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Speech by Hon BP Mabe, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, on the occasion of Budget Vote 10 Debate

11 May 2016

Honourable Chairperson.
Minister for Department of Public Service and Administration, the Honourable Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi.
Deputy Minister Honourable Ayanda Dlodlo.
Members of Parliament.
Chairperson of Public Service Commission and all Commissioners present
The Directors General of the DPSA, and its entities
Ladies and gentlemen

We have gathered here during an important time in the political calendar, not only of our country but for the entire African Continent. In May 1963, the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which later became the African Union (AU) was formed. Its main objective was to among others to defend the interests of Africa and to promote democratic principles. The African national congress is still alive to this objectives. As Africans of different shades, we ought to take a moment and celebrate the 53rd anniversary achievements of this giant organisation. Certainly, despite challenges we are faced with, Africa is rising for unity and prosperity! Rise Africa Rise !!!!

Let me cite the words by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when she said "By adopting Agenda 2063, we have boldly taken the path to reclaim our past, and claim our future. If YOUR dreams don`t scare you, they are not big enough. We choose peace, unity and prosperity."

Honourable Chairperson, the Department of Public Service and Administration is an engine of the public service that ensures the proper functioning of all government departments within the confine of the law and ensure delivery of services to the people of this beloved country.

We need to remind ourselves where this country is coming from, lets appreciate the current situation and focus on the future development for achieving a better life for all. In 1993, an interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was established which indicates that "there shall be a public service for the Republic, structured in terms of law to provide effective public administration". On the 08th May 1996, Chapter 10 of the Constitution envisaged the kind of the public administration we aspired. The public service that the constitution envisioned is the one governed and guided by basic values and principles of the public administration

Honourable Chairperson, on the 10th May 1994, South Africans celebrated the inauguration of the first black President of the democratic country. Since 1994, our people started to be closer with government, legislatures and participate openly in the development affecting their lives. Before the dawn of the democracy, black people were not allowed to participate in any legislative forms or policies of government. The ANC led government has corrected such wrong practice, and now we talk about inclusive government.

This year we celebrate the 22th anniversary of our hard earned democracy. To date the ANC-led government has made remarkable strides in our quest to turn around the fortunes of our people towards a better life for all. We remain cognisant that the majority of our people, hopes and aspirations for a better life will be realised as our government delivers on its mandate. We also remain confident that there is no other government that can outperform the ANC government.

The ANC led government administration has delivered services to the millions of South Africans. We cannot expect this government to address triple challenges in 22 years. However, we must acknowledge that more has been done under the difficult circumstances.

The ANC led government tabled a pro-poor budget in particularly focusing on the poorest of the poor and how to address the triple challenge. Implementation of the budget is key to maximising benefit to the poor. The ANC led government has in the past years restructured the administration and introduced various administrative procedures and measures to strengthen the delivery capacity of the state. In particular the delivery arm had been strengthened to ensure that the poor reality changes for the better.

An important part of implementation of the budget is to include the community during the various phases of delivery. Community centeredness is a key pillar of our constitution and in this regard all state departments during implementation of the budget must consult with the community. The budget approved by Parliament is a people budget and therefore during implementation must involve the community.

Today, more people are way far better and they are enjoying the fruits of democracy.

Hon Chairperson

Currently, the SA public service has employed one million, three hundred and twenty six thousand people, it is befitting that in 22 years of our democracy we give thanks to their support, hard work, dedication and for serving their country with pride and being patriotically, you have made it possible for the ANC government to change the lives of our people for the better.

Hon chair I am talking about an administration who made it possible that

: more than 4.3 million houses translating into homes for about 12,5million South Africans are build.
: an administration who made it possible that access to basic sanitation services increases from 62,3% in (2002) to 79,5% in (2014)
: an administration who made it possible that tarred roads are maintained and gravel roads are graded.
:an administration who made it possible that the electrification of households increases from 69,7 in (2001) to 86% in 2014
: an administration who made it possible that between 2001 and 2014 the percentage of households with access to clean piped water increased from 61,3% to 90%.

Through your support government has made tremendous strides in the provision of basic services in all walks of life and there is no doubt about it!. We want to say thank you! Thank you! for making Mzanzi a better place than it was before 1994, thank you! for enabling the Government to create better opportunities for everyone in the country.

" gogo! ,mkhulu!, mosha! WOZA SI SHOTA NGWAWE BUYELA E KHAYA" I KHONGOLOSE I YAKUDINGA"

Mandate of the Department of Public Service and Administration

Honourable Chairperson, public service and administration derives its mandate from section 195 of the Constitution, which sets out the basic values and principles of the public administration. In this regard, the Department of Public Service and Administration is required to implement and coordinate interventions aimed at achieving an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service. Our role as the Committee, is to conduct effective oversight over the Ministry of the Department of Public Service and Administration and its entities in executing their mandate as per the Constitution and the National Development Plan.

The National Development Plan

In light with section 195 of the Constitution, the National Development Plan (NDP) states that government`s ability to achieve its developmental objectives requires an effective public service. The NDP highlights the need for well-run and effectively coordinated state institutions with skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and capable of delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation`s development objectives. The delivery agreement outcome 12 remains strategic guide in the implementation of the programme of action for government in ensuring access to quality services, human resource management and development, tackling of corruption and citizen participation.

