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South Africa: Charter Aims to Instil Service Culture in State’s Units
Source: Google Alert
Source Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Oct 10, 2013

The charter stems from the three-year wage agreement signed with public sector trade unions last year which included a resolution that the state would review its remuneration policy while both parties would endorse a charter for the public service. It has been signed by the members of the Public Sector Bargaining Council.
Federation of Unions of South Africa deputy general secretary Krister Janse van Rensburg welcomed the charter but cautioned that it should not remain just policy.
"The lack of proper oversight and clear policy direction, as well as co-ordination between various government departments, have led to diminishing services to the people and the economy as a whole. In addition the policy of comrade deployment and the advancement of the culture of ‘tenderpreneurs’ have further weakened the ability of the state," he said.
The charter’s commitment to review the remuneration policy and performance management system in the public sector was also necessary, he stressed, so government could reward excellence and not mediocrity.
Ms Sisulu said the charter was a statement of intent that would enable the beneficiaries of government services to understand what they can expect. She noted that the National Planning Commission had highlighted the lack of a service delivery culture among government employees.
It had emphasised the need for a "capable state" if South Africa was to achieve its developmental goals. The commission was also concerned about the increasing corruption in the public service.
The charter commits public servants to serve the public in an unbiased and impartial manner; to provide timely services; to respect and protect every person’s dignity and rights; not to engage in any action that infringes on the execution of official duties; and to act against fraud, corruption, nepotism, maladministration and other offences. A discipline management system would be introduced.
It also commits citizens to "not use official positions to obtain private gifts or benefits during the performance of official duties, nor accept any gifts, donations, rewards in kind or cash, or benefits when offered, as these may be construed as bribes".
For its part, the state committed itself to "fairly reward public servants" and provide adequate resources and tools of trade "within the confines of what is available" for public servants to perform their duties. It will also provide skills development and training programmes and modernise the public service.

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