Hon Chairperson; hon Minister for the Public Service and Administration, the hon Collins Chabane; Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, the hon Ayanda Dlodlo; hon members; chairperson of the Public Service Commission; directors-general; heads of entities; ladies and gentlemen, I consider it to be a singular honour and privilege to be granted an opportunity to participate in this debate on the eve of what would have been the 96th birthday celebration of our struggle icon, the late Ntate Mandela.
As we celebrate his legacy, we would do well to remember his exemplary service to the people for 67 years. I call on all our people to join the global initiatives and programmes aimed at celebrating the life of Tata Mandela, the ultimate embodiment of the values of a selfless Public Service, which we seek to emulate.
The ANC-led government acknowledges the confidence that was shown by the people of South Africa as they affirmed the political correctness of the ANC policies in the recently held fifth general elections. We will never fail the 12 million South Africans who gave the ANC an overwhelming victory.
Our critical revolutionary task as the Fifth Parliament is to drive the realisation of the aspirations of the people of South Africa about their own Department of Public Service and Administration. The people of South Africa envision the Department Public Service and Administration as one which will develop the capacity of the state to deal with their challenges in a way which recognises the deprivation and triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
They yearn for a state with the necessary capacity to provide them with safe drinking water. They look to the state to provide them with energy in a way which will respond to the global environmental challenges of the 21st century. They want to see the state improving its capacity to provide sanitation and integrated human settlement, which undermines apartheid spatial planning, and many more services.
Through this budget, the ANC-led government will dedicate resources to ensure that we give meaning to the objective expressed in the ANC's strategy and tactics document of the 53rd national conference in which a call is made for a Public Service which directs efforts to build a developmental state with technical, strategic and organisational capacity, among other attributes.
We urge public servants to practise being the kind of public servant that President Jacob Zuma, a warrior of our liberation struggle, said we need - a different type of public servant, a public servant who respects the will of the citizens, a public servant who values the public resources entrusted to him to manage, a public servant who comes to work on time and performs his duties diligently.
This is in line with the constitutional mandate in Chapter 10, section 195, which sets out the basic values and principles that must be adhered to in governing the Public Service and Administration. The Department of Public Service and Administration should take the lead in ensuring that the National Development Plan, NDP, is implemented by co-ordinating interventions aimed at achieving an effective, efficient and development- orientated Public Service. Such a Public Service is an essential element of a capable and developmental state.
The committee reaffirms the mandate of the department, as stipulated in the performance plans, as a continuation of the fifth administration in achieving the eight NDP suboutcomes of Vision 2030, which are: a stable political administration free of interference; a Public Service that is a career of choice; sufficient technical and specialist professional skills; effective, efficient management and operations systems; procurement systems that deliver value for money; strengthened accountability to citizens; improved interdepartmental co-ordination; and improved mechanisms to promote ethical behaviour in the Public Service.
The delivery agreement outcome 12 remains a strategic guide in the implementation of the programme of action for government in ensuring that there is access to quality service delivery, human resources management and development, tackling of corruption and citizen participation.
In celebration of 20 years of democracy and moving South Africa forward, substantial progress has been made in improving government performance and service delivery in most areas. Sound norms and standards have been developed to ensure that the state machinery functions optimally.
We support the Budget Vote for the following reasons: the filling of the funded vacant posts within the prescribed period in the Public Service; achieving the 2% target of people with disabilities; the improvement of the delegation of powers in the Public Service and Administration; strengthening procurement in the Public Service; the inculcation of Batho Pele principles; and building capacity in government departments.
Furthermore, we also wish to support the following aspects of the Budget Vote: measures for dealing with disciplinary cases, including technical assistance; initiatives aimed at professionalising the Public Service and local government and ensuring that these become careers of choice; prohibitions placed on public servants conducting business with government; and strengthening the protection of whistleblowers.
The committee also supports the department in its efforts to establish an office of standards and compliance in the Public Service in order to promote professional ethics and compliance with norms and standards in the Public Service domain.
