Mandela Day a reminder of ethical leadership

Friday, July 19, 2019

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Public Service and Administration Director General Richard Levin says Mandela Day should be a reminder of the ethical leadership envisaged when the late former President Nelson Mandela led the country to democracy 25 years ago.  

Levin, who led a 67 minute clean-up campaign at Leamogetswe Safety Home which caters for abused children and people with disabilities, said the country needs public servants who are change agents and facilitators of integrated good governance.

“This 10th anniversary of International Nelson Mandela Day, we are in an era where there is lack of trust [by citizens] of the public service. By doing community work on Mandela Day, we are also contributing towards ethical leadership in the public service.

“Mandela Day should remind us that ethical leadership is trying to build the kind of society we envisaged when Mandela led us to democracy in 1994… Ethical leadership is also about making sure that we achieve the objective of working with people to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality,” he said.

Had he lived, Levin said, Madiba would be happy to see public servants serving South Africans with diligence and commitment guided by the Batho Pele Principles of putting people first.

“Mandela Day reminds us of the importance of working with the people for the people as government. We are here as one public service, one public administration to demonstrate that together we can work towards transformation of our society,” he said.

Mandela Day marks the birthday of former President Nelson Mandela on July 18, 1918, in the former Transkei homeland.

On the day and the entire month of July, South Africans and people all over the world are encouraged to dedicate at least 67 minutes of their time to do community work in celebration of the values and principles that Mandela fought and stood for.

The 67 minutes symbolises Madiba's years of selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world in the course of his extraordinary life. Mandela spent 67 years of his life working to build a better life for all.

The day is an opportunity for all South Africans to set aside time to be of service to their communities. –