Programmes

Honourable Chairperson, having given this perspective, steps are needed to strengthen skills, enhance morale, quality of services, enforce accountability and build culture of patriotism in the public service.
Certainly, what we need in the public service is public servants who are committed to serve and value the public service as their employer of their choice. The Department has made strides in executing their constitutional mandate and in striving towards achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan.

The Public Administration Management Act is one example of pieces of legislations aimed towards realising the public service which is efficient, effective and development oriented. The amendments on the Public Service Regulations are some of the steps aimed at professionalising the public service.

The Committee supports the department in amending the regulations to respond to the current challenges and future developments in the public service. We appeal to the Minister that all amendments have to be aligned or integrated with other laws regulating the essential services. Development of policy framework for prohibiting public servants in doing business with the State is welcomed.

This will minimise unethical conducts in the public service. The Committee note current efforts to fight corruption and awaits with anticipation to implementation of the policy framework which will strengthen the fight against corruption and promote good governance in the public sector.

This will enable us to guard against malpractices by government officials

We have reliably learned that Paul Hattingh is facing charges of corruption and fraud a tender scandal in a DA led municipality. He stands accused of using his position in the City of Cape Town municipality to cash in on cleaning product contracts worth R70-million - sharing the spoils with his wife, and a business partner who police says it is his girlfriend. We have learned that he supplied the city with everything from feather dusters to cockroach spray, furniture polish, refuse bags, shoe polish and foot deodoriser and that his wifes company was paid R11.7-million from 2008 to 2012 for items such as disinfectant, liquid hand soap and rat poison and that they bought hamburgers for the value of R8,208 and further used public funds to buy (Bar One)". chocolates for the value of R6,840. We thank the Hawks for having investigated and exposed these wrongdoings within the DA administration.

We acknowledge and appreciate cost containment measures and support for other departments. Its a clear indication that we are moving towards professionalising the public service.

We commend the department support to other government departments in resolving labour disputes within reasonable time. We note the establishment of an internal pool of labour relations experts to assist departments in dealing with cases involving employee who have been placed on precautionary suspension.

We further commend the department for developing a database in responding to the audit outcomes pertaining to the department and the entire public service.

We note the implementation of the Government Employee Housing Scheme for government employees. We propose policy review on the Scheme so that more subsidy has to be directed into housing allowance to promote home ownership among the public servants. This will help to minimise the challenge of home ownership for public servants.

We note and welcome the announcement by the Minister of Human Settlements budget vote debate of 2016 that both departments are working together on this program. The Minister made mentioned that "government will act as guarantors to the banks, in order for the banks to make bonds available to government employees. This will mean that the gap market that falls between the affordable and unaffordable, employed by the state, will now be catered by government".
Honourable Chairperson, if we really want to change the country, we have to inspire young people. Let me commend the department in ensuring government departments offered internship programmes to 150 000 young people and 20 000 absorbed annually in the public service. Government has delivered on its set targets as per the delivery agreement, SIYA XOBA! WOZA SI SHOTA NGAWE however more still needs to be done.

We therefore recommend that

The department support and strengthen human resource management in most government departments.

That they monitor vacancy rate in the public service especially in the provincial departments and ensures critical vacancies for the senior management positions in provincial and national departments are filled within prescribed
period.

Honourable Chairperson, it worrying that employment of Persons with Disabilities is not progressing towards reaching 2% target in the public service. On the same breath, the 50% employment of women in senior management positions is not yet reached, however we have noted a slight progress in this regard.

Thusong Service Centres are very close to our hearts. That`s where people receives better quality services without travelling long distance. We welcome the decision by the Department to develop institutional model for the coordination of the Thusong Service Centres.

E-governance is an important tool for improving service delivery, making service accessible and improving turnaround times. Government is still lacking behind in this aspect, more needs to be done. Government need to channel more resources on the e-Governance in order to improve services. E-governance will strengthen and assist government in realising the objectives of the Operation Phakisa.

National School of Government

The National School of Government has made tremendous strides with the Compulsory Induction Programme, a total of seventy four thousands, six hundred and eleven public servants have undergone this programme.

In pursuit of making the public service a career of choice, the School working with Department of Public Service and Administration is currently piloting graduate recruitment scheme to support government departments in attracting and developing young talents. The National School Government should accelerate provision of e-learning to reduce logistical cost associated with normal classroom training courses.

Centre for Public Service Innovation

We call on the Department of Public Service and Administration to ensure that government departments allocate a certain percentage of their total budget on innovation projects and promote core partnership with the Centre for Public Service Innovation. We urge the Ministry of the DPSA to lobby for the establishment of dedicated innovation units in the Offices of the Premier to unearth innovative solutions in their respective provinces.

Public Service Commission

Honourable Chairperson, In this financial year, the Commission will be rolling out investigation into the management of Policy on Incapacity Leave and ill-Health Retirement in Western Cape province. We appeal to the Public Service Commission to roll out the same investigation in all nine provinces.

The Commission has to monitor recruitment systems in the public service more particularly in the senior management level. The Committee will continuously support the Public Service Commission in ensuring its recommendations to the government departments are responded to and implemented.

Thank you for affording me an opportunity to bear testimony on the ability of government to deliver on its promises and by confining itself with the law and ensuring service delivery to our beloved country.

The African National Congress support this Budget Vote 10.

Thank you

     
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