Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake

Tomorrow, I will officially launch a comprehensive assessment report on the functionality of the Thusong Service Centre (TSC) program across South Africa. The Ministry for the Public Service and Administration is deeply invested in ensuring that these “one-stop shops” for government services continue to fulfil their essential role in bridging the gap between citizens and their government.

For over two decades, the Thusong Service Centres have been at the forefront of our efforts to bring government closer to the people, particularly those in historically disadvantaged communities. What started as Multi-Purpose Community Centres in 1999 has evolved into a network of 278 TSCs spanning all nine provinces – each one a testament to our unwavering dedication to service delivery.

The assessment report I will be launching tomorrow paints a complex picture of the TSC program’s current state. While some centres are thriving, providing essential services and acting as vibrant community hubs, others are struggling with issues like a lack of anchor tenants, poor infrastructure, and unreliable connectivity. This is particularly concerning in centres where service providers have withdrawn, leaving citizens without access to the support they need.

However, the report also highlights some inspiring developments, such as the Northern Cape’s efforts to establish three new TSCs in the Namaqua District and the Free State’s plan to open an innovative urban concept TSC in Thabong. These new centres represent an opportunity to learn from past experiences and build Thusong Centres that are truly fit for purpose.

As I reflect on the findings of this assessment, I am reminded of the transformative potential of the TSC program. These community hubs have the power to bridge the gap between citizens and their government, empowering people with the knowledge and resources they need to improve their lives.

That is why I am committed to addressing the challenges identified in this report and unlocking the full potential of the Thusong Service Centres. This will require improved coordination between different government departments, strategic investments in infrastructure upgrades, and the exploration of innovative service delivery models.

The Thusong Service Centres are more than just physical spaces; they are symbols of our unwavering commitment to the people of this country. By empowering communities through accessible government services, we can create a more inclusive, prosperous South Africa for all.

One model that has shown promise in other contexts is the integration of digital service delivery within the physical TSC spaces. This could involve setting up e-Centres or digital kiosks where citizens can access online government services, file forms, and engage with officials remotely. By leveraging technology, we can extend the reach and efficiency of the TSCs, especially in remote areas.

Another innovative approach is the establishment of “TSC-in-a-Box” concepts – self-contained, modular units that can be rapidly deployed to underserved communities. These mobile or prefabricated centres could provide a core suite of essential services, acting as temporary hubs until a permanent TSC facility can be constructed. This agile model would allow us to respond quickly to emerging needs.

We could also explore public-private partnership models that bring in experienced service providers to bolster the TSC network. For example, collaborating with major retail chains or logistics companies to host TSC services within their existing infrastructure. This could enhance the accessibility and convenience of the centres for citizens.

Furthermore, the report highlights the potential for TSCs to evolve into community innovation hubs – spaces that not only deliver government services, but also foster entrepreneurship, digital skills training, and local economic development. By integrating these value-added services, we can transform the TSCs into true engines of community empowerment.

These are just a few innovative concepts the department will investigate further based on the insights from the assessment report. Our goal is to ensure that the Thusong Service Centres remain responsive, relevant, and impactful in the years to come.

I am confident that by embracing new service delivery models and strengthening partnerships, we can unlock the full potential of the TSC program and continue to empower communities across South Africa. This is an exciting and pivotal moment, and I look forward to working with all stakeholders to shape the future of the Thusong Service Centres.

By working together, I believe we can strengthen the TSC network and ensure that it continues to serve the evolving needs of South African communities. This is not just a matter of service delivery – it is about upholding the democratic values of equality, dignity, and social justice that lie at the heart of our Constitution.

I invite you to join me in this important work. Together, we can write the next chapter of the Thusong Service Centre story – one that is defined by innovation, resilience, and a steadfast dedication to the people we serve.


Dr Chana Pilane Majake is the Deputy Minister For The Public Service And Administration.