Public Service and Administration Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi

The Director-General of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, has issued a circular regarding the implementation of the Public Service Charter (PSC).

The circular aims to promote a citizen-centric approach to building trust between the government and citizens.

Approved by the Minister of Public Service and Administration on March 6, the circular has been distributed to all Heads of national departments and provincial administrations. Its purpose is to ensure that departments adhere to the commitments outlined in the PSC by effectively implementing the approved Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy.

The Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy seeks to emphasize the importance of Batho Pele (Putting People First) in transforming public service to provide maximum benefit to citizens, in line with their constitutional rights to be treated with dignity, courtesy, and receive quality service. The revised strategy, along with its Minimum Standards, was approved by Cabinet earlier this year.

The strategy is built upon five interconnected pillars, which include:

  1. Building the capacity of the State and learning from previous and current Batho Pele implementation practices.
  2. Developing Batho Pele standards and communication approaches through engagement with various stakeholders.
  3. Ensuring compliance through effective monitoring tools.
  4. Reinforcing Batho Pele standards.
  5. Providing redress for citizens in line with the government’s constitutional obligations.

Each pillar is supported by flagship projects that contribute to the government’s overall efforts in building a capable, ethical, and developmental state, as outlined in Priority 1 of the National Development Plan (NDP).

According to Regulation 38 of the Public Service Regulations, 2016, Executive Authorities are required to establish and maintain a service delivery improvement plan (SDIP) aligned with the strategic plan of their respective departments. The SDIP must address the means of access to services, identify barriers to increased access, and specify progressive strategies to remove these barriers.

The circular aims to foster a unified and responsive approach among government departments to strengthen the implementation of the PSC within the broader public service. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of Executive Authorities and Accounting Officers at the national and provincial levels.

The implementation of the PSC can be done incrementally, with the DPSA monitoring progress and providing necessary support. The DPSA’s role is to create awareness and provide support to all stakeholders involved in the PSC Directive and other listed programs to ensure their effective implementation.

To enhance understanding and capacity within departments, Accounting Officers have been requested to provide the DPSA with the names and contact details of officials or champions who will serve as focal points. These officials, preferably from middle management and senior management levels, will strengthen accountability and can be existing officials with adjusted functions.

Provincial administrations have been urged to communicate the contents of the circular to their Heads of Departments.

Ms Makhasi said the circular aims to promote a citizen-centric approach and ensure the effective implementation of the Public Service Charter, outlines the key pillars of the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy and calls for the collaboration and accountability of government departments at all levels.