State efficiency improving but still long way to go – Zuma

2013-02-21 16:41

While not yet ideal, the state’s efficiency is steadily improving, President Jacob Zuma has said.

Replying in the National Assembly to points raised during the debate on his state of the nation speech, Zuma said next year would mark the first 20 years of freedom and democracy.

In celebrating this milestone, the government would recommit to achieving a nonracial, nonsexist, peaceful, and democratic society.

South Africa today was considerably better than the South Africa of 20 years ago.

“It’s not been an easy road.” It was still a long road to go to achieve the “type of society that we want to achieve, but we are getting there steadily”, Zuma said.

The government had put in place a number of initiatives since 2009 to improve the functioning of the state, he said.

The performance monitoring and evaluation department’s monitoring of management practices was starting to bear fruit in a number of areas.

“For example, the average time taken to fill a funded vacancy in national and provincial departments has improved from nine months in 2010 to four months in 2012,” he said.

The responsiveness of departments to cases referred to them from Chapter Nine institutions and from the national anticorruption hotline had also improved.

The average time taken to issue an identity document had been reduced from about 150 days to about 30 days.

The bar-coded green ID book would be replaced by a new ID smart card in the 2013-2014 financial year. The smart card was intended to prevent fraud, Zuma said.

The average time taken to process an application for a social grant had decreased from 30 days in 2010 to 21 days in 2012.

As had been pointed out by the responsible minister, the training of public servants, including managers, would be prioritised to further improve the capacity of the state.

“This should also bring in much-needed skills and reduce the money we pay to consultants, which the Auditor-General, and many honourable members here, have raised alarm about.

“It is also an undertaking made in the national development plan that the culture and orientation of the public service will change for the better.

“It is for this reason that we say if that we are to pay public servants better, we want a return on our investment,” he said.

Mechanisms had been put in place to improve citizen care and to make the public service friendlier and more responsive.

“We still have a long way to go, but we have made a start.”

Important among these was the front-line service delivery monitoring programme.

Over 300 unannounced visits had been undertaken in the past year by officials from the performance monitoring and evaluation department and offices of the premiers.

Repeat visits to sites indicated that, in many cases, the monitoring had resulted in improvements, Zuma said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks take ‘no mercy’ approach
Burger to equal Bok RWC record
Japan victory attracts record TV figures
iPads the secret to Japanese RWC success
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.