Unabriged budget address: Minister of Public Service and Administration

803

Budget vote speech of the Department of Public Service and Administration by Minister Richard Baloyi, MP

21 April 2010

Honourable chairperson

Honourable members of the house

Cabinet colleagues

Honourable chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee

The portfolio leadership in the ministry

Deputy Minister

Trade union leaders

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that: “There is a time for everything, and season for every activity under heaven”. Among other things he says: “there is time to speak”. Of importance in this is what he says that: “whatever has already been and what will be, has been before, and God will call the past to account”.

I stand before you with a clear understanding that it is our time to account for the past and commit for the future. We take our guidance from President Zuma when he stated that “we want to build an administration that knows where people live, what they think, and which acts fast, efficiently and effectively on the issues they raise. We must keep in touch with our people”.

We have been here since 1994, presenting various episodes of the same story: “better life for all through accelerated and effective service delivery”. Our message this year is under the theme: “Working differently for an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service’.

We consulted with some people as we were preparing for this day. The general feeling expressed is that our people expect more from us. They say there’s room for improvement in the quality and speed of service delivery. Our people are enraged with the scourge of corruption in the public sector.

They expect our public servants to be committed and to change their averagely bad attitude. They urged us to ensure that we maintain the current sound labour relations.

We present the abridged version of each of them in the budget message booklet, but I want to quote Ntate Nelson Diale, a Member of Parliament, when he said: “Our public servants are not yet fully conscious of what they are supposed to do. For example some of these institutions in the public service, hospitals and others, you find people waiting for services for a long time.
“Something has to be done and I will recommend that there should be a monitoring system. Public Servants should be monitored so that they can do their work”.

We cannot agree more with Ntate Diale. It is true public servants should be monitored, and as we do so we welcome the position of SANCO to partner with us in monitoring.

Honourable members, we give priority to service delivery innovation. To us, service delivery innovation is a vehicle that searches for ideas in delivering tangible services to our people. The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) is an enabler to the mobility of this vehicle.

Through partnership with other departments and state owned entities, the CPSI represented us well in our journey in and for Innovation. The one success story worth mentioning is the cooperation with the Department of Education on enhancing the productive Capacity of the blind educators through providing data card devices for them to access teaching materials without the use of Braille.

As we do things differently this year, we commit to strengthen our capacity through innovation, to respond to legitimate calls. To this end, the CPSI will run targeted innovation programmes to support the outcomes of rural development, accelerated service delivery at local government level as well as human settlement. We will still encourage participation in innovation through awards ceremonies.

In this regard, the eighth annual Public Sector Innovation Awards ceremony will be held in November 2010. We have already called for entries to this, and all public sector institutions and individuals are encouraged to enter.

Honourable members, our fight against corruption remain a priority. We have since introduced policies and legislation to ensure public service integrity and fight corruption. The prevalence of corruption in the public service pervades all aspects of government activity and affects citizen-state relations.

The removal of this cancer requires from government an integrity management intervention that focuses on prevention and yet has punitive measures that are practically deterring for would-be to that get corrupted and corruptors. Our success in the fight against corruption is to eliminate an enabling environment for such from our public service.

Both our elected and appointed public officials should resist the temptation of using public office for personal material benefit. In this regard, we will introduce a public sector integrity management framework during the Public Service week in June 2010.

The Framework seeks to:
* strengthen and align all measures regulating good governance and probity in the public sector
* strengthen capacity to prevent and combat corruption
* ensure compliance through monitoring and evaluation and
* ensure enforcement as a deterrent.

Alongside the introduction of the Framework will be the launch of the compulsory Public Sector Charter, which will consolidate the following as defining a public servant of note:
* Eight attributes of a public servant
* Nine commitments of a public servant to the people of South Africa
* Seven rules of engagements for public servants
* Twelve commitments of a public servant to the public service
* Five ethical principles of a public cadre

We are also in the process of establishing an Anti-Corruption unit that will assist departments in resolving complex corruption cases. We will communicate the details in this regard during the Public Service week in June 2010.

Honourable members, we remain committed to maintain sound labour relations through collective bargaining and promoting workplace democracy. We know that this is not an easy target to meet, but we are trying our best, and we call on all parties to take a cue from President Mandela’s message when he said:
“My government is equally committed to ensure that we use this longer period properly fully to bring into the decision-making processes organs of civil society. This will include the trade union movement and civic organisations, so that at no time should the government become isolated from the people.
“At the same time, steps will be taken to build the capacity of communities to manage their own affairs. Both the public and the private sectors will be encouraged to regard labour as a resource and not a cost. Education and training must therefore be looked at very closely to ensure that we empower the workers, raise productivity levels and meet the skills needs of a modern economy”.

Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA) is one participant we will use to realise this. Working together with all social partners, we held a Public Service Summit in March this year. We have settled a majority of the Occupation Specification Dispensation (OSD) sector implementation resolutions.

We are working round the clock to make sure that we have a position in as far as all outstanding Agreements of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) first resolution of 2007. We will soon commence with negotiations for the 2010/11 salary adjustments and we are looking forward to robust but peaceful engagements.

As we respond to King Solomon’s message, for us the difference between what we did, what we do and what we will do is defined in terms of quality, speed and taste.

In this year of action, we will strive to ensure that we conclude the negotiation within expected time periods. From this year going forward, we set to conclude synchronising the wage negotiation process with the budget cycle. In the past and for now, it has proven to be difficult to negotiate when the budget has already been set.

A swi hi vuyiseli nchumu le’swo tshamela ku kombetelana hi tintiho, hi tlimbana mikolo loko swi ta eka nkanerisano hi miholo. Hi fanele hi amukela xiyimo, ni ku twisisana leswaku vatirhi va na mfanelo yo suriwa
nyuku loko va tirhile, hi le tlhelo, hi ri karhi hi twisisa leswaku vathori na vona va ta fikelela xikalo ku helela laha vuswikoti bya vona byi va pfumelelaka kona.

Hi nga kamaneni vutomi byi huma onge I maphisa ya kama matomani. A a hi tshameni ehansi hi kanerisana. Tinyangwa ti pfulekile. Na loko swo fika leswaku hi tsandzana hi ku kanerisana, hi nga ntlurhulani ku huma
timongolo, hikuva mundzuku wa ha ri kona.

Loko a ri mina ndzi na ku tshembha leswaku hi ta hlangana hi marito na varhangeri va vatirhi, kambe hi pfala rinwe ntsena leswaku hi nga siyiwi hi futsu yi khotsiwile.

Xivuriso xa Xitsonga xi ri: “Le’bya nyarhi leyo, u nga ri ndza yi vona, hikuva u ta wela’ makokweni ya yona”.

Honourable chairperson, we are committed to continue to build a public service capable of driving a developmental agenda. On this score, we want to state that a priority transformation issue remains the finalisation of the debate to create a single public service.

We want to state upfront that the Batho Pele principle of redress calls on us to do three things about the debate on the single public service.
* We say bear with us.
* Secondly, we say that we would not finalise the government process because the extra parliamentary political process had to be allowed to run its course and lastly
* We commit ourselves that during this financial year, we will report progress.

We avail ourselves to give a detailed status report on this matter and we will be at your disposal, Portfolio Committee Chairperson.

Honourable members,

The training and development of capable leaders and managers will continue to be very crucial to this administration. Therefore, PALAMA will continue with its current programmes, as well as expand them to include programmes on national planning, risk management and innovation.

The Executive Development programme (EDP), a postgraduate certificate in executive leadership, will be customised for local government leadership and for Members of Legislature and Parliament. We are placing PALAMA at the level where the agency ought to be a preparatory school for entry into public service, incubate them through in-service development intervention.

Of course, for PALAMA to do what we call for, the agency itself has to be transformed. Thanks to the initiative and we are here committing ourselves to finalise this during this financial year.

Of course, for PALAMA to deliver, we need a conducive environment at the public service. Coincidentally, we are developing a position paper on the architecture of the public service and we commit ourselves to conclude same by the end the financial year.

Chairperson,

We took a decision this year to stabilise the situation at public service leadership level by interpreting the provision of the Public Service Act, to the extent that we now talk of a contract period of five years for Directors-General. What remains is to relate this development to effective service delivery.

As we advance with the debate on the architecture, we will also revisit as to whether we do not want to introduce a contract employment system for Deputy Director’s-General or the entire senior management services level.

Honourable members,

With these programmes and initiatives we seek to transform the state of the public service. The time has now come for us to rise to the occasion and facilitate the speedy delivery of services by strengthening the mechanism and accelerate monitoring and evaluation.

As King Solomon said, there is time for everything and so our time is now, to work faster and smarter in this year of action.

I thank you.



Issued by: Department of Public Service and Administration
21 April 2010