Public servants will be monitored - Zuma

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says regular monitoring and evaluation of government's performance is crucial if it is to achieve its delivery objectives.

"In order for us to be able to deliver we need to give ourselves timelines in everything so that we can deal with things very seriously," Zuma said during an interview with the SABC last night.

"As you would know one of the things we have done has been to establish the performance, monitoring and evaluation (unit) which to us is critical to ensure that the timelines we are talking about and the general activity of government is monitored and evaluated ... we must be able to look at ourselves as we go along," he said.

Zuma said part of the decision to reconfigure government was to ensure delivery and to achieve results.

He warned that ministers who failed to deliver on their mandate would have to leave.

He also stressed the importance of a single public service that, according to him, would guide government's development goals in a uniformed manner.

"That is why for an example we have established a planning commission so that we have a plan that everybody at whatever level of government, works towards achieving and that must be done by a kind of civil service that is doing one thing," he said.

For the first time, ministers will now have to enter into a performance agreement with the president. Their performance will be reviewed on a regular basis and they will have to produce bi-monthly reports on the performance of their departments.

"They all know nobody is going to sit who's not doing anything; part of the reason we are giving timelines means you must achieve that. If you don't achieve it how could you sit on the job which you are failing to do?" Zuma asked.

The way local government works would also have to change to ensure that the rampant service delivery protests, which have become a regular occurrence, are brought to an end.

Zuma also spoke at length about his government's plans for education, health, jobs and rural development. He said part of the plan had been to embark on a massive multi-billion rand infrastructure development in order to create jobs.

"I think that is an indication of our concrete plan to ensure that are we able to absorb as much as possible of labour".

During his State of the Nation Address last week, Zuma announced that government had created 480 000 job opportunities by the end of last year, behind only by 20 000 on the 500 000 he promised when he took office in May.

He acknowledged that the country was faced with a huge crisis of unemployment. "It is true that we lost 900 000 jobs and this was because the economy was sick throughout the world and we said at that very time that we will be trying to create job opportunities".

On the controversial debate relating to the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and the country's mines, Zuma dispelled as inaccurate reports that government was buying into the idea. He said it was okay for people to debate issues in democracy, adding that the issue of nationalisation was neither government nor ANC policy.