Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet.

Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet, emphasised the importance of the public service in serving and enhancing the quality of life for all South African citizens, marking three decades since the establishment of a democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Speaking at a provincial public servants imbizo on the professionalisation of the public service in Mangaung, Free State, Minister Kiviet underscored the foundational role of the Constitution, which finds its roots in the Freedom Charter.

The Minister stressed the significance of attentive listening and embracing a collective and responsive approach to ensure that the public service genuinely reflects the interests of the country.

“The Freedom Charter serves as the bedrock of our Constitution, which was forged through a door-to-door approach that prioritised listening to the people.

“Today, we gather here to engage in fruitful discussions on the professionalisation of the public service. Our aim is to share our observations, propose appropriate responses, and gather your invaluable input.

“Through our collective efforts, we aspire to cultivate a system that authentically embodies the interests and aspirations of our nation.

“This renewed emphasis on collectiveness and a responsive approach resonates with our South African identity. It aligns with the principles enshrined in our Constitution, inspired by the values encapsulated within the Freedom Charter,” the Minister said.

Minister Kiviet further emphasized that as public servants, their primary duty is to serve the people, given the foundation of a democratic and prosperous country.

Enhancing the quality of life for all citizens stands as their core responsibility.

Addressing the criticality of recruitment, selection, and appointment within the public service, Minister Kiviet urged the custodians of Human Resource Units to exercise utmost caution and ensure that individuals with questionable backgrounds are not employed.

She reiterated the need for a capable, ethical, and developmental state, urging public servants to uphold the highest standards of professionalism.

In response to concerns about criticising the government, Minister Kiviet drew a parallel with family dynamics, highlighting the importance of resolving internal issues within the family structure.

Similarly, she emphasised the existence of structures within the government to address concerns and encouraged public servants to engage and provide feedback on directives and regulations.

Mr Mxolisi Dukwana, the Free State Premier, commended the national framework approved by the Cabinet in October 2022, which aims to professionalise the public service by bolstering efficiency, integrity, and accountability.

The framework places emphasis on public servants possessing the requisite qualifications, technical skills, and adherence to Batho Pele principles.

Minister Kiviet’s workshop in Mangaung follows similar events held in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng Provinces earlier this year, with plans underway to roll out provincial professionalisation workshops in provinces.