Public service must meet citizen's expectations of quality service

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu says government employees should meet people’s needs without fail.

“We are called upon to focus our attention to what is expected of the public service by the South Africans we serve on a daily basis. We are reminded that our training interventions should have a meaningful socio-economic impact,” Mchunu said.

Speaking at the 20th Public Service Trainers’ Forum Conference in Midrand on Monday, Mchunu said each and every citizen has the legitimate expectation to receive quality services.

“These expectations would not be met if the public service is not positioned and attuned to the notion of service,” Mchunu said.

This year the conference is being held under theme: “Enabling Vision 2030 through HRD: training and development for socio economic impact”.

Mchunu said building a capable, ethical and developmental state is premised on the willingness of public servants to selflessly commit to the public good and adopt a people-centric disposition.

“As public sector trainers we need to pause and reflect on how we make a meaningful impact to the public service, whose primary responsibility is to serve our communities.

“The Constitution is clear on the expectation that the public service should be professional, accountable and development-oriented,” Mchunu said.

He said government looked to the National School of Government to play a significant role in ensuring that public servants are trained to serve the citizens of South Africa better.

“This school should, in our view, become a preparatory place or the “intellectual laboratory” for government where public servants are formed and moulded into caring, committed and citizen-oriented professionals, whose primary aspiration is to belong, to care and to serve.

“We look upon the National School of Government to capacitate and professionalise the public sector,” the minister said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in the 2019 State of the Nation Address, captured the crucial role expected of the National School of Government in relation to the delivery of a suite of compulsory programmes approved by Cabinet on 5 September 2018 in order to strengthen the capacity of the State.

Mchunu explained that the establishment of the National School of Government is a realisation of a historical milestone towards addressing the skills capacity gap, in order to align towards the imperatives of the National Development Plan.   

“It is quite urgent that government departments are supported by the NSG to build public trust. A confluence of myriad factors and forces have conspired to increase the trust deficit.

“The scourge of corruption, in particular, that has engulfed both the private and public sectors, has dominated the public discourse for many years since the dawn of democracy. The public needs to be assured that we aim to adopt a zero tolerance to corruption in all its manifestations,” Mchunu said.

The NSG is mandated to capacitate public servants to be effective and efficient for the public service machinery. –