and practice in public administration and management.

Addressing the delegates virtually from New York, former President Thabo Mbeki emphasized the diminishing power of the state, the growing disconnect between ruling elites and citizens, and the potential for private sector innovation and civil society resilience to address societal challenges. He called on SAAPAM and its members to confront and reverse the declining authority and credibility of the democratic state through effective public administration and management.

Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet underlined the importance of delivering public services in accordance with national laws and regulations while respecting the human rights, dignity, and integrity of service users.

Minister Kiviet also highlighted the National Framework Towards Professionalization of the Public Sector as a means to ensure responsive and professional government services.

The framework encompasses requirements for recruitment and selection processes, mandatory induction for new public servants, performance management, continuous learning, and increased accountability for irregularities and mismanagement of state resources.

The conference’s theme revolves around repositioning African governments in the changing global order and disorder, reflecting the evolving dynamics and challenges faced by African nations.