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South Africa: Civil Servants to Focus on Service Delivery
Source: Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier
Source Date: Thursday, August 28, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 28, 2014

“Importantly, service delivery gets affected when senior public servants get consumed in party political matters to such an extent that valuable state time and resources are used to do fundraising for political parties.

“The skills of civil servants are needed by government solely to drive service delivery and to alleviate the sufferings of the people. We call upon civil servants to desist from using valuable government time to debate politics. That is the space for politicians. Those who want to get involved in politics must leave government and be involved in politics fulltime.”

“Political consciousness is needed and civil servants are allowed to be members of their preferred political parties and to attend rallies and meetings but discussions and decisions of such meetings should not be debated in government offices.

“Speeches of President J.G Zuma, the Premier, the MECs and the Mayors are marching orders which must inform the programme of action of government departments in relation to service delivery. Therefore, your role is to interpret the pronouncements and develop an action plan with targets which must rally all categories of staff into action.”

“The transformation of South Africa into a democratic, united, peaceful, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous country is dependent heavily on administration. In other words, administration is the lifeblood of this government.”

“If administration is the lifeblood of this government then the question we must answer is - what is the role of senior managers as administrators?

“The new government which has just been elected has set new objectives which are tailor-made to respond to the fresh mandate given by the voters on the 7th of May. Accordingly, the new government expects senior managers as administrators to evolve and understand the new imperatives of the new administration.”

“The people who voted on the 7th May expect change, efficiency and speed from the new government which they put in place. To them, this is a new government which must function differently from the old government of the previous term of office. They expect the new government to fulfil their new aspirations.”

“The 75, 98% voter turn-out during the past elections in KZN is an indication that the people of this province - Blacks, Indians, Whites and Coloureds want to see our province achieve a better life for all. The question that you should ask yourselves today is: “As senior public servants do we have the right attitude, the capacity and ethical standards required to respond to the aspirations of the millions of the people of KwaZulu-Natal who voted on the 7th May?.”

“I have convened this conference to answer this basic question because I understand that frustrating the aspirations of our people about the value and potential that our future holds, would have disastrous consequences for all of us. I am sure all of you have seen in other parts of the world where there has been a total collapse of governments as a result of uprisings.”

“Eroding the hope about the future of our province and our people may in the long term result in instability, which we can ill afford. Critically, maladministration will be a source of anger and frustration for unemployed and poor people as this will give an impression that their plight will not be eradicated speedily as senior public servants are diverting the resources away from their intended goal of development, service delivery and creation of a better life for all.”

“In order to fulfil the new aspirations, the relationship between elected public representatives and senior public servants becomes critical. Efforts must be made to achieve the maximum synergy at all times.”

Enquiries:
Ndabezinhle Sibiya
Cell: 082 3754742
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