Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma today paid tribute to Joel Netshitenzhe, Director-General of the Policy and Coordination Services (PCAS) in the Presidency, who has resigned to pursue other interests.
Netshitenzhe will leave the Presidency at the end of December 2009, and will during this period continue performing his functions and assisting with the handover process. He has previously served under Presidents Mandela, Mbeki and Motlanthe.
Addressing Cabinet today, President Zuma said Netshitenzhe has played a pivotal role in the development of the democratic government, and his name is synonymous with government communications as well as efficient and effective policy making over the past 15 years.
"We thank him for a sterling contribution to the establishment and running of government. He has assured me that he remains ready to assist us in whatever way possible in future, when called upon to do so. We therefore have not lost him in the public service or civic duty. "
President Zuma said Netshitenzhe has been a great innovator in government.
"He led in the development of the cluster system and the Programme of Action, which were important efforts to improve the implementation of government decisions. He led in the development of review reports like the Ten Year Review and the Fifteen Year Review, and the annual Development Indicators.
"These government reports are as honest and transparent about our achievements and our failures as any reports by any democratic government in the world.
"This stems from his deep belief in the rationality of people; that if we identify correctly and analyse the issues well, we can make progress. It stems also from his deep democratic commitment; that if correct information is made available to our citizens, they will make sure that we solve the problems and move forward," the President said.
Zuma said Netshitenzhe also, generously and wisely, led others to design and implement their own innovations in government with products like AsgiSA, the Macro-Social Report, the National Spatial Development Perspective, the Functionality Indicators, the National Income Dynamics Study, and other innovations in governing.
Netshitenzhe thanked President Zuma and all former Presidents as well as the government as a whole for the opportunity afforded to him to serve the government and the people.
"I have assured President Zuma that I will always be available to assist both as part of my civic duty and also as a member of the ANC National Executive Committee.
"It has been an honour to work in the Presidency and the opportunity is truly appreciated," Netshitenzhe said.