Public Service Month is a time where the public is sensitised of the services delivered by government but it also serves as a month where these services are reviewed in order to ensure that quality services are delivered.
“As government, we deem it important that the citizens of the country have access to the necessary quality services,” Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu said.
Speaking at the virtual launch of Public Service Month in Pretoria, the Minister said during this month, the government wants to highlight the collaborative efforts by all public servants, inclusive of the elected personnel in the form of members of Parliament, Councils, the judiciary and the executive within all spheres of government.
This year’s Public Service Month is being celebrated under the theme: “Growing South Africa together for an ethical public service”.
The theme seeks to instill and rebuild good ethics and professionalism in how public servants perform their functions while also recognising the selflessness of the many frontline public servants, inclusive of doctors, nurses, caregivers, paramedics and police officials who continue to work tirelessly in fighting against COVID-19, and have dedicated their lives to serving the public.
“Public servants, in this instance, employed in terms of the Public Service Act, stand out as full-time category public servants, fully engaged in the business of rendering services to the public, including frontline services.
“It is the people first, followed by the service and then the public servants who have to render the service,” Mchunu said.
During this month, Mchunu calls on all public servants to conduct themselves ethically, in line with their professions.
“We take this opportunity to call on all public servants to not only desist against any criminal and corrupt activities but to fight and isolate it and expose anyone who commits such acts. Public service must enhance good governance and not be associated with corruption,” Mchunu said.
In order to professionalise the public service, Mchunu said the National School of Government is responsible for strengthening state capacity through education, training and development, and is currently providing a number of programmes to public servants and these programmes are tailor-made to upskill and equip public servants.
Mchunu said the outbreak of the Coronavirus has dominated the year 2020 and has claimed the lives of more 1 000 public servants.
“As government, we would have hoped to not have had even one death – not of a citizen or public servant.”
Mchunu said government has had to mobilise its forces, the private sector and society as a whole and engage with labour in the fight against the virus.
“These public servants have had to face the virus head-on. We appreciate these essential workers and as a country, we will forever be grateful for their dedication, bravery and selflessness,” Mchunu said.
In his message for the month, President Cyril Ramaphosa said being a public servant is the most noble calling.
“It is an honour and a privilege. It demands dedication, selflessness, professionalism, commitment, and the utmost faithfulness to the principles of Batho Pele, of putting the people first.
“You are entrusted with managing state resources for the benefit of the public and in guarding against them being misused and abused,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said every year during Public Service Month, the government recommit itself to improving all areas of public service delivery.
“We promote the importance of good ethics and professionalism amongst public servants.
“We aim to boost the morale of our men and women in the public service and inculcate a sense of pride in being a civil servant,” he said