The National School of Government strives to instil good ethics and professionalism in the public service
September marks Public Service Month in South Africa. Public Service Month (PSM) is an integrated strategic national event in the South African government and serves as a reminder of what it means to serve communities. It also provides an opportunity to look at the impact the government has, especially on matters of service delivery. The theme for the 2020 PSM is “Growing South Africa together for an ethical public service”
In support of this national event, the National School of Government (the NSG) is hosting a webinar under the topic, “Towards a Professional Public Service”. The NSG, under the leadership of Minister for the Public Service and Administration (MPSA), is developing a national framework on the professionalisation of the public service. The diagnostic overview undertaken by government in 2011 outlined the need to improve the skills of public servants but also the role of the state in producing skilled professionals. There has been a reduction in the number of professionals available to the state. Against this backdrop, a national framework will seek to address professionalisation in the following contexts:
• Changing attitudes and behavior of public servants towards serving the public. This is a values aspect which is about observing and serving in accordance with the Constitution, Batho Pele and the Public Service Charter.
• Having qualified people who know what they are doing and are fully equipped to perform their jobs with diligence. This entails continuous development which helps sharpen know how and make public servants competitive
• Creation of professional categories in the public service to be recognised and belong to professional. Further, introduce pre-entry exams across levels and compulsory integrity tests.
• Having a public service that is nonpartisan. In other words, departments must be insulated from the politics.
The webinar will be facilitated by Prof. Mashupye Maserumule; Acting Executive Dean for the Faculty of Humanities at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), and will be flanked by esteemed speakers from both the public and private sector, as they share insight on how to achieve a professional public service.
• Ms Charity Nzuza (Executive Officer: Legal Practice Council) will share insight on recognizing public sector legal practitioners
• Mr Freeman Nomvalo (CEO: SAICA) holds vast experience in the field of accounting and auditing and has been instrumental in the drafting of the Auditing Profession Act, and will focus on professionalising finance and supply chain practitioners
• Mr Fhedzisani Pandelani (Acting Solicitor-General: Dept. of Justice and Constitutional Development) will engage participants on how to professionalise legal practitioners in the public service
• Mr Chris Campbell (CEO: Consulting Engineers of SA) boasts a 39 year career in engineering, and will speak of professionalising the engineering sector
• Ms Priscilla Mdlalose (CEO: Council for the Built Environment) will share with participants insight on recognizing Build Environment practitioners in the public service
These speakers have been selected as they represent councils/ bodies that determine criteria for registering or recognition as a profession in respective disciplines. It is therefore important, as part of this discourse, to identify the means of unlocking opportunities for greater levels of professionalisation in the public service.
Source: Government of South Africa