The provision of quality services and the combatting of corruption are an integral part of the public service, says Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo.
"This year’s Integrated Public Service Month (IPSM) reminds us that we should join our efforts to combat corruption, build the capacity of the State, fight the Coronavirus pandemic and provide quality services to our people," Dlodlo said.
Launching the IPSM on Friday, Dlodlo encouraged public servants to strive to emulate the ethos of resilience championed by Charlotte Maxeke and live out the best and finest values of public service.
Dlodlo said government’s commitment to quality service delivery means little without public servants who are at the coalface of service delivery in the country.
"Being a public servant is a noble calling and the greatest of all professions. The public service is not ours, but belongs to the public.
It demands dedication, selflessness, professionalism, commitment, and the utmost faithfulness to the principles and standards of Batho Pele, of "Putting People First", just as Ma Maxeke had enjoined us to do many years ago," Dlodlo said.
Dlodlo urged all to defend the country’s freedom against the scourge of corruption that is eroding the democratic values and the dream of being a capable, ethical and developmental State.
"By fighting to end corruption, we guarantee our citizens access to equal and quality services to which they have a Constitutional right. An honest public service is one that is competent, agile, innovative and responsive to the needs of all.
"In all our workspaces, we have to find innovative ways to manage the resources that the public have entrusted to us to deliver services timeously."
Dlodlo urged all public servants to fight corruption and build a capable, ethical and developmental State that puts people and their needs at the centre.
"I, therefore, call on you, as professional public servants, to step up and identify ways in which we can realise this citizen-centric Public Service that is the hallmark of a capable State.
"As government, we recognise that a capable State starts with the people who work in it."
With regard to professionalising the Public Service, Dlodlo said government cannot professionalise the Public Service in a context where poorly qualified individuals are being parachuted into management positions through political patronage.
"We cannot build an ethical State if those who make up the rank and file of the State are self-serving and unprincipled.
"We cannot make this a country of freedom, peace and prosperity for all if service delivery is neglected by elected officials and public servants who believe that holding a position of authority is an opportunity for self-enrichment," the minister said.
September is earmarked by government to celebrate the IPSM, National Heritage Month and Tourism Month.
The month long program began on 30 August and will run until 1 October 2021 across all three spheres of government under the theme: "The Year of Charlotte Maxeke – a resilient public service responsive to the Coronavirus pandemic."
The theme seeks to celebrate the life of the late struggle stalwart, Charlotte Maxeke, by emulating the ethos and values that she espoused as a public servant as reflected in the Public Service Charter. It reinforces government’s commitment to instil a sense of pride of being a public servant, and calls on public servants to be ethical, committed and live the principles of Batho Pele.