Deputy Minister's tribute to Chabane

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pretoria – In a tribute to the late Minister of Public Service and Administration, Collins Chabane, Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo described him as one of the most humble, dedicated and disciplined cadres of the African National Congress (ANC). 

Minister Chabane dedicated his life to the service of his country and people from when he was only 17 years old, joining the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto weSizwe. 

In fighting for the ideals of equality, justice and freedom, Minister Chabane displayed dedication and has served in numerous leadership roles within MK, the ANC and provincial and national governments. 

As a leader, the Deputy Minister  said, Minister Chabane was one of the most devoted and grounded people who worked with a sense of quiet determination by always striving for a better future for all the people of South Africa in line with the provisions of the Freedom Charter.

He possessed a skill that very few can muster - that of listening attentively and knowing when to intervene in a discussion or debate.

“His word was what we all looked forward to hearing, especially in difficult and complex discussions and almost always, his sober and well-thought out views prevailed.

“His ability to hear out others as they spoke gave him the opportunity to further analyse and pronounce his views in a very solid and well channelled manner. At no point would he let emotions cloud his thinking and always applied his mind fully on matters,” Deputy Minister Dlodlo said.

He came into the Department of Public Service and Administration at a time where many changes were being made or had been effected but quickly realised that these changes were not supported by a change management strategy or intervention.

Having realised this and implementing support interventions, the morale in the department blossomed and effective change became all the more visible, said Deputy Minister Dlodlo.

He led from the front, respecting each and every person’s contribution, especially those who are experts in their field. Nobody in the department felt small in his presence because he was a man who loved people and respected the dignity of all.

Minister Chabane was also firm on matters relating to performance excellence and allowed for all to flourish in their respective portfolios. He understood and respected that failure is an opportunity for further growth and yet demanded excellence in the portfolios performance.

His ability to hear others out as they spoke, gave him the opportunity to further analyse and pronounce his views in a very solid and well channelled manner. 

He treated every person with dignity and never pulled rank but always prevailed because of his stern yet humble demeanour.

Among the roles played and leadership positions held, Minister Chabane served as the Provincial Secretary of the ANC in the then Northern Province, as MEC for Public Works in Limpopo and MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism among other roles.

Prior to his appointment as head of the Public Service and Administration portfolio, Minister Chabane had successfully developed and built the new Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, and within a short space of time made the monitoring and evaluation function a crucial part of government work.

At the helm of the Public Service and Administration portfolio, it was his deep connection and understanding of the needs of his people that Minister Chabane set out to bring public services to the heart of the people through reinventing the way public servants work, by putting people first through the Batho Pele programme of government.  

His death is untimely as it comes at a crucial moment for the public service. With the recent passing into law of the Public Administration Management Act which will radically transform the country’s public administration in line with Constitutional imperatives, as well as with the advanced talks in the current round of salary negotiations, it is the unassuming demeanour and leadership traits of Minister Chabane that will be greatly missed.

“As the Ministry for Public Service and Administration and all its portfolio institutions, we can only learn from the life led by Minister Chabane.  

“Ours is to never keep our eyes off the ball, but to at all times ensure we live the values espoused in the life of our late Minister and to deliver with the same sense of diligence and dedication, that which has been entrusted upon us by our people.

“We bid farewell to a great man, an ally, my comrade in arms and an overall decent and humble being,” said Deputy Minister Dlodlo.

*Click here to view our online tribute to Minister Chabane. –