Madibogo – The North West MEC for department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs, Ontlametse Mochware has appealed to all public servants to be innovative and serve the public with high level of professionalism, respect, excellence and passion.
Speaking on behalf of Premier Supra Mahumapelo at the Provincial Commemoration of Africa Public Service Day held in Madibogo village on Monday, 20 June, MEC Mochware told government officials who attended the commemoration that the respectable image of government depends highly on the conduct of public servants.
“We must utilise this platform to motivate and encourage each other as public servants to continue going beyond the call of duty, and come up with new initiatives to create the best public service in the province.
“Importantly, this opportunity must be used to promote amongst ourselves the values of professionalism, accountability, responsiveness, ethics and performance in the delivery of services,” she said.
Africa Public Service Day is commemorated annually on 23 June by all the African Union member states. South Africa has been commemorating this day since its inception.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Public Governance for Inclusive Growth and Gender Mainstreaming: Towards the African Public Service We Want”.
MEC Mochware also stressed that the provincial government will use the five concretes as the foundation to deliver services efficiently and effectively to the public.
“The fifth administration has committed to improving its public service by rebranding, repositioning and renewal of the province through five concretes, namely, Agriculture, Culture and Tourism (ACT), Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD), Reconciliation, Healing and Renewal (RHR), Setsokotsane and SaamTrek - SaamWerk philosophy”, said Mochware who emphasised the significance of the role public servants must play towards the attainment of this vision.
Reiterating Africa’s Agenda 2063 aspirations for women, youth and children, Mochware said the Public Service as a sector, has a big role to play in contributing to these aspirations, which aim to address amongst other age and gender balance in the public service.
Dr Keneilwe Sebego, the province’s Director-General, also emphasised the importance of best practices and professionalism in the province’s public service and administration.
“We must continuously talk to each other in our effort to improve the manner in which we deliver services to our people.
We must utilise commemorations such as this one to relook at the type of public service we have created, and at all times, to improve and promote the principles of Batho-Pele which provide guidance on how we must conduct ourselves as public servants,” she said.
Dr Sebego explained that Africa Public Service Day is recognised as part of the strategy to strengthen public administration and governance programmes across the continent.
“This day is one of the strategic platforms to enable public servants in Africa to reflect on the function of the public service, its mission, objectives; programmes and projects, challenges and successes,” she added.
Making a presentation on public governance and gender mainstreaming, Chief Director at the Department of Public Service and Administration, Mr Marcel Wilson said South Africa is making progress in employing women in higher positions in government.
“South Africa has registered progress in the employment of women in higher positions in the public service, but we must not relax, we still need to do more.
We must be proud and continue to balance the equation between male and female employees in the public service, especially at top management level,” he said.
Mr Wilson explained that gender mainstreaming is a critical component that requires the Public Service to ensure that its policies and programmes address gender based inequalities.
Professor David Mello from the North West University’s Faculty of Public Administration raised a concern about the extent to which the public service is attracting more young people, which according to him was not sufficient.
“As we build a better public service, we must also not forget to create a vibrant and favourable public service for young people.
The number of young people in the public service is not enough; we must increase it by making the public service more attractive for them,” he said.