Deputy Director-General: Government Services Access and Improvement, Willie Vukela

Ensuring the efficient and reliable provision of public services plays a vital role in cultivating trust and forging a strong connection between the government and its citizens. It is in this regard that I am pleased to present my insights on the newly issued Directive on the Institutionalisation of the Public Service Charter, issued by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Noxolo Kiviet. This directive holds significant importance in enhancing the delivery of public services, and I am eager to share my perspective on its implications and benefits.

The purpose of this Directive is to ensure that departments across the public service adhere to the commitments made in the Public Service Charter. We aim to enhance the effective implementation of the Public Service Charter, foster professionalism, and promote a citizen-centric approach in the public service by implementing the approved Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy, outlined in Annexure A of the Directive.

At the core of this Directive lies the recognition that citizens are the primary beneficiaries of public services. We must place their needs and aspirations at the forefront of our efforts. We commit to improving service delivery and promoting professionalism within the public service by institutionalizing the Batho Pele Revitalisation Strategy.

To achieve this, the Directive outlines specific governance and implementation arrangements. Each department is required to establish a functional Service Delivery Forum representing a cross-cutting multi-disciplinary team to ensure effective governance. This forum will act as a platform for discussing the implementation of the PSC and its continuous improvement.

Furthermore, the institutionalization of the Operations Management Framework will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of public resource utilization. Departments can tailor their service delivery approaches to meet the unique needs of their constituents by developing context-specific Batho Pele Standards and performance indicators.

One vital aspect of the Directive focuses on developing mechanisms and programs that improve access to government services. We can address citizens’ feedback effectively and identify areas for service delivery improvement through the implementation of a well-managed complaints and compliments management system. This ensures that the public service remains responsive and accountable to the needs of our citizens.

Moreover, the Directive emphasizes the importance of fostering a conducive working environment for public servants. The development of an organizational culture and employee satisfaction assessment mechanism will help assess and improve the working conditions within departments. By investing in the professional growth and well-being of our employees, we enable them to perform at their best and deliver quality services to the public.

The Directive also recognizes the significance of recognition and rewards for service excellence. We encourage and acknowledge the exceptional efforts of both individuals and teams in delivering outstanding public service through implementing a non-monetary rewards system.

Implementation of this Directive will be carried out in a phased and scheduled manner, ensuring a smooth transition and effective integration of its principles into departmental operations. Compliance with this Directive is essential, and any non-compliance will be dealt with under the provisions of the Public Service Act.

Effective from 1 April 2024, this Directive marks a significant milestone in our commitment to strengthening service delivery and building a citizen-centric public service. It is a testament to our dedication to creating a government that is accessible, accountable, and responsive to the needs of our citizens.

The institutionalisation of the Public Service Charter through this Directive sets the stage for a new era of governance in South Africa. We are poised to transform service delivery and build a stronger bond of trust between the government and its citizens by embracing the principles of professionalism, citizen-centricity, and continuous improvement. Let us forge ahead together, creating a brighter future for all making sure that we leave no one behind.

Mr Willie Vukela is the Deputy Director General of the Government Service Access and Improvement (GSAI) Branch at the Department of Public Service and Administration.