Public servants shine at Batho Pele Awards

Friday, November 15, 2013

By Thomas Thale 

Pretoria - Hard working and dedicated public servants, those doing their bit behind the scenes to make the country a better place over the last twenty years of democracy, were given their time to shine last night.

Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu honoured the hard workers at the inaugural Batho Pele Excellence Awards in Midrand on Thursday night, saying they had worked with "passion and dedication to serve our people”.

She praised committed public servants for making it possible for a large number of people to have access to piped water, electricity and housing. “These successes are enormous. The achievements are yet to be properly recorded.”

The biggest winner of the evening was Dr Kelly Gate, a surgeon from the Bethesda Hospital in Kwazulu-Natal, who won the Best Overall Batho Pele Award and gold for Best Public Service Leader of the Year. The two awards come with R30 000 price money, a scholarship and a holiday package for two.

Former Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Professor Stan Sangweni, South Africa’s oldest teacher, Nontsikelelo Qwelani  and former Secretary of Parliament, Ambassador Sindiso Mfenyana were honoured with The Public Service Lifetime Achiever Awards.

Nosipho Ncaba, Director General of the Department of Environmental Affairs, scooped the award for National Best National Head of Department.

Constable Mapule Tshepe from Kagiso Police Station won the Best National Frontline Service Award. She won R10 000 and a scholarship to Oxford University.

The Department of Science and Technology walked away with an award for Best Functioning National Department, while the Department of Community Safety in the Western Cape won the Best Functioning Provincial Department.

The Best Implemented Project of the Year went to the KwaZulu-Natal Schools Environmental Education Programme.

The National Department of Public Enterprises scooped the award for Best Department on Professional Ethics.

The Department of Cooperative Governance, Housing and Traditional Affairs in Limpopo was awarded Best Public Service Creative Innovator of the Year for its New Engine Server.

Sisulu said the awards would be extended to cover the entire public service. “From next year, the awards will be held in September. All public servants will be asked to nominate people who have gone beyond the call of duty.”

She expressed hope that the awards would reinforce the diligence public servants show to work and the compassion they show to people. –

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