Public servants urged to be top service provider

Friday, August 31, 2018

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has urged public servants to aim high and put their best foot forward when carrying out their duties and serving the nation.

“We must be the services or goods providers of choice for our people. Citizens must want to use public institutions to receive services because we are the best. We need to provide better services than the private sector,” says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo.

The Minister made this call as she launched Public Service Month at Velmore Hotel in Pretoria on Friday.

The launch kick-starts a month-long programme that will be rolled out across the country from 1 to 30 September.

Public Service Month, which is annually observed in September, was marked by Cabinet to reignite, instil and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how public servants do their work.

During the month, service delivery improvement initiatives are highlighted across the public service.

This year’s commemoration takes place under the theme: “Thuma Mina: taking public service to the people: we belong, we care, we serve”.

Dlodlo reminded public servants to put the public interest first in the execution of their official duties.

“They [public servants] must also be committed through timely service to the development and upliftment of all South Africans as per regulation. Public servants must not engage in any transaction or action that is in conflict with or infringes on the execution of his or her official duties,” she said.

The Minister urged government officials to report corrupt activities and in so doing return resources back to the public purse.

“When the government’s anti-corruption drive eliminates corrupt activities from the system, the resources saved will enable it to efficiently and effectively deliver services to you, [the] citizens of our country,” said Dlodlo.

During the launch, the Minister engaged with public servants from various departments and fielded questions on burning issues and matters that stifle the public service.

Among the questions were: " What is government’s plan for a skills transfer for public servants who are willing to exit the public service but fear leaving a skills gap?" and about the  recruitment and retention of interns in the sector.

In a bid to find solutions, public servants raised the need for government to partner with the higher education sector to ensure new graduates are adequately prepared for the workplace.

To boost morale, a proposal to acknowledge and upgrade workers who are on lower levels but have acquired sufficient experience was tabled.

Allaying fears of retrenchment in the public service

Following media reports that government wants to retrench 30 000 workers, Dlodlo took the opportunity to reiterate government’s message on the matter.

“There is no plan in this government to retrench people. I don’t want to retrench people, my objective is to align skills with the jobs that exist,” said Dlodlo, allaying the fears of public servants. –