There is a major need in the public sector to establish a government funding mechanism for research, development and innovation. This will provide service delivery institutions with seed funding for testing, piloting, replicating and mainstreaming solutions. In addition, the CPSI, as our driver for public sector innovation, requires additional sources to ensure sufficient internal capacity to drive its mandate.
The challenge for the CPSI in this term of government is how to speed up the transformation of the Public Service through innovative solutions. The centre needs to engage in a more proactive approach by going into government departments to establish what challenges are being experienced and to contribute to developing solutions to these weaknesses. We need the centre to be more than just a repository; it has to be a proactive agent in unravelling the challenges the administration faces.
An innovative instrument that serves as a channel for communication between government and communities is the Community Development Workers Programme, CDWP. The programme has afforded over 3 300 young men and women across the country an opportunity to play an integral part in service delivery, also creating employment for them.
Community development workers, CDWs, need to support the national development programmes by actively engaging citizens in their own development. To ensure a sound relationship with civil society organisations, during the 2014-15 financial year CDWs will support municipalities with implementing ward planning and socioeconomic growth initiatives, as well as dealing with service delivery complaints and position backdrops.
There is an increasing need for the programme to sharpen its functioning as an early warning mechanism. We need to know intimately what transpires in our communities in order to address these issues head-on before they blow out of control. As they conduct door-to-door visits, CDWs should be able to pick up the issues that impact seriously and negatively on service delivery.
Africa is writing its own history and this is through, amongst other means, the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM. This peer review mechanism has allowed the continent to review our collective efforts objectively in developing our continent and improving the lives of our people.
The President tabled South Africa's Third National Report at the 20th African Peer Review, APR, Forum held at the African Union, AU, on 29 January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where it was officially endorsed by the APR Forum.
The process for consolidating the report was participatory in nature and included consultations with the African Peer Review National Governing Council, NGC, Provincial Governing Councils and other relevant stakeholders. This means that we consulted widely with civil society.
We are mindful that whilst there is a general tendency to discredit the APRM, there are legitimate complaints that need to be addressed, starting with turning around the APRM secretariat so that it is able to drive the initiative on behalf of member countries.
Our success as the African continent in developing a home-grown governance initiative in the form of the APRM has not gone unnoticed. The world has caught on, hence the launch of the Open Government Partnership, OGP, in September 2011. South Africa joined seven other countries in establishing the OGP.
Similar to the APRM, the OGP is a mechanism to promote increased accountability, transparency, citizen participation and the fight against corruption in their respective countries and across the world.
Since the launch of the OGP, South Africa has been a member of the OGP steering committee and has played a key role in convening OGP Africa regional events and discussion forums. Our decision to play such an active role in the governance and advocacy activities of this multilateral initiative was informed by our constitutional commitment to advance good governance locally and internationally.
Our view is that the OGP programme is a unique opportunity to once again galvanise members of South African society to work together to enhancing trust between government and its citizens. Therefore, in our tenure as co- chairperson of the OGP, we intend to ensure that we maximise South Africa's benefits by ensuring that the programme promotes domestic priorities that strengthen good governance initiatives.
We will focus on creating and strengthening mechanisms for civil society and government to interact; create and strengthen integrated systems for monitoring and supporting the dissemination of information to communities; enhance citizen participation through CDWs and other community forums; and encourage and foster the development of open data or information platforms, using government and nongovernment media to improve citizen access to information and data services.
Through the OGP, it is apparent that the time for transparency has come. People around the world are demanding much greater openness, democracy and accountability from their governments. Citizens increasingly believe that the information that governments hold has to be open for everyone to see.
Openness, accountability and transparency guide us as this government. The sum of all our actions over the next financial year will transform the Public Service and contribute to the tangible benefits of faster growth and better public services operating in an environment of good governance, ethics and integrity. Those who engage in acts of corruption do not represent the value system of the ruling party and its history of service to the people. I thank you. [Applause.]