Remarks by the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Ms Faith Muthambi during the visit to frontline service delivery points and Memeza Project in Diepsloot
Ward 95 Councillor, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Cllr K. Mphahlele;
All councillors present;
Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Advocate Richard Sizani;
Acting DG of the Department of Public Service and Administration, Mr Willie Vukela;
Director-General of the Office of the Public Service Commission, Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana;
Acting Executive Director of the CPSI, Mr Donald Liphoko;
Acting DDG: Service Delivery Support, Mr Emmanuel Kgomo;
Head of GCIS in Gauteng Province, Mr Peter Gumede;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Citizens all over the world look up to their respective governments for vital services. This is especially true in societies such as ours in South Africa, which up to this day still bears the historical marks of impartiality and inequality in many aspect due to the policies of the former regime. Our society was for centuries, highly polarised with a proportionally few having access to good quality services while the majority were left in dehumanising living conditions.
As a democratically elected government, the people that voted us into power have entrusted upon us a huge responsibility to secure their livelihood by ensuring that like all other citizens of this country, they also enjoy access to government services and a good life. This mandate or social compact binds us to practice good governance, transparency and accountability at all times. And most importantly, the social contact which we have signed with our people requires us to remain in touch with them.
It requires us to live amongst them, so that we are able to have first-hand experiences of the conditions which they live under.
As government, we are left with no option because service delivery is as much a constitutionally binding obligation to us as are services a constitutional right to citizens. It is also worth noting that South Africa is a developmental state, and as a result we are constitutionally bound to always be at hand to intervene responsively and timeously with much needed services to help citizens.
Ladies and gentlemen;
For that reason our government has made a commitment to model ourselves as the kind of government that stands poised, ever ready to honour this social compact, by always being at hand to meet the needs of the citizens. We aspire to be the kind of government that our leader President Jacob Zuma always teaches us to be, which is a government that knows where its people are and what they need � a government that boasts as its defining characteristics, agility, flexibility and speed to respond rapidly with services that citizens really need’.
This type of government that President Zuma envisaged, is in reality premised on batho pele principles as a guiding blueprint of its operational approach.
This is the reason why we are here in Diesploot today. Instead of being the kind of government that only resides in air-conditioned offices, we want to be where our people are, to have first had experiences of the kinds of challenges that they have so that we can respond accordingly with appropriate services.
So much has changed about the kind of citizenry that we service today. From being passive recipients and consumers of public services, the calibre of citizens that we serve is now more sophisticated and incredibly knowledgeable. They demand better, more efficient, more personalized services.
Most importantly they demand multiple channels of access to information and services to match their preferences. They also want a coordinated, accessible and integrated experience.
Ladies and gentlemen;
Delivering services that meet the needs of such a sophisticated citizenry is a challenge of enormous proportions. It calls for an out-focussed approach to governance which values ongoing dialogues and conversations with citizens instead of imposing upon them our own knowledge.
As a country, we have adopted the National Development Plan (NDP). The Plan is a roadmap that ‘places a higher premium on making specific choices to launch the country onto a higher growth trajectory.
The national Development Plan identifies a number of key priority areas that we have to intensify efforts to deliver on. These key priority areas that are constitute the thrust of our developmental agenda include providing quality education, healthcare, job opportunities, poverty alleviation rural development and security.
Therefore, as part of our outreach programme, we need to ask ourselves very basic, fundamental questions;
How do we get world-class education to children in under-serviced areas where there are no roads and learners have to negotiate raging rivers to get to school?
How do we maximize access to quality health for all but importantly for our destitute and remote communities?
How do we get clean water to communities?
How do we, once and for all, tackle crime head-on in order to ensure that everybody in our society, particularly women and children enjoy their freedom without feeling threatened?
These are some of the things that we as a country we have envisioned through the National Developmet Plan. Unless we fasten the pace at which we do things, many of these things will continue to be a vision rather than a reality. This is the reason why we have decided to become foot soldiers as well, by walking the streets where our people live, by sharing their experiences, and by having direct conversations with them.
We are also here to monitor the progress made on the MeMEZA PROJECT, AS LED BY THE CPSI. The Memeza Community Alarm Project which is a collaboration between the Innovation Hub, CPSI and the South African Police Service in the Honeydew Cluster, is typically one of our flagship projects which demonstrate our government’s determination to fight crime and win our people’s freedom back. We need many of such projects.
The National Development Plan (NDP) states unequivocally that innovation is a catalyst in ensuring an effective state machinery. However, innovation can only thrive in a permissive and supportive environment.
Innovation, as you all know, forms the crux of that commitment to continually explore new and innovative ways and solutions to deliver services to the public instead of continuing with the old and often less effective practices.
We are happy that our institution, the CPSI, is working together with other stakeholders and the community of Diepsloot on this crime prevention project. It is once again showing that, if we work together we can always achieve more.
As government we pledge to continue working hard towards improving the lives of the people of this country. However, I would like to appeal to each and every one of us to play our part in working towards a better South Africa for all. The delivery of services by government is constitutionally the responsibility of government. However, everyone, including individual citizens, has a responsibility to help government in this major responsibility. It is called active citizenship, and I urge you to be involved in the running of your community.
I thank you!
Source: Government of South Africa