Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has officially launched the public consultation process on the National Implementation Framework towards the Professionalisation of the Public Service.
The Minister launched the consultation process on Monday.
The framework which was released in December 2020 for comments, aims to entrench a dynamic system of professionalism in the public service.
It also aims to ensure meritocracy in the recruitment and career management of public servants which are in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), as well as initiating consequence management for irregularities through the transgression mechanisms available to professional bodies, amongst others.
Inputs have been received from Functional Group 1, which includes civil society organisations, institutions of higher learning, experts and think tanks.
The Black Business Council, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, Wits, Corruption Watch, Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management, South African Association of Public Administration and Management and Public Affairs Research Institute were among those who contributed inputs.
The public consultation programme will run for two weeks to obtain comments to enrich the policy document.
In his opening remarks, Mchunu bemoaned the negative stigma towards the public service that it is highly politicised with people who lack professionalism.
The Minister emphasised the need to change the perception of the public towards the public service and its lack of professionalism.
“The consultation process with the stakeholders is the first step towards changing this negative perception and sentiment the public has towards the public service and the professionalisation process,” Mchunu said.
Strengthening ethical leadership
He noted that one of the intentions to professionalise the public service as outlined in the framework, is to strengthen ethical leadership in the public service, as it is required by the Constitution of the Republic.
Additionally, the NDP speaks to the need to strengthen state capacity, and the process that the National School of Government ( NSG) is undertaking directly speaks to that need as articulated in the NDP.
“Chapter 10 section 195 outlines the basic values and principles of a government public service administration, it maintains that a high standard of professionalism and ethics must be promoted and maintained as reaffirmed in the Batho Pele Principles, which aims to instil and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how public servants execute their duties,” Mchunu said.
The Minister also emphasised the concept of service as a commodity, and that services rendered to the public should be viewed as an “important commodity” which should be delivered in a professional manner by public servants.
“This service, be it education, health and any other rendered by government to the public should be delivered in a professional and ethical manner. We need to instil this value to public servants at all spheres of government.
“Public servants need to understand that they have a Constitutional duty to serve the public professionally and diligently. It is my belief that this consultation process will grapple with this contentious issue and bring forward ideas on how to achieve this goal,” Mchunu said.
On top of appointing qualified individuals, the Minister said, the promotion of innovation and productivity are also critical to the professionalisation of the public service.
The consultation processes will be hosted by the NSG from 15 – 26 February 2021.
The Minister wished the participants “a very empowered session that would explore ways to achieve a goal of professionalising the public service that can be able to offer services with dignity, as envisioned in the NDP”.
After the consultation processes, the NSG will share with the public the outcomes emanating from the two-week session.
Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the sessions.
For more information on how to join the sessions, individuals may send their details to: firstname.lastname@example.org .