Hon Minister, the country bestowed its trust on your leadership to achieve a multiyear salary agreement in order to ensure stability in the Public Service. We call for the finalisation and implementation of the government employee housing scheme, and this should be expedited in order to improve the living conditions of public servants.
The National School of Government model remains relevant and is crucial for our democracy if we are to instil the ethos of bettering the lives of our people. The committee welcomes the initiative of the National School of Government in supporting the national and provincial departments as well as local government with the implementation of the directives on mandatory training days and training programmes for the Senior Management Service, known as SMS.
Strengthening the recruitment process of the SMS is part of professionalising the Public Service. We support the compulsory induction programme in the Public Service for new recruits and long-serving employees. This programme should be intensified to promote patriotism and serve the nation with dignity and pride.
We support the Budget Vote regarding the National School of Government, which should bolster the improvement of on-site evaluation on its training interventions and build more capacity for the execution of the Public Service mandate.
We welcome the introduction of the Public Service Barometer Dashboard indicator-based assessment of the state of the Public Service against the nine values and principles of Section 195 of the Constitution. The dashboard provides hard data on the state of the Public Service which forms part of the evidence based on the Public Service Commission, PSC, diagnosis on the main underlying problems.
Through national and provincial stakeholders' engagement and presentations to parliamentary committees and the provincial legislatures, the barometer dashboard demonstrated its strength and usefulness. The portfolio committee appeals for maximum co-operation of government departments in submitting their financial disclosure forms and in determining the veracity of information supplied.
The committee supports the PSC in dealing decisively with cases reported on the corruption hotline. Our support for this critical intervention is a principled one which gives expression to the historic constitutional aspirations enshrined in section 195(1) of the Constitution, where the Public Service is characterised as one which should promote and maintain a high standard of professional ethics; promote efficient, economic and effective use of resources; and be accountable to the public.
The manifesto states that the skills and capabilities of the state will be improved and partnerships for delivery with the private sector will be promoted. The committee applauds public officials who go beyond the call of duty, challenging themselves to provide out-of-the-box solutions by being creative and introducing extraordinary ways in which to deliver services. The culture of innovative practice should be entrenched in the public sector.
Whilst we value lessons from international best practices we have to acknowledge brilliant service delivery innovations that have been employed by dedicated public officials in our own country. Of importance is the need for us to know about these tried and tested innovations so that the whole country benefits from them. Over the last 11 years more than 600 projects have been entered for the Centre for Public Service Innovation, CPSI, award. This demonstrates that there is evidence of a growing culture of innovation and research in the Public Service. Entrants who did not make it to the finals should be given opportunities to explore their innovations.
I would like to thank and acknowledge the private sector companies for their contribution in assisting government to realise its policy on public- private partnership. Indeed, we are moving South Africa forward!
Corruption impedes service delivery and undermines public confidence in the state. The findings of the BDO audit firm on corruption show that government corruption amounted to a total of R70 billion. In 2010, this audit firm estimated that the total annual leakage from fraud, theft and corruption amounted to R100 billion. To date, figures might have escalated. Corruption is unethical conduct and it would depend on an individual's conscience whether he or she refrains from such conduct.
Baheso, re a le kopa hle, tlohelang bobodu! [People, we beg you, refrain from corruption!]
Because no matter what policies we put in place, if people do not decide on their own, if they do not have the consciousness to refrain from corruption, there is no way that we will win. Please ...
... ka kopo hle, tlohelang bobodu. [... we beg you, refrain from corruption.]
As part of our mandate, the committee will work full force and tirelessly and will also commit all its resources and efforts to ensuring that the Public Administration Management Bill becomes the law of the country.
Finally, I would like to pay tribute to hon Nosipho Ntwanambi and hon Grace Dube for sacrificing their lives in improving the lives of others. I would also like to pay tribute to Patience Ringani, a fellow public administration scholar from the University of Pretoria, who recently passed away. "Death be not proud!"
The ANC supports Budget Vote 12 for accelerated service delivery and an effective, efficient and capable state. Let's move South Africa forward. We support this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]